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Daylight Saving Time 2012: Bill Lumbergh types warned about cyberloafing

Study finds Daylight Saving Time 2012 could cause 'staggering' amounts of cyberloafing at work.

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Employees work on computers at their cubicles in the offices of Ernst & Young in Boston, Mass. The company, which specializes in professional tax and accounting services, has been cited on numerous published lists of Best Companies to Work For.

Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor

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Daylight Saving Time 2012 won't have much of an effect on America's pajama workers – scratch that, digital commuters – but bosses around America have been warned: DST causes cyberloafing.

As our artificial means of time measurement crashes ahead by an hour Sunday morning in an attempt, via daylight saving time, to mechanically reorder the natural cycles of the mammal known as the white collar worker, outlooks on sleep and, thus, work invariably change. But by how much?

Enough to make Bill Lumbergh (of “Office Space” fame) and his consultant minions choke on their coffee, according to a story in the Journal of Applied Psychology, which presumably outlines the myriad ways day-waging humans achieve applied sanity in the Google age.

The Monitor's Weekly News Quiz for March 3-9, 2012

In fact, researchers used Google data as well as an experiment that tested how sleep-deprived subjects reacted to having to attend a boring lecture to conclude that the 40 minutes of average sleep lost to daylight saving time causes workers to “self-regulate” less efficiently, and in turn increase their hourly “cyberloafing” by an average of 8.4 minutes. Cyberloafing, of course, is looking at political blogs and surfing Amazon instead of putting the new cover sheets on TPS reports.

The upshot? “Global productivity losses from a spike in employee cyberloafing are potentially staggering,” the researchers conclude.

Now, complaints about Daylight Saving Time, originally proposed by a 19th century butterfly collector who wanted more time at the end of the workday to scour fields for insects, go back to its implementation during World War I (peacetime standardization came in 1966).

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