Sunday, November 4, 2012

Do We Have Daylight Savings Backwards?

To be sure, I am not a fan of faking time.  If we all want to go into work an hour early during the summer, we should just be honest and say we are going in an hour early.  After all, many businesses already keep seasonally-adjusted hours.  Besides, there is nothing magical about 8 a.m. as a starting time for business; in fact, all clocks in China are set to Beijing time, which does not prevent those living far from Beijing opening office from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Beijing time).  

Daylight savings is no different than the trick some people use of setting their alarm clocks 10 minutes ahead -- a trick that really should not work, since they know it is 10 minutes fast.  The trick does work, though; the government has rightly judged that we are too lazy to come up with one set of work hours for the winter and another for the morning. 

Yet it does work.  We sheepishly submit to this foolishness, even though many people seem to dislike it and there are real questions about whether it really saves energy.

OK, then, but does it do for us what we want?  I don't think so.  We like our long summer afternoons, and we don't like having to wake up before dawn -- but most of us have to do that in the winter, even after Daylight Savings has ended.  We wake up and shower before dawn, drive to work as dawn is breaking, and by the time we get home again it's already dark.

Here's what I suggest:  Go back to standard time during the summer, but set your business hours as 7-4 instead of 8-5.  During the winter, fall forward to preserve a little bit of sunlight at the end of the day; in the spring we can spring back again. 

1 comment:

  1. No kidding! When I lived in California, one city observed (for lack of a better term) Daylight Savings Time and the nbext didn't. It was a nightmare.