Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, Nobody’s Getting Anything Done at Work Today

Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStoc/Getty Images

You may have already heard the arguments against daylight saving time — that it contributes to a host of health problems, slashes national productivity, and doesn’t even really cut down on energy consumption like it’s supposed to.

Those are all sound arguments, but it’s so hard to care about any of them when you’re already living what feels like the most compelling argument of all: You are so tired. The clocks sprung forward this weekend, and now you’re fighting to stay alert in front of your computer.

On the bright side, so is everyone else. As Oliver Staley recently explained in Quartz, researchers have a name for the first day back at work after we skip time forward by an hour: Sleepy Monday, a term originally coined by Christopher Barnes, a business professor at the University of Washington who studies organizational behavior.

“While the long-term consequences of not getting enough sleep are well known to researchers,” Staley noted, “Barnes has tried to find out what happens when we don’t get enough sleep on any particular night.” And what he found is that today, Sleepy Monday, is one of the most sleep-deprived days of the year. Which means that nobody’s really getting much done today — among other things, his research has found that Sleepy Monday is one of the worst days for “cyberloafing,” an activity better known as wasting time on the internet:

To see if people were goofing off while online at work, Barnes and his colleagues looked at internet search habits on six Sleepy Mondays, and compared them to the Mondays immediately before and after, in 203 US cities. Searches for terms like “ESPN,” “videos,” and “YouTube,” were 3.1% higher than on the previous Monday, and 6.4% than on the following Monday.

Hey, whatever keeps you awake. After all, it’s a lot easier to quickly close an offending browser window than it is to convince your boss that you had your head down on your desk “to concentrate.”

Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, Nobody Is Productive Today