With dark evenings now upon us, a fresh debate has opened up about whether the UK should still change its clocks every six months and whilst some industries have responded strongly, others have remained tight-lipped even though the proposals could have a major impact on many employers according to workplace equipment provider Slingsby.
Various schemes have been in the news recently which include scrapping the annual shift between British Summer Time (BST) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or even sticking with BST and adding another hour next Spring. This would put the UK one hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead during summer.
Lee Wright, Marketing Director of Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 workplace products across all industries, explains: "There are lots of arguments for and against these proposals that mainly centre around the working patterns of various industries. However the majority of people start work between 8am and 9am meaning they sleep through the extra hour of daylight in the morning and then it’s dark when they finish work.
"Whilst some of these debates have gone on for several decades growing numbers of employers and businesses are now throwing their weight into the arguments which are now usually about energy usage and employee well-being.
"The health arguments focus on how an extra hour of daylight in the evening increases opportunities for outdoor leisure activities making it easier for employees to stay fit. In addition a survey by Kellogg’s recently found that 1.5million workers don’t see any daylight at all during their working week in winter which is bound to have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of the workforce."
Lee adds: "Another study published this year found that if the clocks had not been put back each year between 2001 and 2008, approximately 447,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions would have been saved due to the amount of energy that businesses and homes use each day during an hour of darkness."
"As well as energy, workplaces also have to invest heavily in safety and security measures in order to keep both their workforces and premises safe when the clocks go back as both accidents and crime increase during the winter months."
Slingsby always experiences a sharp increase in sales of certain products when the dark nights arrive.