American Time Blog

Lost Time Calculator: How Much Time is Saved With Synchronization?

Posted by American Time on Oct 5, 2020 2:00:00 PM


How much time do you spend making coffee in the morning, making the bed, brushing your teeth – heck, how about putting on your socks? Wait, don't answer that question; it's best not to think about how many hours of your life are consumed with mundane tasks.

The reality is that while we pursue meaningful lives, so much of our days are used up by chores that we would automate if we could, freeing up more time for the things we actually care about. This translates to work, too.

For facility managers, there are few aspects of routine maintenance that can be put on autopilot, but adjusting the clocks is one of those. Here, we'll calculate just how much time you have to spend making sure your clocks are on pace, time that you could get back with a synchronized clock system.

Why Daylight Saving Time Actually Costs You Time

If you run a particularly large complex such as a high school or hospital, you might have 100-plus wall clocks that help keep everyone in sync as they adhere to a tight schedule. That schedule is likely so refined that if those clocks are off by just a minute or two, that highly calibrated schedule is no longer efficient. So, you make sure to adjust your clocks on a regular basis.

If you can't afford to have your clocks be off by a couple minutes, then you can’t afford to have them off by an hour. But if your clocks aren't automated to adjust for Daylight Saving Time, also known as DST, you have to send someone out twice a year to adjust for the time change, making the rounds room by room as they set the clocks forward or backward an hour.

Let's say that task averages out to five minutes for each clock. If you have 100 clocks to adjust, that adds up to more than a full 8-hour work day. That's two precious work days each year that are dedicated to the thankless task of making sure your clocks adjust for Daylight Saving Time. Here’s the equation:

5 minutes x 100 clocks x 2 DST = 1000 minutes per year

1000 minutes ÷ 60 = 16 hours

If you want to calculate how much time your facility can save, plug in your information in the equation below. Keep in mind the different factors that can affect the speed of correcting the clock such as the experience of the person responsible for adjusting them, the time it takes to walk to each room, if the clock is located somewhere that is only accessible by ladder, and the availability of the room. Also, DST occurs twice a year so make sure to multiply your results by 2.

[average amount of time to change one clock] x [number of clocks] x 2 DST = [minutes per year it takes to adjust the clocks]

What Happens When Clocks Go Rogue?

Maybe you're fine with dedicating 16-plus work hours a year to keep up with the rest of the world, but updating for DST isn't the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to adjusting your clocks.

Quartz clocks, the most common type, keep their time based on the crystal's tiny vibrations. Those vibrations aren't perfect, though. The quartz vibrations will be slightly different in each clock, meaning a collection of independent clocks will become out of sync.

As your clocks drift apart, you might not notice it at first. But over a long enough period, those differences will become obvious.

The Cost of Falling Off the Pace

If you don't have synchronized clocks, then you’ll have to put effort into making sure your clocks stay in sync, that is if you value being on a schedule. Perhaps you'll develop a routine to check the clocks, or maybe you'll respond to complaints from staff members as they come in. Either way, you're spending more resources to make sure everyone is on time.

And that's if you're able to keep up with the necessary adjustments in the first place. The cost is even greater if you let your clocks drift so far apart that meetings, appointments, and classes start late.

Synchronization by American Time

There's a reason so many large institutions opt for synchronized clocks, and at American Time, you will find several types of synchronized time systems. Whether you choose wired, wireless or IP Network clocks, these systems give you one less thing to worry about while saving you valuable staff hours in the process.

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Topics: Daylight Saving Time, Synchronized Clock Systems, Facility Management

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