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As the tiny island nation of Samoa prepares to lose an entire day between December 29 and December 31 (see video below), the Cayman Islands is apparently weighing the benefits of losing a seemingly measly hour. (Incidentally, “tiny” Samoa is three times the size of Grand Cayman with only half the GDP.)

Though the shift may be significantly greater for Samoa than Cayman, the argument for going back to the future is essentially the same. Small nations ought to align themselves as closely as possible with the working day of their customers. In Samoa’s case – Australia, in Cayman’s case – New York.

You see, whilst Samoa loses two working days of contact per week with its largest trading partner Australia (being a day ahead on the other side of the international dateline, Samoans are off work on Australian Fridays and Australians are off on Samoan Mondays), the Cayman Islands lose an hour of contact during the summer months when New York and the rest of the Eastern Seaboard springs forward to observe daylight saving and Cayman abstains.

As you might expect for a major international financial centre, many companies in the Cayman Islands work closely with clients and service providers in New York, who must remember that Cayman is on the same time for half the year and an hour behind for the rest. Even after ten years in Cayman, this catches me out.

To make matters worse, Cayman is six hours behind London during the summer. Five is bad enough. Increasing the gap to six reduces the overlap in respective working days by a whopping 40% (from 2.5 hours to 1.5 hours).

And to make matters even worse, a couple of years ago the States and UK stopped aligning the dates their clocks changed, such that Cayman loses an hour against the UK and then some weeks later against the States. Talk about being lost in time.

Moving to daylight savings would also mean island residents making better use of the coolest part of the day during the hottest time of year (as the sun would rise at 6.45am instead of an ungodly 5.45am) and a whole extra hour of blissful sunlight in the evening (getting dark again around 8pm instead of 7pm).

Sounds like a win win win win to me. Happy hour anyone?

Video: Cayman officially behind the Times




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