Sleep: an eye-opener when it comes to workplace productivity.

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As workplace wellness continues to become more sophisticated, new studies on the impact of sleep and sleep loss have become new critical issues for workplace performance experts.  It may not seem like a surprise that well-rested employees perform better at work, but there had never been hard numbers to prove sleep’s impact on work until recently. A 2016 study from RAND Corporation estimated that sleep deprivation costs U.S. employers roughly $411 billion annually. RAND also found that sleep deprivation leads to lower productivity levels, along with a higher risk of mortality.

The Working Tired

In addition to an increase in workplace errors, employees experience a general lack of focus on their work. Fifty-two percent of workers indicated being easily distracted because of sleep deprivation and 47% admit that they procrastinate more because of fatigue.  In general, 38% admit to being grumpier as a result of lack of sleep. Twenty-nine percent of people said they had fallen asleep or became very sleepy at work in the previous month, and 12 percent were late to work in the last month because of sleepiness.

An Exhausted Bottom Line

All these factors translate into poor productivity for business. A corporate culture with diminished morale and more turnover all take away from a business’s success. A widely cited 2011 Harvard Medical School study published in the journal “Sleep” found that the average worker with insomnia results in 11.3 lost days of productivity each year.

Sleep is usually the first sacrifice made to personal health when work gets busy. And as the boundaries between time away from work  and time at work blur, the question of how much sleep is needed to perform well and be healthy becomes less clear.

Solutions for the Sleep-Deprived

  1. Balancing Deadlines with Down Time. Companies can offer definitive time away from work that isn’t necessarily vacation time. Personal health days can help employees catch up on their ZZZ’s.
  2. Sleep tracking. Employees who suffer from chronic insomnia can benefit from sleep tracking apps that can monitor how much actual sleep they are getting. This technology can help identify a greater health issue like sleep apnea.
  3. Solving Stress to Cure Insomnia. In many cases of sleeplessness reported to physicians, it is the daytime stresses that cause nighttime restlessness. Offering meditation and stress-relief sessions at the workplace coupled with other sleep-friendly approaches can create a better worker and a rested, productive workplace.

For more wellness solutions visit: Fellowes Healthy Productivity Resources. 

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