New data from more than 8,800 employees shows that 39% of employees are sleeping 6 hours or less a night and are more stressed, have less energy and are working longer hours than those employees who get the recommended 7 – 9 hours a night.
The study by WorkScore, an Australian health & wellbeing technology business, found that workloads and work-related stress are keeping employees from sleeping well and negatively impacting their work-life balance and well being.
“Employers can reduce the long hours employees work and promote balance between work and life through encouraging employees to switch off from work emails in the evenings, on weekends and holidays,” WorkScore MD Suzanne Deeming says. “Allowing time blocks in their work day for employees to exercise, or take a walk, and make lunch breaks compulsory will provide some much-needed downtime.”
In the business world, it’s easy to drop sleep but employees lose when they don’t snooze in order to finalise work tasks or catch up on emails. Tired employees are more
stressed, have less energy at work and are far more likely to feel that work is negatively impacting their lives.
Health experts recommend 7 – 9 hours’ sleep a night for optimal wellbeing and performance, but these results show many employees are not getting enough sleep. Employees sleeping less than 6 hours a night recorded higher stress levels,
additional work hours, less energy and a whopping 17% difference in their work life
balance compared to employees who get the recommended amount. It is clear
that well-rested people perform better.
Work-life balance significantly decreases when employees are sleep deprived.
These findings show those who sleep six hours or less a night are more prone to working additional hours with close to 30% working 9 + hours extra week. They also take less full lunch breaks and not surprisingly have 12 per cent less energy during the
Switching off from work is harder for our sleep-deprived employees as is
balancing work and life demands. When employers care about employee wellbeing, sleep amount and quality dramatically improves. Those who sleep between seven to nine hours a night believe that their workplace cares about their wellbeing and that
work has a more positive impact on their wellbeing (by up to 15%) than their
colleagues who sleep 6 hours or less.
What are some practical ways to improve not only sleep quality but the overall performance of your employees?
Reduce long hours
Your organisation’s culture has a significant effect on your team’s ability to sleep.
Establish work-time limits and reduce the long hours your employees work. Promote
balance between work and life through encouraging employees to switch off from
work emails in the evenings, on weekends and holidays. Also allow time blocks in their
work day for employees to exercise, or take a walk, and make lunch breaks compulsory for some much-needed downtime.
Implement a wellbeing strategy & program
When designing a wellbeing program, invite sleep experts to counsel employees
about their habits. Offer stress-reducing treatments such as fitness memberships, chair yoga classes or mediation sessions to help employees become more relaxed at work. The key to a successful program is to design the initiatives around employees’ needs and we advise a wellbeing assessment to understand the key areas for improvement and intervention.
Don’t ignore the benefits of quality sleep
Foster a culture that prioritises rest and supports your employees’ wellbeing in
the workplace. Encourage full lunch breaks. Focus on wellbeing with a wellbeing strategy and program