Here’s Why You Should Encourage Your Employees to Get More Sleep

By: Joe Burton
Man stretching on the bed

In most offices, a common response to the greeting, “How are you?” is, “Tired, you?” In fact, it’s such a typical response that it’s rarely given a second thought. However, the amount of sleep your employees receive is important, and it’s likely affecting your business.

Sleep deprivation has many effects on the body and mind. A majority of these effects can impact a person’s workday, which ultimately impacts others on the team and the company as a whole. Some symptoms of sleep loss include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Fatigue
  • Depressed or irritable mood
  • Difficulty learning new concepts
  • Inability to concentrate or a “fuzzy” head
  • Lack of motivation

What is #SleepDeprivation costing your company? Get the answers from @RethinkCare:

Employees who are dealing with these symptoms consistently will not be able to perform at full capacity, which negatively affects both productivity and the bottom line. What happens when you make sleep improvement part of the company’s wellness initiative?

Limited Procrastination and Boosted Performance

For the average worker, insomnia leads to the loss of 11.3 days worth of productivity each calendar year. That’s the equivalent of $2,280 per employee.

While a lack of sleep has the tendency to decrease concentration and the ability to learn new concepts, getting the proper amount of sleep can actually boost these skills. Ensuring employees understand the importance of a good night’s rest can mean the difference between a mediocre and innovative workforce. An adequate amount of sleep in a night can also boost creativity, which can assist in boosting innovation, ultimately giving your workforce and company a competitive edge.

Increased Workplace Safety

Along with productivity, sleep loss can impact an employee’s ability to perform physical tasks, including operating machinery or using potentially dangerous tools. A Harvard Medical School study found that insomnia may be the cause of more than 274,000 occupational accidents and errors in the U.S. every year, costing a total of $31 billion.

A lack of sleep causes individuals to have impaired judgment, which can result in accidents on the job site. Cultivating a company culture that makes sleep a priority can give employees the tools and knowledge to get better sleep and ultimately avoid errors and accidents at work. Doing so creates an environment where safety is constantly top of mind.

Reduced Absenteeism

Sleep deprivation not only makes it difficult to concentrate at work, but it can also lead to health issues ranging from mild to severe. A lack of sleep among the U.S. workforce is costing approximately $411 billion and 1.2 million lost work days per year. These effects of poor sleep can quickly manifest into major costs to employers. These costs include increased healthcare and mental health days, to name a few.

Did you know a lack of #sleep among the U.S. #workforce is costing approximately $411 billion and 1.2 million lost work days per year? Learn more from @RethinkCare:

Boosted Morale

The same way lack of sleep can cause a depressed mood, getting an adequate night’s rest can increase mood and boost motivation. By encouraging your employees to understand how sleep impacts their workday and giving them the tools to get a good night’s rest, you’ll boost morale in your workplace. Creating a culture where employees know you care about their wellbeing, including their sleep schedule, helps increase employee engagement making for a happier, more productive workforce.

The symptoms of sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on the productivity of your team. Ensuring employees are not overworked and feel a sense of work-life balance in the organization can help individuals get a better night’s rest. Other ways employers can encourage better sleep habits include:

  • Creating email boundaries
  • Offering flexible work hours
  • Making sleep training part of the employee benefits package
  • Advocating for the use of vacation days
  • Providing access to mindfulness training and meditation

While sleep may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to managing employees in your organization, it does have an astounding effect on the way individuals perform on a day-to-day basis. Encouraging employees to make sleep a priority and creating a culture that allows them to do so will result in a healthier, more productive, and innovative workforce giving your company an undeniable competitive advantage.

The RethinkCare app for employers has more than 250 digital science-based programs that increase mindfulness, improve sleep, and develop emotional intelligence skills for happier, healthier employees. Visit our resource center to learn more about our targeted approach to improving sleep or request a quote today.

About the Author

Headshot of Joe Burton

Retired Founder and CEO of Whil and former President of Headspace

Joe is an entrepreneur in the digital wellness space, retired Founder and CEO of Whil and former President of Headspace, and spent fifteen years as a global COO in public companies. He’s an alumnus of Harvard Business School and a regular contributor to Forbes, Business Insider and The Huffington Post. He’s worked in over 50 countries and travels the world speaking on topics including disruption, culture, resiliency and mindfulness.

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