Why HR should encourage employees to sleep more

WorkScore has found that 39% of employees are sleeping six hours or less a night

Why HR should encourage employees to sleep more

Think employees are coming to work each day refreshed and energised. Think again.

Excessive workloads are impacting the ability of employees to switch off from work, their sleep quality and their work/life balance, according to Suzanne Deeming, co-founder of WorkScore.

Indeed, WorkScore has reviewed the data from more than 8,800 employees and found that 39% of employees are sleeping six hours or less a night.

Moreover, they are more stressed, have less energy and are working more additional hours than those employees that get the recommended 7-9 hours a night.

The data shows that 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.

Additionally, they take less full lunch breaks and have 12% less energy during the workday.

Switching off from work is harder for our sleep deprived employees, as is balancing work and life demands.

The WorkScore data supports the notion that a focus on wellbeing at work improves sleep.

This is because employees who sleep between seven to nine hours a night feel that their workplace cares about their wellbeing and that work has a more positive impact of their wellbeing (by up to 15%) than their colleagues who sleep six hours or less.

However, the good news is that employers can take action to promote better sleep habits for employees.

Indeed, Deeming said that 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.

“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,” said Deeming.

Moreover, a recent study found that rude co-workers won’t just cause you stress in the workplace – they can also cost you and your partner some much-needed downtime at home.

In fact, couples in the same line of work both end up losing sleep even when just one of them is dealing with a nasty co-worker.

A study from Portland State University (PSU) shows “workplace incivility” – such as rudeness and disrespect – leads one to ruminate negatively about their experiences even outside of work. This phenomenon is known as a “spillover” effect.

According to researchers, workplace incivility can also cause symptoms of insomnia in your partner – through a “crossover” effect – if you happen to work in the same field or for the same organisation.

However, such an effect is evident only among “work-linked” couples, the results suggest.

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