Is Your Team Working While Tired?

We often try to figure out how to squeeze in more productivity on less sleep, but when you look at the data the results are reversed. The better you sleep the more productive you are.

However, according to a number of studies, Canadians are not the best sleepers. In fact, one-third are sleeping well under the recommended amount per night. Some point the finger at screen time, caffeine, or work demands and 15 to 20 percent of Canadians suffer from moderate to severe sleep disorders including chronic insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. Whatever the cause is the results can hurt your employees and employers.

Not only is this troubling for individual well-being it can also be damaging to the productivity of businesses of all sizes, with some estimates finding a lack of sleep can cost employers up to $5000 per year in lost productivity per employee. There is also a strong link between sleep and mental health. In-turn mental health problems have become the number one cause of disability claims, which account for $6 Billion in lost productivity per year.

Sleep is also one of the ultimate performance enhancers, there’s a reason legendary athletes like LeBron James and Roger Federer are known to sleep up to 12 hours a night. Now we’re not suggesting you sleep half of every day, it merely shows the emphasis some of the world’s best in their fields put on sleep. Some of the benefits non-superhuman athletes can reap include a stronger immune system, more energy, great creativity, enhanced appearance, and much more. All you need to do is think about how you feel when you get enough sleep for yourself vs when you don’t to understand the benefits.  

So what can employers do to encourage better sleep? We’ve some very creative steps that our clients and some larger corporations have taken. While some of these may not be possible to add for all business sizes there are benefits to considering how your place of work could implement these, even if it’s in the long term.

  • Providing a work environment with ample natural light and even including nap rooms
  • Free or affordable access to healthy food
  • Educational programs or incentivize sleep
  • Reducing employees ability to send or receive emails late in the evening
  • Behavioral Nudges
  • Wearable devices to track sleep habits and reward employees

It’s also important to understand that some persons sleeping problems may not be caused by behavioral changes but require a more in-depth look by medic professionals so it’s also important to educate your employees on their benefits and have those resources available to them.

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