Most Workers Not Getting Enough Sleep: Here’s What Bosses Can Do About It
A new study finds many employees aren't getting enough sleep, which is hurting their on-the-job performance and causing some to make big blunders — like making an overpayment that cost a million bucks.
“We find nearly three quarters, more than 7 in 10 workers are going to work tired and half of them again, are working very tired,” said Bill Driscoll, a district president for the staffing firm Accountemps, which conducted the survey.
Driscoll said this is having a serious impact on the productivity of workers.
“More than half of them said they were easily distracted, likely to procrastinate more, were more grumpy and ultimately making more mistakes,” he said. “If those traits and those things are happening to your workforce, it’s not going to create a positive culture.
According to the survey, 52 percent said when they were tired they were more easily distracted, 47 percent felt they were procrastinating, 38 percent complained of being grumpy, and 29 percent said they were making more mistakes — and some of them were major mistakes.
“The type of errors included sharing executive compensation with the entire firm, missing a decimal point on an estimated payment and over-paying by a million dollars, deleting a project that took a thousand hours to put together,” said Driscoll. “Also mistakes like reformatting a server, ordering 500 more computers than needed, talking about a client when you think the phone is on mute, accidentally paying everyone twice.”
So what can be done to avoid these nightmare scenarios?
Here's some advice from Driscoll to help workers and employers avoid these problems:
“In most companies, the workload has peaks and valleys, and when you hit those peaks and you’re talking about a lot of overtime, it’s important to help structure the schedules for your employees and maybe even think about bringing in some temporaries to help the full-time staff,” he said
Encourage employees to take breaks
“Just getting up and getting some exercise, walking around the block or getting a cup of coffee or a drink of water can really help people.”
Work from home
“Increasingly, one of the reasons we see for fatigue is long commutes," Driscoll said. He said companies should offer workers the option to work from home when possible.
Lead by example
“If [you're a boss and] you get in at the crack of dawn, work straight through the day and you’re the last one to leave, it’s likely your staff will do the same, and you’re going to risk enhancing that fatigue and potential burnout.”
Nap time not just for kindergarten
The survey found that 55 percent of workers would use a nap room if their employer offered one, while 2 percent of workers were with a company that already did. About 33 percent of respondents, however, worried that taking a nap would make them appear like slackers, make them sleepier, or get in the way of finishing their work.