Hidden cost of sleep at work
Do you know how much sleep is costing your company?
1.5 hours less sleep
Humans are sleeping 1.5 hours less than 100 years ago, mainly due to changing lifestyle factors. We are beginning to understand the risks involved.
6 days less productive
A Rand Europe study found that employees who sleeps 6 hours or less per night are 6 days less productive than colleagues that sleep 8 hours
€1,500 per employee
Is the average annual cost of sleep deprivation based on the cost of lost productivity (absenteeism and presenteeism). It doesn't take into account lower performance.
2% of GDP
It is estimated that the cost of sleep deprivation in developed countries is equal to 2% of GDP, which in the US is equivalent to the education budget.
54% of Belgians sleep badly
35 minutes less sleep
Work-place factors including long commutes and unrealistic time pressure, were found to decrease sleep times by 35 minutes per night
Sleep and productivity
A large study by Rand Europe "Why Sleep Matters" found that, compared to someone who sleeps 8 hours per night, a person sleeping less than 6 hours per night was 6 days less productive per year and someone sleeping 6-7 hours per night was 3.7 days less productive per year.
On average this costs a company around €1,500 per annum and costs the economy 2% of GDP. When you apply these numbers to a company, the costs become significant.
Furthermore, we know from talking to many people that this is a very conservative approximation. Many people who are sleep deprived are working at 50%-70% of their full capacity.
Sleep and stress
Sleep and stress have a bi-directional relationship creating a vicious cycle. Poor sleep decreases our ability to process stressful events and stressful events erode our sleep time and quality.
A Swedish study in 2012 found “too little sleep as the main risk factor for burnout development, with adjustment for work demands, thoughts of work during leisure time, and sleep quality”. One of our clients says that if he had support from Sleepability earlier, he could have avoided his burnout.
Sleep and leadership
Sleep deprivation undermines key leadership qualities such as prioritising tasks, decision making, complex problem solving and supporting others. Research has shown that people who enjoy a good night sleep are twice as likely to discover a hidden shortcut in a task.
When we do not sleep well, we develop a stronger negativity bias leading us to incorrectly read other people's behaviour. We also find it harder to trust people, making it harder to build relationships at work.
Trickle down effect of poor sleep
Sleep deprived managers have been found to display more aggressive behaviours towards their team, as reported by their team members. At the same time, team members also report lower levels of motivation and engagement with their own work on the days when their manager has slept badly.
In a similar way, people who sleep less are worse team players - they are more likely to blame other people for their mistakes and to take credit for other people's achievements. They are also more likely to withdraw in team exercises and leave other people to do the work.
Ticking time bomb
As sleep deprivation is a relatively new phenomena in the history of the human race, it's hard to know exactly what the long-term consequences will be. However we do know that less sleep makes us less intelligent, less creative, less productive and more vulnerable to serious diseases. The most worrying thing is that young people are particularly vulnerable as they are growing up in a culture of screens and hyper-connectivity.
Invest in sleep of employees
Luckily the positive impact of investing in sleep at work is immediate and long term. People who take action to improve their sleep very quickly feel the benefits (within 4 weeks) and report less stress almost immediately. People who are able to maintain a healthy balance and maintain their energy at work are more productive, committed and loyal employees bringing great value to the company now and in the future. We value shared responsibility when it comes to well-being at work. A company is able to provide the tools and expertise, allowing employees to take responsibility and action. It creates a win-win situation for the company and their people.