Research has revealed the nation’s employees are turning up to work sleep deprived, affecting their interactions and productivity at work

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According to bed manufacturer, Sealy’s recent Worldwide Sleep Census, 70% of employees in the UK admitted they would function better in their jobs if they slept better.

The data also revealed the vast majority (77%) of the workforce are sleep deprived as they are failing to get the rest and recovery time they need to feel motivated and engaged. This lack of sleep is resulting in some serious issues arising at work. 65% of workers admitted to regularly losing their temper or being irritable to a colleague, 30% claimed their productivity suffers while 19% of employees said they were often late to work or take time off as a result.

Neil Robinson, an expert on sleep at Sealy, comments, “Lack of sleep – and the subsequent fallout the next day – can be caused by a wide range of legitimate medical conditions, from stress to mental health problems or respiratory disease. Even at the less severe end of the spectrum, there’s usually an underlying health issue causing sleeplessness. However, it’s often treated as an incidental issue by bosses, with a ‘pull yourself together’ attitude. This is not helpful for employees, especially when there are some potentially severe consequences of turning up exhausted.

“There are of course occasions when staff are tired as a result of staying up too late or burning the candle at both ends. However, this campaign is about helping bosses make that distinction, as well as encouraging a common-sense approach to effectively managing sleep in the workplace”.

Worryingly, 11% of workers who have had an accident at work, attributed it to feeling tired and 1 in 25 admitted to falling asleep whilst at work.

The study also revealed the most sleep deprived professions:

1) Hospitality (86%)

2) Banking and finance (79%)

3) Construction (77%)

4) Retail (76%)

5) Transport and communications (76%)

To address the issues that arise from sleep deprivation, Sealy and leading HR expert, Kate Russel of Russell HR Consulting, are urging employers to put sleep at the top of their agenda in 2018.

Since mental and physical wellbeing has been the focus for the Government and many employers in the UK, it is also important for employers to also tackle sleep deprivation as it does have an effect on employees physical and mental wellbeing.

Sealy and Russell HR Consulting are working on producing a ‘common sense’ guide for bosses to better manage sleep deprivation of staff. Companies and organisations already supporting the campaign include North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and The Light leisure and retail centre in Yorkshire.

Kate Russell says, “Tiredness poses a severe challenge to our ability to function well, yet it is frequently the root cause of decreased productivity, accidents and mistakes which cost companies billions of pounds each year. Sleep deprivation is no laughing matter. Eventually, our biological drive to compensate for sleep deprivation wins, and the loser might be your workers, your business or even you. Businesses have a critical responsibility to take sleeplessness seriously. If you want to raise performance—both your own and your organisation’s—you need to pay attention to this important issue. Ensuring that staff are well-rested is quite simply a smart business strategy”.