A crucial component of stellar productivity is proper sleeping habits. In this second installment of our Productivity Series – we focus on Sleep.
Sleep is one of the most important, yet under appreciated, keys to productivity. By not focusing on this essential part of our daily lives – we are only doing further damage to our productivity – and health – as a whole.
According to the CDC, 35 percent of Americans report regularly getting less than the recommended amount 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Arianna Huffington, of The Huffington Post, preaches the importance of sleep herself. By not getting proper sleep, not only are you damaging your body for the long and short term, but your output at work as well.
Harvard suggests that “sleep deprivation was a significant factor in the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, as well as the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.”
Accidents due to sleep deprivation can also be attributed to events on a less disastrous level. According to the Institutes of Medicine, “over one million injuries and between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths each year result from preventable medical errors, and many of these may be the result of insufficient sleep. Doctors, especially newly graduated interns, are often expected to work continuous shifts of 24 to 36 hours with little or no opportunity for sleep.” A decrease in productivity due to sleep-related issues not only effects an employee’s workload output, but can also cost companies thousands – even millions.
According to a study published in 2010, within the data taken from participants, $54 million – roughly $1,967 per employee within this study – could be expect to be lost annually. Estimated costs linked to productivity decreases ranged from $1,293 to $3,296
Like any employee or business owner you are now most likely thinking, “I wonder how much money we’re losing due to sleep deprivation?” Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for you.
However, we do have a few ideas on how to encourage proper sleeping habits throughout your office – ultimately leading to increased productivity.
Increased Workplace Flexibility
- Allowing more flexible start and end times may help contribute to positive lifestyle behaviors. Their are many benefits to a more flexible work schedule other than increased sleeping patterns and productivity, but those two are essential reasons to start incorporating a more flexible work schedule.
Workplace Education Programs
- Educate employees on the importance of proper sleeping habits, and how they can improve life both at home – and at the office. Make it clear that occasional sleep loss and fatigue are expected, but teach employees on how to safely and effectively function while “running on empty”. Topics such as regular exercise, proper nutrition, and manageable workloads could all be covered in depth as they are a few important elements when looking to improve sleeping habits.
- “One of the most significant and overlooked public health problems in the U.S. is that many American adults are chronically sleep deprived.” Not only can better sleep schedules help eliminate one of the worst health problems for working adults, increased sleep increases ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system and decreases risks of being killed in accidents.
Getting more sleep is often times easier said than done. However, as long as you’re more conscious of how important proper sleeping habits are, the more likely you are to change your current habits. There are plenty of reasons to get into a better sleep routine – saving your employer thousands, increasing workplace safety, and keeping your sanity – that it is up to you to put the proper actions in place.