Investing in employee health is a growing trend among businesses. Wellness weeks, discounts at fitness clubs, and healthy lunch menu options are a few of the steps companies are taking to boost employee health. Most organizations, however, have been slow to grasp the effects of sleep deprivation on productivity. Thankfully, an increasing number are putting the consequences of sleep deprivation on their radar and seeking expert help to minimize employee fatigue.
Around one third of the work force does not get enough sleep, and the productivity loss is costly. Harvard Researchers estimate that in the U.S., sleep deprivation costs the economy as much as $63.2 billion per year. James Maas, a former Cornell University psychologist and author of “Sleep for Success” summarizes the situation well: “If we treated machinery like we treat the human body, there would be breakdowns all the time.”
In fields such as healthcare, manufacturing and truck driving, the negative impact of sleep deprivation goes beyond productivity loss – it can potentially put lives in danger. Sadly, in some industries, working around the clock is glorified. Instead of looking for advice on how to sleep better, they seek experts to help them function better on only a few hours of sleep.
Organizations including Proctor & Gamble and Goldman Sachs are investing in programs to address the sleep situation – from sleep-hygiene courses to melatonin-regulating lighting to help employees improve their sleep quality. Implementing fatigue-management solutions can bring a plethora of benefits such as reduced absenteeism, fewer accidents and liabilities, improved productivity and enhanced employee quality of life.
If you work in a 24/7 business, or have a high-pressure job, talk to your employer about implementing fatigue-management solutions in your workplace. While there is still a long way to go, it is great to see that some major organizations are waking up to the impact of sleep deprivation.