workplace wellness sleep

Another Business Cost from Poor Mental Health Management: Bad Behavior

One area of focus for a well-run workplace wellness program can be helping employees understand and manage the benefits of sleep.

As we’ve reported here, the business costs from a lack of sleep are nothing to snooze at (sorry!). We noted Rand’s recent report titled “Why sleep matters — the economic costs of insufficient sleep.” Among the findings:

  • “The US sustains by far the highest economic losses (up to $411 billion a year) due to the size of its economy, followed by Japan (up to $138 billion a year). However, the relative numbers show that the estimated loss for Japan is actually higher than for the US (between 1.56 to 2.28 per cent for the US and 1.86 per cent to 2.92 per cent for Japan, respectively), with the UK (1.36 per cent to 1.86 per cent), Germany (1.02 per cent to 1.56 per cent) and Canada (0.85 per cent to 1.56 per cent) following behind.”
  • “On an annual basis, the US loses an equivalent of about 1.23 million working days due to insufficient sleep. This is followed by Japan, which loses on average 604 thousand working days per year. The UK and Germany have similar working time lost, with 207 thousand and 209 thousand days, respectively. Canada loses about 78 thousand working days.”

Now a new report might encourage wellness plans to help employees recognize the damage — particularly to mental health and judgement — that can occur from even a single bad night’s sleep.

The piece is published by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and is titled “Why a bad night’s sleep makes some people misbehave at work.”

It states: ” A study conducted by Laura M. Giurge from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) shows that as little as just one bad night of sleep makes it more likely that employees will display unwanted behaviour the following day at work. This negative effect of impaired sleep quality is especially strong among people with a so-called ‘low moral identity’, she discovered.”

The post continues: “This study shows that the display of unwanted behaviour is not a fixed character trait, says Giurge. It can vary from day to day, even within the same person. Whatever the reason for starting it, a night of poor sleep can make it harder for someone to stop doing it, especially among people with a low moral identity. Tiredness apparently can make it harder for people to overcome the feeling that they have failed and try again the next day.”

The full thesis can be found here.