sleep deprivation

Are Employers Helping Workers with Sleep Deprivation?

With Daylight Savings returning at 2 am local time this Sunday, March 12, here’s a post specially made for the occasion (and, of course, for workplace wellness): Maybe they do know better in the UK!

It turns out that March is National Bed Month, according the UK-based Sleep Council. While some of the promotion seems to encompass finding the right bed, Small Business UK takes a different tack: “Employee sleep deprivation isn’t being tackled by employers.”

The post states: “Forward-thinking employers are treating employees that suffer from sleep deprivation in the same way they would an employee with an illness, according to RedArc Nurses ahead of The Sleep Council’s National Bed Month in March. RedArc advises all employers to be aware that their employees’ poor quality or quantity of sleep is within their jurisdiction and that it can be tackled via both physical and emotional support.”

“The importance of a good night’s shut eye has been recognised for some time now, but the considerable knock-on effects that poor sleeping has in the workplace are only just becoming acknowledged: research firm Rand Europe calculates that the UK economy lost 200,000 working days a year to sleep deprivation last year costing £40 billion, or 1.86 per cent of GDP.”

As for workplace wellness programs: “Employers are looking to address this. According to research from Rewards and Employee Benefits Association (REBA) in conjunction with Punter Southall Health & Protection, the number of organisations including sleeping within their wellbeing strategy is set to more than double (from 42 per cent to 88 per cent) in the next few years.”

The piece concludes: “Research shows that employers who provide such services engender a feeling of loyalty amongst staff and that these services improve staff health and wellbeing, increase retention and reduce absence.”