Lack of sleep is highly prevalent in Australia. A recent report from the Sleep Health Foundation found an estimated 7.4 million Australian adults did not regularly get the sleep they need.
Inadequate sleep was estimated to result in 3,017 deaths in 2016-17.
It is expected that more than one Australian will die every day (394 over the year) from falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle or from industrial accidents due to lack of sleep.
The remaining mortality is due to consequences of the condition, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Not surprisingly for such a prevalent condition, the financial costs to businesses and the healthcare system are also high.
Lack of sleep substantially reduces workplace productivity through absenteeism and presenteeism (the practice of an employee being on the job but, because of illness or other medical conditions, not fully functioning), reduced working days and reduced productivity while at work.
The total cost of inadequate sleep in Australia was estimated to be $66.3 billion in 2016-17, comprising $26.2 billion in financial costs and $40.1 billion in the loss of well-being. This equates to approximately $8,968 per person affected in both financial and well-being costs.
So what can employers and managers do to address the issue of employee lack of sleep? There’s a range of options available, including:
Helping your team sleep better might be as easy as flicking a switch – or throwing open the blinds. According to a study in the journal Sleep, workers in offices with windows slept an average of 46 minutes more per night than workers without natural light exposure.
Perfecting your lighting could have a transformational effect on your staff.
Numerous studies have shown how our fixation on technology and screens keeps us awake; their lights suppress melatonin and their content keeps our brains alert.
If one of your staff looks weary and bleary in the morning, consider whether your late-night email kept them up an extra half hour.
Employees have to face the possibility that employees are under-rested because they’re overworked. This can occur for several reasons; the primary one we notice is when the operation is understaffed.
If you notice someone’s performance or demeanour seems flattened by fatigue, take an objective look at whether you should lighten their workload…either temporarily or permanently.
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Bare Bones Consulting looks at the workplace a little differently than other HR Consultants.
We can fix problems but we look for core reasons the problem occurred in the first place and how to prevent this occurring.
We don’t seek to reinvent the wheel every time; we simply make sure you have the right wheel for your business.
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