A third of American adults report that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep, according to data from the CDC. Sleep is essential for optimum brain function, including in concentration, productivity, cognition and performance, which means that not only is it important for individuals; it’s important for business. Nothing’s going to change the importance of a steady supply of coffee in an office environment, but it’s important to remember that caffeine isn’t a substitute for sleep.
It is recommended that adults get between seven and eight hours sleep a night. However, many business professionals average around 6 hours of sleep per night. In a business environment, this trend can lead to a less productive workforce as well as having an impact on psychological well being. Insufficient sleep can lead individuals to being irritable and stressed, as well as less focused and innovative. This can have a knock-on effect on the overall success of a business.
What Can We Do To Help?
Quality over quantity is key when it comes to the hours put in at work. Employees taking work home in the evening might seem like a good way to get more done, but if that means that the workforce is tired and not performing at their peak, it’s worth considering the true value of the practice. Encourage your employees to keep their work in the office and use their evenings to rejuvenate. Promote a healthy attitude to rest in the office, reminding employees to manage their stress. Have them take good care of their health by heading home to an evening with their families and a good night’s sleep. This will lead to higher levels of work motivation as well as increased productivity.
Talk About It
Sleep is a basic human necessity, and there’s no shame in having an open dialogue about it. Remind employees that looking at their screens before bed can impact their circadian rhythm, resulting in poorer quality sleep. Most phones now have a dimming function, reducing the impact of blue light. Regular sleep schedules are important too: be open in talking about yours and encourage employees to do the same. Leading by example can be an effective tool.
Incorporate Tips In Training
An open dialogue about good sleep doesn’t have to be limited to conversations over the water cooler. To make a healthy attitude to sleep a part of your office culture, include information about the value of good sleep and tips on getting more of it in training. Talk about creating a bedtime ritual and limiting caffeine late in the day – make sure your office supplies alternatives. Remind staff about the importance of a good sleep environment: a calm, quiet bedroom with a good quality mattress and limited technology; thick curtains or blackout blinds and a good temperature – ideally between 16 and 18°C.
We all want our business to be a success, but success is about more than busy people constantly thinking about the office. The most inspirational business success stories have highly productive teams behind them. Sometimes, the only way to prioritize work is to prioritize health. Start by sleeping for success in business.