What Does a Sleep Deprived Employee Cost Your Small Business?


Sleep deprivation among employees can cost a business, dearly. The extent to which workers starved of sufficient sleep has on businesses was explored in an infographic compiled by sleepare, suppliers of beds and mattresses.

The infographic is based on data collected by Sleepare in relation to how sleep affects a workforce.

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The research is important for businesses as it shows the most common causes of sleep deprivation, the impact tired employees have on a business, and how to minimize sleep deprivation among workers.

Cost of Employees Suffering Sleep Depravation

For businesses, knowing what is causing sleep deprivation is the first step towards helping staff get more sleep. According to Sleepare’s research, voluntary behavior is one root cause of a lack of sleep. Voluntary behavior refers to sleep deprivation being caused by people choosing to stay up late either for work commitments or for other reasons like watching a TV show.

Voluntary behavior sleep deprivation can be difficult to counteract because employees believe they are doing the right thing by stay up late. In reality, working extra hours or staying up for entertainment reasons at a time they should be sleeping can prove detrimental to employee productivity.

Personal Obligations

Personal obligations such as the birth of a new baby, a side hustle, or looking after a sick member of the family, is another leading cause of lack of sleep. For employers, knowing when a worker is losing sleep because of personal obligations can be difficult.

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Work Hours

Working long or irregular hours is becoming increasingly common in our global and interconnected world. Working irregular hours can lead to a lack of sleep, which can take its toll on members of staff and the wider business.

Some businesses have to operate on a shift basis, often through the night. It’s important employees are given sufficient time off between shifts to catch up on sleep.

Stress, medical problems and workplace accidents are other common causes of insufficient sleep among employees.

Sleep Deprivation and Lost Productivity

It stands to reason that tiredness can lead to employees making more mistakes and poorer decisions. Forgetfulness, distractibility, lost motivation, lower attention spans and longer reaction times through deprived sleep can all contribute to poorer job performance.

A loss in productivity can be detrimental to the success of a business. The infographic points to research that shows fatigued employees could be costing a business $1,967 per worker per year.

Additionally, sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, resulting in a higher number of employee absences due to ill health. Absences due to fatigue-related issues costs businesses an average of $1,685 per employee per year.

What Businesses Can do to Counter Sleep Deprivation Issues Among Employees

Sleepare makes a number of recommendations for employers to help overcome sleep deprivation challenges.

One recommendation is to encourage paid time off. Taking paid time off can help staff lower stress levels and return to work feeling more refreshed. Taking paid leave should therefore be endorsed by employers.

Dousing workspaces with natural light can also be an effective way to boost productivity. Where possible, fluorescent lighting should be replaced by natural light. Employees should be encouraged to sit near windows to be close to natural light.

Encouraging Meditation and Exercise

Employers may want to promote mindfulness meditation among workers. Such meditation is an effective way to alleviate stress and promote a better night’s sleep. Meditation sessions could be offered at work, or apps like Calm or Headspace could be paid for to help reduce stress and encourage better sleep.

Exercise is synonymous with a good night’s sleep. To help reduce stress levels among workers and promote improved quality of sleep, employers may want to introduce ways to encourage exercise within the workforce. This could be through discounted gym membership, taking days off for exercise, membership to fitness tracker apps, and so on.

sleep deprivation cost infographics

Images: sleepare Comment ▼

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

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