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Poor Sleep: A Workplace Wake-Up Call
16 July 2018

A lack of quality sleep can have a harmful impact on productivity and wellbeing as well as health and safety.

 In a wakeup call for employers, Public Health England and Business in the Community have created a new toolkit highlighting why it is beneficial for businesses to provide help for sleep deprived staff.

 It is estimated the annual cost of sleep loss to the UK is £30 billion, that one in three people in the UK are affected by insomnia and 200,000 working days are lost in the UK annually due to insufficient sleep.

Poor sleep and poor sleeping habits can leave weary workers more irritable and struggling to perform productively and making it hard for them to concentrate. The more sleep is disturbed the greater the impact including impacting on customer service, productivity and a rising risk of accidents in the workplace.

Sufficient sleep is vital for maintaining levels of cognitive skills including memory, speech and the ability to demonstrate innovative and creative thinking.

 Night-time working and shift work are not the only workers affected by disturbed sleeping patterns. Work worries and stress can disrupt sleep and the lack of sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes plus not getting enough shut-eye can increase the risk of accident or injury in the workplace.

The new sleep toolkit initiative encourages employers to create an understanding environment within the workplace where employees can be honest with managers about any sleep-related issues that are impacting on their work. Workplaces can identify risks to health and wellbeing and put plans in place to help manage risks.

 It offers insight and advice on addressing the impact of sleep-loss. The toolkit can help create a healthier and more productive team benefiting businesses and aiding workers’ health in the long term.