Employers spend vast amounts of time and resources combating costly chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity — and rightly so. But there’s one health condition that’s largely ignored by health-management programs. — and it’s likely having a negative impact on your employees.
That condition: Overtired workers.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employees work while tired, according to a recent study by Accountemps. Plus, 31% do so very often. While this is a concern for employers of all stripes, it’s especially troubling for staffers who work jobs where mistakes can lead to serious injuries.
The study estimates that employers lose nearly $63 billion in productivity each year due to tired workers.
Specifically, tired workers reported the following problems at work:
- lack of focus or being easily distracted (52%)
- procrastinating more (47%)
- being grumpy (38%), and
- making more mistakes (29%).
Precursor to serious problems?
It may seem like a bit of an overreaction to make such a fuss over tired workers. After all, who doesn’t go to work tired from time to time? What’s more, is there really anything employers can do to ensure a more rested workforce?
Employers should both care about a tired staff and look for ways to help with the problem, according to Accountemps.
Left unchecked, a lack of healthy sleep can cause major issues such as burnout, increased turnover, a negative company culture on top of lost sales and decreased productivity.
So what can employers actually do to help employees combat fatigue? One option: adding healthy sleep goals (tracking, minimum number, etc.) to a wellness plan and incentivizing it. For example, some firms are asking workers to track their nightly sleep using apps and rewarding them for getting a certain amount.
Another tactic: adding a napping room, an idea that seemed crazy just a few years ago, is starting to gain some traction.
Bill Driscoll, the district president of Accountemps, said “having a nap room in the office sends a message that the company cares about the health and well-being of its employees.”
What’s more, 55% of employees said they’d definitely use a nap room if their employer offered one, but just 2% of employees said their companies’ currently offered one.