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  • Lynda Stephen

Sleep deprived? Employers advice

Sleep deprived? Employers advice Most of us think that crankiness is just a personality trait or long working hours mean a hardworking person. Often this is NOT TRUE!

Are there too many unhappy faces at work because of long work hours? Do staff bicker endlessly with apparent bullies ruling the roost?


Sleep deprivation produces tired, irritable, moody, obnoxious, erratic and angry workers leading to animosity.

Enough sleep, at least 7 hours, boosts immunity – RESULTS IN LESS SICK LEAVE – improves mental well-being - makes staff more pleasant - decreases stress. Not only does sleep deprivation affect people’s behaviour and emotions, but it also has an adverse impact on worker’s ability to carry out tasks to the best of their abilities. It makes it harder to read other people’s emotions. Not only is it hard to control their own, but they will also have a hard time relating to others. It decreases your ability to respond under pressure. Well-rested people at least have the possibility of keeping a level head in high pressured situations. Sleep deprived people will panic or make irrational decisions.

Lack of sleep kills creativity, meaning that you are not getting full value for money which means lots of valuable time gets wasted unnecessarily. Less sleep also increases the risk of workplace accidents. Are you willing to make a CHANGE in your workplace and instead have a happy, enthusiastic and productive workforce that completes tasks on time reducing unnecessary long work hours?

You the employer can make simple, small changes to turn a sleepy environment into a happy, productive one.


Things to do to improve your staff from unhappy, LACKLUSTRE performers, to enthusiastic, GO-GETTERS with boundless energy!

Although you as an employer cannot enforce sleep, you have the ability to educate and advice. You have a duty to make sure your employees are doing their fair share of work. Encourage exercise.

Look out for sleep deprived signs. Employees do not need to be sleeping at their desks for you to pick up clues before that point, and some are obvious.

Assist healthy eating habits by supplying staff with fresh fruit and vegetables in the workplace.

Don’t schedule meetings towards the end of the day knowing that they are likely to over-run into your employee’s home time. Employees do not leave the office to go straight to bed. Adequate rest requires a good stretch of time between work and sleep for winding down.

20-minute rest breaks during the work day. UK law requires this. Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20-minute rest break during their working day if they work more than 6 hours a day. If they use display screen equipment, like computers, for example, an employer should plan their workload so that you can take regular breaks from looking at the screen.

*news flash* – Edinburgh University students back £10k “nap pods” on campus. A student-led think tank in Edinburgh concluded that the nap pods would boost satisfaction levels at the university. Courtesy of Sky News. 20-minute power nap in a designated area, to ensure a more powerful mental revitalising effect. The result of increased work production from a booster recharge will more than justify any spend on this idea.

For bigger companies - have the HR department introduce a sleep management programme where a team will run and manage initiatives, transformation programmes that deliver high organisational performance, increased productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction and increased revenue.

At Sunrock Recruitment we have found this system invaluable since introducing it.

Contact SUNROCK RECRUITMENT for your Finance and Accounting hiring requirements.

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