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Sleep deprivation is costing the UK £40bn a year

Authorby e-days 30 November, 2016

Tiredness and exhaustion due to lack of sleep is causing the UK economy £40bn a year, according to a new report from Rand Europe. The report shows that employees suffering from tiredness or exhaustion are less productive in the workplace, or will be absent from work altogether. The report suggested that individuals should sleep between 7 and 9 hours per night in order to feel healthy and be more productive while at their desks.

Sleep deprivation currently costs the UK 200,000 working days per year, which works out at 1.86% of GDP. Employers are being urged to raise awareness and show the importance of sleep by discouraging extended use of electronics our of working hours, and ensuring staff take regular breaks if they are sitting or using screens for long periods of the working day.

Sleep deprivation is a major concern for employees’ health and well-being; however the major concern is that only 10% of organisations currently have a standalone well-being strategy in place, and only a further 25% or organisations stated that well-being is part of a wider strategy. This presents another challenge and shows that employers are not doing enough when it comes to looking after their staff health and well-being.

The chart below shows a breakdown of how organisations are dealing with employee well-being (%):

well-being-2016-report

Common factors that could lead to sleep deprivation is an increase in workload and volume of work for staff members. This is currently the number one reason for causes of stress within the workplace. Longer working hours also have an effect on staff, with over 80% of organisations stating that longer hours are now the norm for employees; this has a big impact on the work-life balance for many people.

More organisations need to be aware of the potential damage employee health & well-being is causing their company. Spotting trends in sickness absence is one way to see if certain staff are suffering or having problems within the workplace. This way you are able to find out specific causes of absence and work with staff to ensure problems are resolved.

If you are currently sleeping for less than 6 hours per night, it is suggested that if you added an extra hour to your sleep the UK’s economy would add £24bn a year!

Sign up for a free trial of e-days and see how an automated absence management system can help streamline your entire sickness and holiday process, which could have a positive effect on your employee well-being.

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