A new toolkit to tackle sleep deprivation in the workplace has been launched by Business in the Community (BITC) with contributions from The Sleep Council.
In association with Public Health England, BITC has developed the toolkit to help employers help their employees get a better night’s sleep and as a result, boost productivity.
The Sleep and Recovery kit provides an insight for employers to know what steps they can take to support sleep and recovery by improving staff environment, looking for sleep deprivation signs and providing advice on how they can address the issue with their employee.
Says Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council: “We were delighted to be involved with the project as a sleep expert as we are fully aware how lack of sleep affects cognitive ability, memory and concentration. Not only that but long term sleep deprivation is linked to numerous physical health and mental health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and Alzheimer’s.
“Responding to today’s busy lifestyles we’re all very eager to believe that sleeping one hour less will give us one more hour of productivity but in reality, it’s likely to have the opposite effect. While people do need to take responsibility for their sleep, it’s great to see that employers are beginning to acknowledge how sleep deprivation impacts on work and an employee’s health and wellbeing.”
Around 200,000 working days are lost each year due to employees not getting enough sleep, costing the UK economy £30b. The toolkit highlights both the business and moral case for adequate, good quality sleep and recovery, and includes a checklist of actions for employers to take, under the broad themes of being prepared, encouraging good sleep and recovery, and providing knowledge and training.
Business in the Community wellbeing director Louise Aston adds: “It is critical for organisations to understand the impact of sleep and recovery for the health and wellbeing of employees, and the implications for productivity. Sleep is still a largely neglected taboo topic for employers fearing they are crossing the line between work and people's personal lives by even talking about it with employees. Gone are the days when it was in fashion to survive with five or six hours' sleep. This toolkit is a great resource for employers to help people start talking about this issue.”