Tackle Tiredness, Improve Health & Boost Performance
3 January 2023
Tiredness is a productivity killer. Whether it's from lack of sleep, poor lifestyle or excess stress, when your employees aren't feeling 100%, it impacts their work. During this blog, we'll explore how investing in your employees' health will help them and your business thrive.
Are your employees getting enough sleep?
As an employer, you may not think you’re impacted by your employees’ sleeping habits or have any influence over them. Whilst it’s fair to say that your employees’ time is their own, your business is affected if your people regularly come to work tired.
Fatigue costs employers about $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity
The effects of lack of sleep
“Experiments have demonstrated that the average amount of sleep needed to avoid detrimental effects on daytime function is about 8 hours and 10 minutes.”
The above quote sums up why sleep is essential because when we don’t get enough, it impacts how we function during our waking hours, which includes when we’re at work.
In some sectors, such as those that involve driving vehicles or using machinery, being tired at work can have serious consequences.
13% of all workplace injuries are caused by fatigue.
As well as the risk of injury and reduced productivity, several serious health issues are linked to not getting enough sleep over a prolonged period.
High blood pressure
Higher risk of stroke
The role of the employer
The above statistics clearly show why businesses should be concerned about how much sleep their employees get. As such, the importance of sleep and adopting good sleeping habits should form part of any internal wellbeing initiatives, campaigns and communications.
Wellbeing education should be a business priority.
Employers can provide crucial information to their employees and support the messaging through positive initiatives and leading by example.
When a company’s culture promotes the importance of self-care and physical and mental health, employees will be more inclined to focus on it. There are simple steps a business can take to adopt this, such as encouraging employees to take breaks from their desks and screens and use their entire lunch hour to refresh and revitalise.
You could go a step further by creating wellbeing materials and exercises that desk-based workers will benefit from.
Flexibility & work-life balance
For one reason or another, employees will come into work sleep-deprived at some point during their working life. However, one group of employees is regularly denied a peaceful night’s sleep: parents - especially those with young children.
Raise your hand if you get the recommended amount of sleep every night.... Anyone?
According to Medical News Today, over 60% of parents with babies aged less than 24 months get no more than three-and-a-quarter hours of sleep each night. Statistics also show that 55% of UK mothers only take 39 weeks (less than nine months) of maternity leave. This means that new mothers returning to the workplace could be functioning on less than half the recommended amount of sleep almost every night.
This is when adopting a flexible working culture is essential. Not only is workplace flexibility now a legal requirement, but allowing employees to plan their working day around the times when they’re at their best will make a significant impact – especially on those adjusting to life as a working parent.
Hybrid working plays a key role here too. Not only does it cut out the need to travel, allowing for extra sleep, but employees can enjoy their lunch break curled up on their sofa or even have a power nap!
Assessing the cause
When it comes to parents of young children, the cause of sleep deprivation may be obvious, but there are other reasons your employees may be struggling to get their rest.
The cost-of-living crisis impacts your employees in several ways, including the increasing amount they have to spend on everyday essentials like food and household bills. It’s a time of stress and anxiety, impacting people’s ability to sleep at night.
Unfortunately, lack of sleep worsens one’s ability to cope with anxiety, perpetuating a negative and unhealthy cycle. In addition to mental health issues, physical health and illness can also impact sleep – so too does menopause. There are so many factors that could be at work.
Businesses can help by ensuring that internal lines of communication are open so employees are confident discussing their concerns and needs with managers.
Providing essential support with Pluxee UK
If you want your employees to be happy, healthy, and perform well, you must invest in employee wellbeing initiatives. We’ve discussed ways in which you can adapt your company culture, and working practises to enhance employee wellbeing, but there’s more a business can do.
Physical wellbeing benefits
Boost the uptake and interest in physical wellbeing initiatives by helping employees to make lifestyle changes. A Corporate Gym Membership, for example, would give your employees up to 25% off annual membership fees. Better still, with our Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme, employers save on National Insurance Contributions while employees spread the cost of a brand-new bike.
Exercise and better physical health are known to improve sleep, and by embedding physical wellbeing benefits into your business, you’re helping employees make a positive change.
Mental wellbeing benefits
Worries tend to creep out when we’re trying to sleep or when we wake up in the middle of the night, not when we’re distracted by work and our surroundings.
It’s within an employer’s power to offer employees somewhere to turn when they need support with their mental health. Our Employee Assistance Programme gives your people access to BCAP-accredited counsellors 24 hours a day. Accompanied by a Mental Health App accessible via mobile, essential mental health is available when needed, no matter the time of day.
Financial wellbeing benefits
Take it one step further and ease some of your employees’ financial burdens by helping them make their money go further.
Our Employee Cashback Card is the financial benefit that keeps on giving. As a prepaid card, it can be topped up by the business as an employee benefit or reward and by the employee’s own funds. This allows them to continue to make cashback earnings of up to 15% at participating retailers.
Furthermore, our Employee Discounts Platform allows employees to purchase discounted vouchers that can be used online or in-store. Our eVouchers and Gift Cards are available for over 100 high street chains, 26 restaurant chains, over 42 entertainment venues, and lots of independent stores, too – that’s over 130,000 locations across the UK!
You may not be able to give the gift of sleep, but you can boost physical and mental wellbeing and alleviate some of your employees' financial anxieties. Contact a wellbeing expert today for more information on how you can boost your people's mental, physical and financial resilience.