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There’s a reason experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can greatly interfere with job performance.
According to one of the many studies conducted on sleep, just two weeks of restricted sleep (under 6 hours per night ) leads to cognitive impairment, comparable to a person who has been awake for 24 to 48 hours straight.
This makes it alarming that a high percentage of employees in these Fortune 100 companies are only getting 5.5 hours of sleep or less per night.
In its first-ever sleep survey among employees of Fortune 100 companies in the United States, dayzz revealed that 61% of staff at Chevron, 45% at GM, 40% at ExxonMobil, 37% at Caterpillar, as well as 34% at Apple, Amazon and GE got 5.5 hours of sleep or less per night.
Based on the results of the survey, the corporate sleep provider created calculated a Sleep Score, giving each company a ‘grade’ between 4-100 based on their employees’ average sleep time, average sleep loss, amount of quality sleep and non-quality sleep due to work-related matters.
The five lowest ranking companies were:
- ExxonMobil (29)
- Amazon (24)
- GE (19)
- Intel (13)
- GM (5)
On the flip side, the companies with the most well-rested staff were:
- Wells Fargo (92)
- Cisco (91)
- IBM (87)
- Facebook (83)
- Dell (79)
This lack of sleep caused employees in these companies to average 2.5 caffeinated drinks each day.
The survey also revealed that employees across several major industries (hi-tech, finance and shift-based workers at oil & gas, manufacturing, heavy industry and automotive companies) reported they don’t perform optimally an average of two days per week due to poor sleep quality. Even while driving to (or at) work, the bulk estimated that they put themselves and other drivers at risk an average of three days per week due to driving while drowsy.
The largest percentage of staff who felt they incur risk five to seven days per week came from:
- GM (77%)
- GE (38%)
- Apple (34%)
- ExxonMobil (26%)
With lack of sleep causing staff to make mistakes and put themselves and others at risk, what can HR do to help?
For one, HR leaders and organisations can consider implementing a sleep wellness programme – given more than 50% of employees surveyed believe that such programmes will increase their job satisfaction.
Also, with 57% of disrupted sleep being due to work-related issues, creating a culture that facilitates conversations among coworkers may help prevent the phenomenon of work haunting staff in their sleep.
Finally, while organisations can’t control how much sleep employees get at home, what HR can do is help them catch up on it in the most effective manner possible – perhaps through coffee naps.