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70 Percent of Employees are Sleepy, and It’s Costing Companies Millions of Dollars. Here’s How to Fix This

Turning a blind-eye to sleep is costing companies millions of dollars and creating millions of cranky employees.

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BY Julian Hayes II - 10 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

As a whole, we're sleeping 90 minutes less than we did 100 years ago. The sleep epidemic is one that is quietly increasing and affecting multiple aspects of our lives.

While the effects of sleep are well-documented on an individual level, it's also something that widely affects companies ability to maximize their performance and impact in this world. Not to mention, sleep deprivation is a costly entity to companies bottom line.

Costs attributed to sleep deficiency in the U.S. were estimated to exceed $410 billion in 2015 (that's the equivalent to 2.28 percent of the countries GDP in case you were curious).

Seventy percent of Americans routinely admit to not getting enough sleep and these are the very same people who are showing up to work each morning and interacting with your potential customers.

Issues such as productivity, sickness, absenteeism, and presenteeism along with emotional intelligence are going to decrease with insufficient sleep.

A new fatigue cost calculator developed through the Sleep Matters Initiative at Brigham Health for the National Safety Council estimated that an average sized Fortune 500 company with approximately 52,000 employees is losing about $80 million annually due to fatigued employees.

This study also noted that a U.S. Employer with 1,000 workers can lose about $1.4 million dollars each year in absenteeism, decreased productivity, health care costs, accidents, and other associated costs due to fatigue and a myriad of sleep issues.

When it comes to addressing the fatigue issues among workers, it starts with reducing the barriers to resting and recharging.

How to reduce the barriers to resting and recharging

Most people want to improve their health and know the benefits of doing this. But the obstacles to doing this are difficult. And the more difficult it is to starting something, the less likely a habit will be executed.

When it comes to obstacles and barriers, time and money are normally two of the biggest obstacles.

To help alleviate this situation, companies can start improving the fatigue issue by providing more flexible work hours to allow for rest without it affecting the employee's salary. Most importantly, with flexible work hours, you're allowing those who are more biologically hardwired to stay up later to still recharge for the next workday.

In addition to flexible work hours, providing access to various resources and experts to help educate about fatigue and sleep will help shift the paradigm in a positive direction.

Creating a recharging room for napping is another tool that could be implemented. Companies such as Facebook and Google have utilized this type of strategy to help with productivity and stress management.

With a hustle-centric society that is constantly programmed to be "on", it's increasingly difficult to allocate the proper attention to sleep. But, if you're truly wanting to become an unmistakable company which maximizes its performance and impact, then it starts with ensuring each of your employees are fully recharged.