National Bed Month: Four recommendations for well-rested employees

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Amy Tomlinson, the head of HR at a life insurance company, explains the impact of bad sleep on employee productivity and what businesses can do to emphasise the significance of getting a good night’s sleep.

“March represents National Bed Month, a fantastic opportunity for companies to highlight the value of a good night’s sleep to their employees,” says Amy. Over the previous six months, the pandemic, along with the cost-of-living problem and overall uncertainty, has contributed to heightened levels of stress. This can have a significant influence on our sleeping habits as well as the quality of our sleep.

“Encouraging healthier sleep is simply one method businesses may help their workers. Employees who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to feel exhausted, burnt out, have lower productivity, and, in some situations, miss work for extended periods of time.

“Our findings suggest that nearly half of all workers (44 percent) confess to calling in sick owing it to exhaustion. With ‘how we work’ changing on a daily basis, there are growing expectations that businesses play a bigger role in their employees’ personal life and promote their well-being outside of work. As a result, it’s critical that businesses educate their employees about the importance of obtaining enough sleep, taking frequent breaks, and developing excellent sleep habits.”

Employers can support excellent sleep habits in four ways.

Working from home may make it much simpler to remain ‘always on,’ especially now that hybrid working is the new standard. Just responding to a few emails after normal working hours might quickly develop into scheduling after-hour conversations. Internally, set a positive example by encouraging regular computer screen breaks and discouraging individuals from working beyond of normal business hours. Too much time spent staring at a computer screen can cause eye strain, and using electronics at night can cause sleeping issues. Instead of logging on first thing in the morning, employees can make use of the opportunity to go for a stroll or get some exercise instead of commuting to work.

Offer mindfulness exercises around lunchtime:

Yoga and meditation are excellent mindfulness activities that aid with relaxing. Half an hour of mindfulness at lunchtime or before bed can provide employees with a healthy approach to unwind and anxiety-fighting tools. Sleep issues are frequently connected to stress and worry, but mindfulness practices can help ease symptoms and clear the mind.

Invest in sleep-related staff perks:

Apps like Headspace and Calm are useful aids for getting a better night’s sleep. Employers should provide paid memberships to these services as a work bonus through their benefits package if at all possible. Investing in sleeping aids demonstrates to your employees that you care about their well-being and that you recognise that the current scenario may be affecting their mental health more than normal. It’s also a good time to remind employees about any Employee Assistance Programs they may have and how to use them to better cope with any concerns they may have.

Encourage employees to use vacation days on a regular basis to recharge:

Employees’ physical and emotional wellbeing require time away from the workplace or from their laptops at home. Encourage employees to take a day or two off on a regular basis to adequately recharge. When employees return, they will feel much more energised and engaged, preventing teams from burning out. Getting them to think about how they want to spread their vacations out across the year may offer them something to look forward to while also ensuring they have frequent breaks to recharge and completely disconnect from work.

Find how HealthBoxHR can help your business support your staff wellbeing by always having a channel of communication available to them and your managers – with tools like Mental Health Management & Performance you’ll always be available for those employees that may need some support! 

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