Have you ever gone to work tired? For some, the answer to that question might actually be “always”. Studies show that employees that come to work tired are less productive, more likely to make mistakes and have decreased motivation all-around. Most wellness programs don’t have a way to tackle the challenges of a “tired” employee. Rest rooms, which are places where employees can go to sit or lie down on a couch or bed for a quick nap or relaxation session, are a relatively new concept to most U.S. companies. Meditation rooms have also started popping up in many Fortune 500 companies. Wellness plans that include meditation training and stress relief coaching are becoming more common place as the industry evolves to include all aspects of Wellness, not just address health concerns to reduce health insurance premiums.
As you may have guessed, there are costs associated with tired employees. Logically, an employee who is overtired, is slower moving, more likely to procrastinate and prone to errors, especially in jobs that require repetitive tasks. The dollar varies greatly between company and industry, as one mistake may cost one company millions whereas at another company, a similar mistake may only cost pennies. The point is, tired employees aren’t good for business.
Several methods are available for incorporating the importance of sleep into your wellness program to help change the sleep behaviors of your employees.
The first step is understanding the effects of being tired. Put up a breakroom poster or send out a sleep survey to get your employees thinking out wellness in terms of sleep. Acknowledgement and understanding is half the battle. If many of your employees have fitness devices, such as a Fitbit, make them aware of the sleep monitoring functions it has.
2. Meditation Time:
Give employees the chance to collect their thoughts and clear their minds at a designated time during the workday. Not only will employees appreciate the extra break, their productivity will increase directly after the meditation session.
3. Stretch Breaks:
Tired employees may benefit from an added stretch throughout the day. Let employees know that it’s ok to stretch at your desk to get your blood moving during long periods of sitting. Give them tips on how to stretch in their workstation.
4. Break Room:
Use your breakroom space to create an area where employees can truly relax. Paint the walls a soothing color. Encourage 20 minute recharge naps after lunch on the company couch.
As a wellness broker, we have seen wellness take on many forms and transform the behaviors and lives of those who subscribe to and participate in their corporate wellness plan. Adequate sleep is just one more area that wellness plans can help to improve.