“I feel completely well-rested and ready for a day of multi-tasking and difficult decisions,” said no one, ever. We’re all tired. And no one likes being tired. It makes you moody, forgetful and undermotivated. It’s a massive cause of under-productivity and it causes miscommunications and accidents.
It’s also been linked to a reduced ability to make decisions, cope with complex planning, handle stress, and maintain an optimum reaction time. And without going on about it, it messes with your health big time, and leads to a serious number of sick days.
At yulife, we’re all about the big zzzzzzz. We encourage each other to go home and rest well, and we have our own special nap pod, where anyone can slip away for a quick power-nap. And you know what we’ve noticed? When people have had enough sleep they’re nicer. And happier. And better at their jobs.
Use these hacks to get your team some extra shuteye and see the benefits:
1. Educate your employees on how to sleep better
Sleep is a real quality over quantity thing. The electronic devices that we have around us 24/7 keep our brains awake, wake us up during the night, and even suppress melatonin (AKA the sleep hormone). Charging phones in the living room rather than in the bedroom, having a ‘screen-free’ bedroom or even turning off all electronic devices for an hour before you go to sleep, are all great pieces of advice you can give your employees to improve their sleep.
You know that deep sleep you get after smashing it in the gym or going for a run? It’s not just you. Exercise helps with sleep quality and duration of sleep, and will reduce illness and sick days. Teach your employees about sleep best-practices and encourage lunch-time classes, walking meetings and after work sports to give your team the gift of sleep.
2. Reduce workload and improve schedule
Did you know that being 17 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.05 (which is the legal limit in Scotland)? Working for long periods of time can genuinely impair your employees, so consider limiting the number of consecutive hours each employee can work.
If the blanket approach isn’t going to work for you, you can always keep track of your employees’ working hours and encourage the ones who work late regularly to leave earlier. And you know, personal example is always a good idea, so make sure you’re leaving at a reasonable time too!
A lot of edgy young companies are catching on to the sleep-productivity matrix and are introducing a new kind of work day. Forget about 9-5, now you can do 10-4! Some businesses, especially in countries such as Sweden, have already implemented a 6-hour working day, and the results are generally positive.
3. Take a break
Energy levels naturally drop during the day, and by increasing the amount of breaks your team take, they’ll be able to freshen their mind and shake things up a bit. They don’t have to take a 30-minute break, even 5-10 minute breaks can revitalise your employees and get them ready for the rest of their day!
4. Sort out your space
Fatigue is increased by dim lighting, loud noises and high temperatures. Keep your office cool (but not too cool!) with enough ventilation, reduce loud noises by installing quiet rooms or encouraging noisier activities to take place out of the main office space Invest in good lighting too: cool, bright lights are also important in preventing SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), so double win.
5. Invest in ergonomic furniture
Physical strain is one of the main causes of fatigue. Office bound employees often spend most of their days in an uncomfortable chair staring at a bright screen. By investing in ergonomic chairs, you can reduce back pain, physical strain and fatigue. As an added bonus, this can also make your employees much happier at work.
More great posts on wellness in the workplace