In the UK, 200,000 working days are lost each year, at a cost of £40bn or 1.86% of the country’s GDP. 

Research carried out by Rand Europe has revealed that sleep deprivation causes lower productivity in the workplace as a result of some people simply not showing up for work due to being tired or people coming in but performing at a substandard level.

How do we compare to other countries?

As part of the research, the economic cost of insufficient sleep was analysed in five countries: Canada, Germany, Japan, UK and US.

Each year:

  • the UK loses 200,000 working days, which costs £40bn (1.86% of GDP).
  • the US loses 1.2 million working days, which costs $411bn (2.28% of GDP).
  • Japan loses 600,000 working days, which costs $138bn (2.92% of GDP).
  • Germany loses 200,000 working days, which costs $60bn, (1.56% of GDP).
  • Canada loses 80,000 working days, which costs $21.4bn (1.35% of GDP).

What can employers do?

The main author of the report, Marco Hafner, says that if people who are sleeping under six hours a night increased this to between six and seven hours, this would give a £24bn boost to the UK’s economy.

Apart from stressing the importance of sleep, employers can also:

  • Dissuade employees from prolonged use of electronic devices after working hours
  • Have facilities at work for employees to take naps
  • Advise employees to have consistent wake-up times
  • Encourage exercise

Do your employees sleep enough? Do you notice that tiredness and lack of sleep impacts your workplace?

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