Stressed Workers Are Losing Sleep

We assessed the scores of 8,800 employees and analysed the differences between those that get the recommended amount of sleep and those that don’t. We found that workloads and work-related stress are keeping employees from sleeping well and impacting work-life balance.

In the business world, it’s easy to drop sleep in order to finalise work tasks or catch up on emails. However, tired employees are more stressed, have less energy at work and feel that work is negatively impacting both their wellbeing and their work life balance. It’s time to foster a culture that puts sleep as a priority.

Based on WorkScore’s findings, long work hours are impacting employees’ sleep quality and their ability to switch off from work. We dig deeper into the challenges employees face and how to improve sleep time and quality.


Work-life balance significantly decreases when employees are sleep deprived.


You lose when you don’t snooze

Health experts recommend 7 – 9 hours’ sleep a night for optimal wellbeing and performance, however, our results show employees are not getting enough sleep. Thirty-nine per cent of respondents only get six hours or less of sleep a night. These employees rated higher stress levels, more additional work hours, less energy and a whopping 17% difference in their work life balance compared to employees who get the recommended amount. It is becoming clear that well-rested people perform better.

Work tasks don’t allow us to relax

In our findings, those who sleep six hours or less a night are more prone to working additional hours with close to 30% working 9 + hours extra week. They also take less full lunch breaks and not surprisingly have 12 per cent less energy during the workday. Switching off from work is harder for our sleep-deprived employees as is balancing work and life demands.

When sleep is sound, health and happiness abounds

The good news is that when employers care about employee wellbeing, sleep amount and quality dramatically improves. Those who sleep between seven to nine hours a night believe that their workplace cares about their wellbeing and that work has a more positive impact on their wellbeing (by up to 15%) than their colleagues who sleep 6 hours or less.

When workplaces care about employee wellbeing, employees sleep better.


Here are some practical ways to improve not only sleep quality but the overall performance of your employees:

Reduce long hours

Your organisation's culture has a significant effect on your team's ability to sleep. Establish work-time limits and reduce the long hours your employees work. Promote balance between work and life through encouraging employees to switch off from work emails in the evenings, on weekends and holidays.

Also allow time blocks in their work day for employees to exercise, or take a walk, and make lunch breaks compulsory for some much-needed downtime.

Implement a wellbeing strategy and program

When designing a wellbeing program, invite sleep experts to counsel employees about their habits. You can also offer stress-reducing treatments such as fitness memberships, chair yoga classes or mediation sessions to help employees become more relaxed at work. The key to a successful program is to design the initiatives around employees’ needs and we advise a wellbeing assessment to understand the key areas for improvement and intervention.

Don’t ignore the benefits of quality sleep. It’s time to foster a culture that prioritises rest and supports your employees’ wellbeing in the workplace.

Work-life balance significantly decreases when employees are sleep deprived.