Employers need to tackle the problem of sleeplessness and help staff manage
their work-life balance
Up to 22 per cent of workers in the UK – some 6.1 million people – lose
sleep over their work, a study has concluded.
Health management firm Vielife said those in senior or middle management
positions are most severely affected, with 28 per cent saying their work life
impacted negatively on their ability to get a sound night’s sleep.
Among semi-skilled manual workers this figure dropped to 17 per cent.
Employees aged between 25 and 44 climbing the career ladder are more likely
to suffer job-related sleep problems than other age groups.
More than a quarter admit they regularly or sometimes suffer sleeplessness
because of their work. Yet just a third of the 1,000 employees polled say their
employer currently offered support systems to help them cope with workplace
stress and its impact on sleep.
Nearly half add they would consider using a confidential health and
well-being system to manage their work-life balance better.
Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the London-based Sleep Assessment
and Advisory Service and author of Learn to Sleep Well, said: "A key
indicator of the health and wellbeing of individuals is their sleeping pattern.
"Lack of sleep can result in increased absenteeism, decreased
productivity and higher workplace accident levels.
"Employers need to wake up to this problem now and help their employees
manage their work-life balance if they want British business to increase
productivity and compete effectively worldwide."
Those in the north of England appeared to be able to sleep best, with just
14 per cent of employees affected.
This compared with 28 per cent in Wales, 25 per cent in London and the West
Midlands and 26 per cent in the North West.
Clive Pinder, managing director of Vielife, said: "At a time when the
annual cost of work-related illness to British business is estimated to be
£12bn, employers must adopt a preventative approach, recognising the symbiotic
relationship between employee health and wellbeing and organisational