40 winks: Sodexo Engage identifies four ways businesses can help staff have better sleep

Sodexo Engage, specialists in employee and consumer engagement, have identified four tactics that businesses should implement to reduce poor sleep in their workforce. With lack of sleep costing UK businesses as much as £40.3 billion a year, supporting employees’ rest is vital to productivity.

To overcome poor sleeping habits, Sodexo Engage has highlighted four different methods for businesses leaders to introduce in the workplace. These are:

Light up the workplace

Improving the working environment will have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of employees. The amount of natural light staff are exposed to is a key part of this, and impacts how employees sleep in the evening as well as their overall mood and mental wellbeing. Offices that do not have access to natural light should consider installing LED lighting, which is not as harsh as traditional fluorescents, and can also help combat other issues such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in employees.

Explore new ways of working

Flexibility over working patterns, and opportunities to work from home, can also make a difference to how well employees sleep. If staff can remain productive while working remotely or at home, this can remove the stress from traditional working patterns and help employees avoid a long commute or juggling the school run. Giving the option for flexible working will also support staff that are more productive at different hours, giving options for everyone.

Ditch the salty snacks and sugary drinks

While many businesses have office snacks, an overindulgence of junk food can contribute to poor sleeping habits. Encouraging staff to live healthier lifestyles through providing alternatives to the usual crisps and chocolate can lead to a more productive team. Fresh fruit in the office is a well-known practice, but those looking to do more can consider incorporating nuts and seeds as an added option. Sugary drinks or coffees can also disrupt employees’ sleep, so businesses should also think about providing decaf alternatives alongside the regular coffee and teas.

Support an employee wellbeing strategy

An effective wellbeing strategy can also provide better sleep for employees. Programmes that encourage fitness, such as gym memberships or cycle to work schemes, as well as mental health support to reduce workplace stress, can all encourage people to take preventive steps to improve their health.

JAMIE MACKENZIE, DIRECTOR AT SODEXO ENGAGE, COMMENTS: “Today’s workplace requires businesses to invest in their people – both in and outside of the office. Something as basic as sleep may be overlooked, but sleep is a precious commodity in today’s fast paced world. Anything that can help employees feel more rested when they arrive for work is good news – both for them and their employers. The advantages are many – whether it reduces absenteeism, increases productivity or simply makes the team happier and more collaborative, it’s definitely something all organisations should be looking to pursue.”

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