Keeping healthy and being a productive worker is a tricky thing, but it turns out the best thing you can do is get a good night’s sleep. In fact, according to researchers at Cambridge University and Rand Europe, sleeping is more important than how much drink or smoke when it comes to workplace productivity.
The researchers studied more than 21,000 UK workers, and those who slept for six hours or less a night were significantly less productive than those who got seven or eight hours’ sleep. Those with financial concerns, mental health issues or musculoskeletal problems also had lower productivity, as did those who did not exercise. Those who felt bullied, were under unrealistic time pressures, or were an unpaid carer for a family member were also less productive.
Researchers looked at not only “absenteeism” but also ‘presenteeism’, which is defined by being at work but not functioning at a normal level. The academics said the aim was “to understand the relation between a broad set of health and lifestyle risk factors and workplace productivity”.
Interestingly, bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol were not found to be a drag on productivity.