Clearly, employers are not responsible for the sleep quality (or lack thereof) of their employees. However, there is something they can do to help it.
A novel new study published in the March issue of Sleep Health found that employees at an IT company slept an average of one hour longer each week when their bosses were supportive of work-life balance and gave workers the freedom to decide their own work schedules. That amounts to more than eight extra minutes of sleep per day, or just shy of the length of one “snooze” on an alarm clock.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Basically, for this to work, employers have to trust their employees, and have a solid set of expectations of tasks that will be completed, regardless of when the work is actually happening. Employees, meanwhile, need to have the discipline to make sure that they don’t take advantage. Clearly, this plan wouldn’t work in the service industry, but in many offices it’s very feasible. And, if that kind of teamwork can exist, everyone can have the extra “snooze.”
Given the state of sleep deprivation in the United States, with 30% of U.S. workers sleeping less than six hours a night, that extra eight minutes could mean a lot.