Survey Calculates Cost of Sleep-deprived Employees

One in every five workers is sleep deprived and those who sleep poorly are 54% more likely to experience stress in their job, a report by Australian group Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) claims.

The Melbourne-based international employee health and performance organisation issues its findings in its latest GCC Insights study, entitled
‘Waking up to the sleep problem every employer is facing’
. The results are based on aggregate data drawn from employees in 185 countries.

The study also found that 93% of poor sleepers were more likely to display workplace fatigue, a common symptom of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) – the condition proven to increase risks of absenteeism, accidents and injury in the workplace.

“Independent research undertaken on GCC participants in the 2014 challenge demonstrates that sleep improves with increase step count in a linear fashion,” said Dr David Batman, director of research at the Foundation for Chronic Disease Prevention in the Workplace (FCDP).

“There are significant increases in productivity and reduction in fatigue and stress levels at work and home. Extrapolation of these results leads to an obvious conclusion that simple exercise improves sleep, and the combined result will be an increase in personal and business performance.”

The paper notes that while the rest and recuperation required over the festive period is, in reality, often negated by over-indulgence and family demands, the expectation is that employees return to work in January feeling re-charged and ready to perform their best.

GCC says that the paper also provides practical recommendations for employers who recognise that their people’s mental and physical health is inextricably linked to business success – a realisation that, for many, signals a need to re-think outdated ‘tick-box’ well-being strategies in exchange for a longer term commitment to employee health.

“The cost of poor sleep habits amongst employee populations has been grossly under estimated; it is having profound consequences for productivity and health,” said Glenn Riseley, founder and president at the GCC. “Luckily, enlightened employers are now changing their cultures so that sleep is no longer seen as a luxury but as a priority.”

The full report is available at


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