Are bad hybrid working habits keeping staff awake?

hybrid workingSomething for the weekend: Many of us saw our lifestyles shift dramatically during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, with the abrupt change to remote or hybrid working affecting some workers’ ability to sleep. Indeed, regularly updated YouGov research How many hours Brits sleep at night revealed that as at March 2022, only 17% were getting an average of eight hours a night.

Now that some employees are returning to the office part-time as part of a hybrid-working approach, some unhealthy habits have been adopted, including increased screen time, blurred boundaries between work and home life, and moving less when working from home.

To combat this issue, employee benefits provider Unum has put together an animation for World Sleep Day 2022 on 18 March, offering top tips to enable staff sleep better at night and improve their wellbeing.

These include avoiding screens before bed as the blue light emitted can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, winding down before bed with soothing music and breathing exercises, consistent bedtime routines and regular sleeping and waking times, and avoiding caffeine before bed.

Poor sleep costs the UK economy 1.86% of GDP annually, which is the equivalent to £40.84 billion of lost output in 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics’ February 2022 report Gross domestic product: chained volume measures: seasonally adjusted £m. Worth taking note of if you are ever caught yawning at your desk.

Jane Hulme, HR director at Unum UK, said: “Unfortunately, the hybrid-working habits we abruptly adopted back at the start of the pandemic may be part of the problem. For World Sleep Day on 18 March, we’d like to see all employees start getting the best sleep they can so they can not only bring their whole selves to work every day, but also spend their waking hours feeling happy, refreshed and productive.”

Here at Employee Benefits, we believe that improving workers’ ability to drift off is beneficial to everyone. So snuggle up in bed tonight with some relaxing music and let go of all your problems for a few hours. Sweet dreams.