Companies Need to Think More About Sleep

Employers need to pay more attention to the sleep requirements and habits of employees, according to executives polled by McKinsey & Company.

According to the consultancy McKinsey & Company, sleep-deprived brains lose the ability to make accurate judgments—sometimes leading to consequences in the place.

Executives polled for a McKinsey survey seem to be operating on relatively little sleep. Four out of ten (43%) said they do not get enough sleep at least four nights a week; nearly six out of 10 said they do not sleep enough at least three nights a week. And all those lost hours of sleep are of little consequence, executives said, with nearly half (46%) stating that lack of sleep has little impact on leadership performance.

Seven out of 10 business leaders in the survey said sleep management should be taught in organizations the same way as time management and communication skills. Programs should be part of a unified learning program with several components, such as online assessments, in-person workshops, and a performance-support app offering reminders, short inspirational videos or animations, additional assessments, and opportunities to connect with online communities.

Other highlights from the survey of 196 business leaders are:

  • Two-thirds say they were generally dissatisfied with how much sleep they get, and 55% were dissatisfied with the quality of sleep;
  • Almost half (47%) feel that their organizations expect them to be “on” too long and too responsive to emails and phone calls;
  • Over a third (36%) say that their organizations do not allow them to make getting enough sleep a priority; and
  • More than four out of five (83%) say their organizations did not spend enough effort educating leaders about the importance of sleep.