Employees Say More Sleep Would Make Them Better Workers

Two-thirds of employees surveyed say they would be better employees if they got more sleep.

Nearly three in four (74%) full- and part-time employees say they get less than eight hours of sleep on a typical work night, averaging just 6.9 hours of sleep, according to a survey from Glassdoor.


The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll among 1,077 U.S. adults employed full- and part-time, found that 66% say they would be better employees if they got more sleep, especially those ages 18 to 44 (73%) compared to those ages 45 to 64 (59%).


“For many employees, a regular work day has become somewhat irregular. With technology allowing employees to work remotely and flexible work schedules on the rise, employees are empowered to step in and out of work to accommodate their personal and family lives. But with this advancement, the lines of when work starts and ends can blur, potentially impacting the rest employees receive during the week to be at their best,” says Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor chief human resources officer.


Specifically the survey found on average, 18- to 34-year-old employees sleep more (7.4 hours) than those ages 45 to 64 (6.5 hours) on a typical work night. By gender, male employees report 7.1 hours of sleep on a typical work night, while female employees report 6.8 hours of sleep. Female employees ages 45 to 54 report sleeping only 6.4 hours on a typical work night and nearly one in five (18%) of them report just five hours or less of sleep each night. Meanwhile, when it comes to male employees ages 18 to 34, they report 7.5 hours of sleep on a typical work night. In addition, employees who are married get more sleep (7.1 hours) than employees who are not married (6.7 hours) on the average work night.


While the survey shows working Americans are sleeping less than the recommended seven to nine hours, the findings also suggest that it’s not necessarily tied to demanding employers. Roughly three in four (74%) say their manager does encourage them to take time off when they need to take care of their health and wellness. In addition, 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing their life between work and personal commitments.


However, there may still be a disconnect when it comes to employees taking rest and/or caring for one’s health, as three in five (61%) employees acknowledge they would rather work when they feel sick than use their paid time off or sick time. Younger employees ages 18 to 44 (70%) are more likely to feel this way than those ages 45 to 64 (52%).