An Epidemic in the Workplace—Tiredness

The costs of working tired—both for professionals and the businesses they work for—are high, Accontemps says. Respondents cite lack of focus or being easily distracted (52%), procrastinating more (47%), being grumpy (38%) and making more mistakes (29%) among the consequences.

Professionals admitted to, or heard of others, making the following mistakes due to being tired on the job:

  • Made a $20,000 mistake on a purchase order;
  • Deleted a project that took 1,000 hours to put together;
  • Accidentally reformatted a server;
  • Fell asleep in front of the boss during a presentation;
  • Missed a decimal point on an estimated payment and the client overpaid by $1 million;
  • Accidentally paid everyone twice;
  • Talked about a client thinking the phone was on mute when it wasn’t; and
  • Ordered 500 more computers than were needed.

Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps, suggests talking to employees individually to come up with solutions. “Offering a more flexible schedule may alleviate long and costly commutes. Bringing temporary staff on board may cut down on working after-hours. Reorganizing current priorities may lead to more manageable workloads,” he says.

The survey included responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.