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Two-thirds of employees would perform better at work if they got more sleep

With daylight saving time officially starting on Sunday, a new survey from Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, reveals that three in four (74 percent) 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. However, that is below the recommended amount of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation and National Institute for Health, which agree that most healthy adults (ages 18-64) need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best.

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The survey conducted online by Harris Poll among 1,077 adults employed full and part-time*, found that 66 percent say they would be better employees if they got more sleep, especially those ages 18-44 (73 percent) compared to those ages 45-64 (59 percent). On average, 18-34-year-old employees sleep more (7.4 hours) than those ages 45-64 (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 age 45-54 report sleeping only 6.4 hours on a typical work night and nearly one in five (18 percent) of them report just five hours or less of sleep each night. Meanwhile, when it comes to male employees ages 18-34, 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.

“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,” said Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor Chief Human Resources Officer. “Sleep not only provides physical restoration to the body, but it is critical for cognitive function, concentration and productivity. Employers can help employees get enough rest by reminding them to take time off when they need it, and before bed, to avoid screen time. However, employees should also take responsibility for their wellness and recognize most employers want people to take the rest they need to be at their best.”

While the Glassdoor survey shows that working people are sleeping less than the recommended seven to nine hours, survey findings also suggest that it’s not necessarily tied to demanding employers. In fact, roughly three in four (74 percent) say their manager does encourage them to take time off when they need to take care of their health and wellness. Plus, 87 percent 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 percent) employees acknowledge they would rather work when they feel sick than use their paid time off or sick time. Younger employees ages 18-44 (70 percent) are more likely to feel this way than those ages 45-64 (52 percent).  

For Employers

To help employers communicate their commitment to well-being in their workplace to current employees and prospective talent, Glassdoor has partnered with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive
Global which encourages employers to sign the Pledge to Thrive


*Survey was conducted online within the United
States by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor from March 30 - April 3, 2017, among 1,077 U.S. workers employed full and/or part-time ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact pr@glassdoor.com.

About Glassdoor

Glassdoor is one of the largest and fastest growing job sites in the world today. Set apart by the tens of millions of reviews and insights provided by employees and candidates, Glassdoor combines all the jobs with this valuable data to make it easy for people to find a job that is uniquely right for them. As a result, Glassdoor helps employers hire truly informed candidates at scale through effective recruiting solutions like job advertising and employer branding products. Launched in 2008, Glassdoor now has reviews and insights for more than 700,000 companies in more than 190 countries. For labour market trends and analysis, visit Glassdoor Economic Research. For company news and career advice and tips, visit the Glassdoor Blog and for employer-related news and insights to help employers hire, visit the Glassdoor for Employers Blog. Visit Glassdoor.com or download our apps on iOS and Android platforms.