Employers advised to match working times to sleep patterns
A spokesperson for the Sleep Council has suggested that businesses may get more out of their employees if they try and match their working hours to their body clocks.
Jessica Alexander was commenting on a recent survey by Crampex which found that a quarter of British workers admit to taking days off to due to exhaustion, costing the economy millions of pounds every year.
She noted that some staff may benefit from taking a "power nap" in the afternoon, but added: "I think what would be a much more [beneficial] thing for businesses to look at is finding out about their client's sleep patterns and body clocks and when they are at their best and offering flexi hours in that sense."
The research also found that only 21 per cent of employees get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, meaning they are more likely to be unproductive at work.
With a high proportion of employees now computer-based and online, ClickAJob customer service manager Kurosh Kiani makes the point that conventional working hours may need a rethink in any case.
"From a practical point of view, employers are mostly concerned that work gets done on time," he says. "And some people's body clocks are so different, that normal nine-to-five just doesn't work for them."
"So who really cares that actual work is done at 2.00 in the morning, as long as the deadline is met?"
"With the technology most businesses now have, achieving this kind of time-slip working is the easiest thing in the world," he continues. "After all, what employer does not want staff functioning at their 100 per cent best?"
"The trick is not to use time-slip exclusively - staff still need the motivation of networking with each other and cooperating face-to-face as a team."