• Carole Katz

1 in 4 Australians take a sick day a month due to bad sleep. How can work design change this?


From the Sleep Health Foundation, July 2017


Sick leave costs Australian employers $32.5 billion every year. In a recent study, the Sleep Health Foundation found that every month, one in four Australians take a sick day due to sleep-related problems.

The study sought to understand how a lack of sleep affects absenteeism and productivity at work. The researchers argue that working long hours (including checking smartphones for any emails before bed) could interfere with the quality of sleep. Thus, workplaces which place such demands on workers may want to rethink their work design, and how these requirements may actually result in a contradictory outcome. Similarly, workplaces which operate primarily on rostering and shiftwork scheduling should give more consideration to sleep and circadian studies in implementing policies in order to increase alertness and productivity, and reduce accidents, in the workplace.

Rethinking work design with an emphasis on employees' quality of sleep has implications on worker well-being and workplace productivity, and may help organisations to reduce costs associated with sick leave.

Click here for a summary, and here for the full report.


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