Getting More Sleep Can Make Your Monmouth County Business More Successful

May 9, 2016
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Getting More Sleep Can Make Your Monmouth County Business More Successful

When facing a busy work day, that extra cup of coffee can only do so much. A new study confirms that getting more sleep can help Monmouth County business executives be better leaders. Benjamin Franklin, Margaret Thatcher, and Winston Churchill all claimed to have functioned on as little as four hours of sleep. However, most of us need at least seven hours of quality sleep to function effectively. Conversely, a lack of sleep affects how we feel and how we perform. Over time, chronic tiredness can also make us more prone to certain health issues, including diabetes and obesity.

Sleep science

In the workplace, technology has resulted in growing pressure to be available around the clock. However, a lack of sleep can also have a detrimental effect. In fact, a recent study by consulting firm McKinsey confirmed that executive leadership can be degraded by a lack of sufficient sleep. More specifically, getting too little sleep impacts the proper functioning of the neocortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for higher-order cognitive processes, such as problem solving, reasoning, organizing, inhibition, planning, and executing plans. While science suggests that sleep management may be just as important as time management, McKinsey also found that most business leaders don’t make it a priority. The firm surveyed 180 executives, and 43 percent reported that they do not get enough sleep at least four nights a week. “Such sleep deficiencies can undermine important forms of leadership behavior and eventually hurt financial performance,” McKinsey sleep specialist Els van der Helm and Nick van Dam, the firm’s global chief learning officer, wrote in their Harvard Business Review article. They also noted that a separate McKinsey study found that top-performing leadership teams typically exhibit four types of leadership behavior, including results-driven work, the ability to solve complex problems, finding diverse perspectives, and supporting others. All of these involve the neocortex.

Steps to boosting productivity

As for how to incorporate the study’s findings into practice, there are a number of steps that Monmouth County businesses can take to improve productivity and make sure their employees are getting enough shut eye. Below are a few examples:
  • When coordinating business travel, avoid red eye flights in favor of travel arrangements that allow for a good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t require employees to be available by email 24/7. Even better, mandate that staff “log off” and avoid sending work emails between set hours, such as 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Encourage employees to use their vacation time and encourage them to actually disconnect from the office.
  • Provide napping rooms or pods for employees to recharge during the work day.
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