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How sleep-deprived are the workers?

Zafar Anjum | Feb. 18, 2013
23 percent of workers in Hong Kong are sacrificing sleep to fit in work and personal commitments, according to new Regus study

Over a fifth of workers in Hong Kong (23 percent) report that they have to sacrifice sleep to fit in personal and work commitments, either by waking up too early or by burning the midnight oil.

This is according to a new study by Regus, the world's largest provider of flexible workplaces. The study is based on interviews with more than 24,000 business-people from over 90 countries.

According to the study, workers also highlight that a shorter commute (23 percent) and greater flexibility of location (21 percent) would give them more time to spend with their families as well as to catch some extra shut-eye. Businesses can also benefit from introducing greater flexibility which is reported to improve productivity (71 percent) and help retain staff (82 percent), said Regus in a statement.

 "Lack of sleep is clearly detrimental to worker health and happiness with long working hours closely linked to heart disease " says Hans Leijten, vice-president, Regus East Asia. "Respondents highlight that a shorter commute and more flexibility over work location would help them spend more time with their families, finally spelling an end to sleepless nights filled with catching up on work or personal tasks that couldn't be squeezed into the day."

Other key findings of the study are as follows:

  • Globally 29 percent of workers are sleeping less than they wish in order to fit in all their commitments.
  • In Hong Kong 23 percent of workers are sacrificing sleep to fit in work and personal commitments, while a fifth (21 percent) feel they have to overcompensate for time taken off for personal matters.
  • Workers highlight a shorter commute (23 percent) and location flexibility (21 percent) as ways of helping them spend more time with their families.
  • But businesses can benefit too, as flexible work is thought to improve productivity (71 percent) and help staff retention (82 percent).
  • Yet currently management is being rewarded for encouraging a flexible work environment only in half (50 percent) of firms.

"This survey shows that allowing employees to work closer to home in professional and fully efficient environments can have an important impact on family life and provide workers with a few more minutes of sleep each morning. But the benefits are not just for workers, and firms can also improve productivity and retention by introducing flexible working," says Leijten.

"Yet, in spite of the win-win benefits that flexible working can bring on both the employee and the company side, there is evidently still plenty of ground for improvement as half of Hong Kong firms do not recognise or reward managers for encouraging the creation of a flexible workforce," he concludes.


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