Researchers interviewed company executives and occupational medicine specialists about sleep health programs in corporate environments and found that demanding work cultures inhibited participation in these programs.
Their global study indicates that employers need to change perceptions that equate a lack of sleep with dedication to work and instead foster a work culture that values sleep.
The study identifies four barriers to promoting better sleep among white-collar workers:
Lack of Sleep Awareness: Many workers don't realize they have sleep problems or downplay their exhaustion, making it challenging to encourage them to seek sleep support. Companies also struggle to prioritize sleep health programs because they are unsure where to start.
Confidentiality Concerns: Employees fear being perceived as weak or vulnerable if they admit to sleep issues. Overcoming this barrier requires providing clear information on data security and privacy policies.
Demanding Work Cultures: Heavy workloads and the expectation of being available after hours create high work pressure. Participants suggest implementing more flexible work policies and reducing meetings to allow for better sleep management.
Work-Life Imbalance: Balancing work and family time can make employees resistant to participating in sleep programs. The pandemic and remote work exacerbated this, but returning to the office or adopting hybrid work models may encourage interest in sleep health programs.