The more a person is preoccupied with transatlantic conference calls that go into the night, crossing continents and turning jet lag into his routine, the more his professional status is rising.
Workload has been rebranded and has become a status symbol for success. However, sleep deprived workers are more likely to be absent from work due to sickness or with reduced performance while at work, which leads to an efficiency loss for each unit of labour supplied in the economy.
According to RAND EU analysis, lower productivity levels and higher mortality risks related to insufficient sleep can result in substantial economic losses to modern economies. For instance, insufficient sleep among their populations cost five OECD countries (US, UK, Japan, Germany & Canada) up to $680 billions of economic output every year.
What can, and should, be done to reduce this health problem and economic loss? Public authorities, companies, schools and parents should recognise the importance of sleep. Employers can discourage any kind of insufficient sleep bragging, build resting areas, and be more attentive to their employees’ mood and concentration.
As for us, we should sleep more, at least 8 hours per day!