Sleeplessness = stress = lower work productivity

Sleeplessness is now strongly implicated in any person’s ongoing mental state. In the case of single working women–and adding college or new motherhood into the mix greatly magnifies the problem–it’s not news to them how profoundly their not-enough-time and lack-of-sleep challenges affect them.

Now Wharton School reports that a bunch of researchers conducted tests that led them to conclude that both positive and negative moods affect employee productivity, but that positive moods are more potent. And then, dig this: “the mood you bring with you to work has a stronger effect on the day’s mood–and on work performance–than mood changes caused by events in the workplace.”

As science grows more sophisticated, fewer areas of life are immune from the understanding that our lives are a holistic continuum. As a business owner or teacher or manager you can choose to ignore what’s going on in the rest of a person’s life, but you risk regularly receiving less than that person’s best performance.

They say that acknowledging a problem is the first step to solving it. Recognizing the damage that chronic sleep deprivation and stress can do–and how the results can affect a person’s ability to do her very best in her work–could be the beginning of a trend towards imagining some better ways.

The chain of vendors offering discounts that SWWAN is building is one tiny step towards helping the financial challenges. Anything, for instance, that enlightened employers can do about allowing people to take real breaks when they need them–to lie down or even just to sit with their eyes closed in a quiet place for 10 or 15 minutes–would benefit exhausted working women as well as everyone else in the workplace. Need a guide? Study the most successful technology companies: foosball tables, darkened rooms with couches, employees freely exchanging ideas, vendors occasionally coming to give chair massages. Consider providing things that show respect for the employee as a whole person.


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