Work Keeps Nearly Half of Workers Up at Night, According to New CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO and ATLANTA, March 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --  Employers beware: the switch to daylight savings time this weekend may result in more yawning in the office and a potential dip in productivity. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 1 in 4 workers (26 percent) feel they do not get enough sleep each night, and 60 percent of all workers say that a lack of sleep has negatively impacted their work. Ironically, nearly half of all workers (47 percent) say thinking about work keeps them up at night.

Further, only 17 percent of all workers get at least eight hours of sleep a night— which can have a negative impact on productivity, among other factors.

More than 3,600 workers across industries (including 3,411 in the private sector) participated in the nationwide survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 16 and December 6, 2016.

While eight hours may be the doctor-recommended amount of sleep time each night, less than 1 in 5 workers (17 percent) say they actually reach this goal. Half of workers (52 percent) log an average of five to seven hours of sleep each night, while 6 percent average less than five hours per night.

For some workers, hitting the snooze button in attempt to doze a little bit longer just doesn't cut it. One in five workers (22 percent) have called in sick for the purpose of getting extra sleep.

"As Americans work extended hours, routinely take work home, and juggle two or more jobs on top of long commutes, sleep has become a casualty of the race for time," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "But lack of sleep undermines performance and can create a vicious cycle of working more hours to compensate for diminished productivity and having less time to sleep. Employers can take steps to make sure their workers are getting enough sleep, such as by tweaking night shift schedules or imposing limits on consecutive shifts. They can also have wellness initiatives that encourage workers to go to sleep at the same time every night and create a relaxing bedroom environment."

Skimping on Sleep Affects Your Work
Sleep-deprivation doesn't just hurt workers – it hurts business, too. Three in five workers (60 percent) say lack of sleep has had an impact on their work in some way, including the following:

  • It makes the day go by slower: 29 percent
  • It makes me less motivated: 27 percent
  • It makes me less productive: 25 percent
  • It affects my memory: 19 percent
  • It takes me longer to complete tasks: 13 percent
  • It makes me crabby with my coworkers: 13 percent
  • It makes me make mistakes: 12 percent
  • It makes me resent my job: 8 percent

A significant proportion of workers can't seem to escape work, even while they're sleeping. Sixty-five percent reported that they have dreamed about work at one time, with more than 1 in 10 (13 percent) saying it happens always or often.

10 Strange Work Dreams
When asked the craziest work dream they've had, workers said the following:

  • Tyrannosaurus rex worked at my office.
  • I showed up to work three hours late, and I was only half dressed. That was OK though, because we have a relaxed dress code. The problem was I had not realized the Queen of England was visiting, and I felt embarrassed.
  • I work with software. While I was pregnant, I had a dream that I had to upload my unborn baby at the end of every day, or she'd lose her development for the day.
  • My coworker had a baby but wrapped it in a burrito wrapper.
  • I was naked getting ready to get on a roller coaster while trying to reconcile an account I'm working on.
  • My boss and I were mowing a lawn in the clouds on a go-kart.
  • My boss adopted me and my coworkers. He got us housing and took us shopping.
  • Famous people worked with me in place of my coworkers.
  • I drove the forklift home from work.
  • I opened a "bank and brew" where customers, after doing their banking business, had a choice of craft beers and tapas.

Some are open to dreaming in the office: nearly 2 in 5 workers (38 percent) would take advantage of a designated "nap room" if offered at their place of work. But 94 percent of workers would not take a pay cut for the ability to go in two hours later.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,616 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, including 3,411 in the private sector) between November 16 and December 6, 2016. With a pure probability sample of 3,616, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.63 percentage points.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

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SOURCE CareerBuilder