MENLO PARK, Calif. — Work’s got you counting sheep? Join the club. Nearly half of Americans attribute their all-too-often sleepless nights to their job, a new study finds.
Researchers at Accountemps, a global staffing firm, commissioned a poll of 2,800 Americans to get a sense of the size of this surprisingly common work problem — one that plagues us long after we’ve left the office.
The survey showed that 44% of respondents said that they often struggled to get adequate sleep, with high workloads (indicated by 50% of respondents) and business problems consuming their thoughts (48 percent) being the most common culprits.
Twenty-percent of respondents indicated a dispute with a coworker was keeping them up at night, while another 18% was worrying about being fired. Perhaps surprisingly, only 16% said a nightmare boss was ruining their rest.
Interestingly, job-related sleep issues varied widely by city and region of the United States.
Miami residents, for instance, led the pack in terms of sleeplessness with 65% saying they often missed out on shut-eye due to work stress. Coming behind Miami to round out the top five was Nashville (59%), New York (55%), Chicago (54%), and San Francisco (54%).
Minneapolis residents were on the opposite end of the spectrum, with only 24 percent saying that they let work get in between them and a good night’s rest.
Age was another key determinant of sleeplessness. Generally, the older the worker, the less likely they were to be bothered by their professional life late into the night. The difference was considerable when comparing millennials to baby boomers. Nearly 6 in 10 millennials blamed sleep issues on work, while only 3 in 10 respondents over 55 felt the same way.
Finally, gender played a significant role in feeling well-rested: male employees were 25 percent more likely to lie awake at night than their female counterparts.
“Work stressors can often follow you home, but try to check them at the door,” advises Michael Steinitz, Accountemps’ executive director, in a press release. “If you have too much on your plate, schedule time with your manager to discuss possible solutions to alleviate the pressure, such as delegating work to others, adjusting deadlines, or bringing in temporary help.”
To be sure, employers can also benefit from lending a helping hand to all of their employees.
“Employee stress can lead to lower job satisfaction and engagement and higher turnover,” Steinitz explains. “Managers can support their teams by maintaining open lines of communication and planning regular check-ins to discuss workload and other worries.”
Accountemps’ survey, which was conducted by a third-party research firm, interviewed employed adults across 28 major U.S. cities.