Don’t fall foul of footie festival fatigue, AXA PPP healthcare warns business leaders


Late nights and lack of sleep do productivity no favours, new research from AXA PPP healthcare has revealed – providing a timely reminder to employers to take positive steps now to ensure they’re not caught short by the upcoming summer of sport.

In a poll of 2,000 employees, over half (57 per cent) admitted they’d turned up for work feeling tired on at least one occasion in the past three months, with 52 per cent of the sleepyheads agreeing it had adversely affected their performance.* For workers in this predicament:

  • Forty per cent said they ‘coasted’ through the day, only finishing easy tasks
  • Eighteen per cent said they only managed to do ‘bits and pieces’, and
  • Six per cent barely did anything.

The remainder (36 per cent) felt they got most of their work done but not as productively as normal.

The main reason they gave for turning up tired was they’d been unable to switch off and get to sleep the night before (29 per cent), with a smaller proportion (5 per cent) saying they’d been distracted by noise.

For others, late-night tiredness was more self-inflicted, with:

  • Twenty per cent saying they been up socialising and drinking (plus another nine per cent doing likewise but without the drink)
  • Eighteen per cent had stayed up watching TV
  • Nine per cent had been working late, and
  • Seven per cent were busy online or gaming.

18-to-24-year-olds came top for burning the candle at both ends, with over three quarters (77 per cent) saying they’d come into work tired on at least one occasion in the past three months, compared with just one third of those aged 55+.

Dr Steve Iley, AXA PPP healthcare’s occupational health director, comments: “Nobody wants to be a spoil sport but there’s no doubting that late nights and lack of sleep will adversely affect performance. So, with the prospect of some late nights in store for followers of the festivities in Brazil, employers would do well to remind their staff of their attendance policies before it all kicks off. Of course employees will struggle to give 100 per cent when they’re ill but otherwise they owe it to their employers to turn up for work in good enough shape to put in a decent shift.

“Rather than fret about the possible downsides of the upcoming tournament, employers can take positive steps to avoid them by positively engaging with it – for instance, where practicable, adopting a flexible approach to enable fans to follow key events or arranging to screen key fixtures at work. And, to avoid resentment, don’t forget to be fair and apply the same approach to everyone in your organisation – not just the sports fans.”

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