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Sleeping At Work: When To Discipline or Accommodate

05-October-2019 - Posted By Magniflex Middle East

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All employers expect their employees to show up to work on time, be productive and deliver output and results at the end of the day. While it is imperative to trust employees at their jobs, there may be instances at work that needs to be addressed carefully. This includes sleeping on the job.

Whether someone is working in a corporate setting, an agency or a laid back office, it is an employee’s responsibility to avoid engaging in activities that might inhibit work productivity. Although occasional breaks are needed to freshen up and increase productivity, it is important to keep work ethics at all times.

Strangely enough, sleeping at work is deemed normal and is socially accepted in Japan. In fact, it is so prevalent that the Japanese have created a term for it; inemuri, which literally translates to ‘present while sleeping’. Remarkably, it is often regarded as a sign of diligence and hard work- meaning, the employee’s sleepiness is attributed as his or her dedication to work; and as a result, he or she has not had enough time to sleep adequately on a mattress at home.

However, not all cultures are like Japan where sleep is accommodated.

As an employer catching a subordinate sleeping on the job, it is your responsibility to determine the cause of your employee’s sleepiness. The question now comes; discipline or accommodate?

Learning When To Discipline

The first thing to consider when disciplining an employee sleeping on the job is identifying whether or not it is a recurring situation or a single case. To illustrate the point, there is a huge difference between an office person sleeping on his/her desk and a surgeon who is sleeping inside the operating room. :)

In the example above, the office person would only need to be reprimanded and there are no serious implications. On the other hand, a patient’s life may be harmed because of the surgeon.

In situations wherein, it is the employee’s irresponsibility that caused the lack of sleep, appropriate discipline is necessary. It’s an employee’s obligation to manage his/her time wisely and show up at work presentable and ready.

It is also important for an employer, in any situation, to not immediately draw conclusions when unproductivity or a drop in work performance is noticed.

Learning To Accommodate

If your employee’s sleep deprivation caused by a medical problem, it is best to accommodate it. An alternative work schedule can be a sensible way of accommodating your employee’s medical condition. There are various ways to work around your employee’s condition without compromising work performance.

In short, unless sleeping on duty is caused by medical conditions or other acceptable reasons, it should be disciplined.

Prevent Sleep Deprivation

We are solely responsible for keeping our sleep hygiene. To function properly at work and stay productive, adequate amounts of sleep is key. We should be disciplined with our sleeping habits to prevent sleeping at work.

Comfort is linked to a night of good sleep. One way of achieving this is by having a comfortable mattress to lie in. There are different types of mattresses available such as orthopedic, spring and foam mattresses. Find out which one is best for you.

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