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‘Managers need to consider sleep benefits to improve skills’

DUBAI, March 26, 2015

Managers everywhere need to consider the benefits of more sleep in order to reap the rewards of productivity while avoiding poor decision making and inefficiency, according to an expert.

During a keynote address at a joint Middle East and North Africa summit between Hult International Business School and Ashridge Business School at the Hult Dubai campus, Dr Vick Culpin, research director at Ashridge Business School, The Research Director at Ashridge Business School, drew on Ashridge research that cited the examples of Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island and the Challenger Shuttle as global disasters caused by human error, in these cases as a direct consequence of sleepiness.

“While most people’s lack of sleep won’t result in cataclysmic loss of human life, inadequate rest can cause knock-on problems within your organisation. Only a reduction of 1.5 hours sleep for one night can lead to a 32 per cent decrease in daytime alertness,” he said.

If a manager has a team of three members who are working with only that minor level of sleep deprivation, then the impact on performance is equivalent to one full-time individual.

Both the quality and the quantity of sleep that impacts upon thinking and behaviour. Managers in particular are affected by reduced sleep, with 72 per cent of managers in a recent study noting that they found it difficult to concentrate on tasks because of lack of sleep, she said.

Not all behaviour is affected by poor sleep. Logical, deductive and critical reasoning, the types of skills and abilities measured in a traditional IQ test, are unimpaired, even after long periods of sleeplessness.

However, leadership skills and competencies, known as ‘executive functions’ are highly susceptible to even relatively minor sleep loss.

Dr Culpin warned that executive performance degrades with tiredness and affects the key management skills of comprehension and coping with a rapidly changing environment, multi-tasking; producing innovative solutions to problems, as well as assessing risk and anticipating the range of consequences of an action. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: manager | Sleep | reward | productivity |

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