Are you worried when your colleagues see you take that fifth trip to the coffee machine? Do you try to hide the bags under your eyes every morning? Insomnia can be a debilitating condition, but often people are ashamed to talk about it.
Lack of sleep can have a real impact on your work, and even more troubling, your work could be affecting your sleep at night.
Thankfully in the modern day, this old notion of “not bringing your problems to work” seems to be changing, and there has been a dramatic shift where employees are more open and honest about the state of their personal lives.
Getting the support from your colleagues and boss while you are working toward treating your insomnia could make all the difference in getting a good night’s rest.
It is important to note from the outset that you mustn’t feel pressured into doing anything. Informing your boss or your workplace of your insomnia is not a prerequisite to your recovery.
Many of our clients at Sleepstation successfully recover without the need to ever open up to the boss. But, if you’re struggling at work because of tiredness, being honest with your employers can be a helpful way to ease the burden on you.
If you feel that you would like to open up to someone at work, first decide who would be the best person to speak to. The title of this article says boss, but that could be a direct manager, or perhaps an indirect executive. You may even consider having a chat with the HR department.
What’s important is that you decide your reasons for opening up. If it’s purely to make work aware of the situation, then the HR department may be sufficient. However, if you’re looking for assistance at work, perhaps more flexible working hours, then you’ll need to talk directly with a decision maker.
If you would like to be more honest at work about your insomnia, but feel uncomfortable doing so, then it’s crucial to note that your employers have a duty of care for your health. This isn’t a recommendation, but actually part of the law.
And, if the right treatment isn’t sought, insomnia can last for more than 12 months, which is classed as a mental disability under the Equality Act 2010. If left untreated, it can also have links to other illnesses such as depression and anxiety, so you shouldn’t feel in any way ashamed of having this conversation.
Don’t fret about any of these figures or terminologies. By being on our blog you’ll know that there are treatments available! We simply want to highlight that you have a solid legal case for getting the support that you want, should you need it.
As well as concerning themselves with your health, an employer will also need to think about their business too. To alleviate any worries they may have about your work, consider opening up about your insomnia, and suggesting a proposed plan in the same conversation. Presenting both a problem and a solution is a great way to show that you are in control and are prepared to offer the necessary commitment to your work.
For this, propose exactly what kind of support you would like, and how you’ll still manage your workload around this. Perhaps it’s the ability to work from home for a few days a week. Suggest a trial run, and you’ll check in at the end of each week to report back on how your work is going.
Or, perhaps you’re needed in the office. If you would like to arrive slightly later, then propose staying in the office a little later at night. Or, if this isn’t practical, offer to work a couple of extra hours on the weekend, or at home each night after you’ve left the office.
While we accept these may not be the most convenient solutions for your personal life, they are a great way of managing your workload while you seek the right insomnia treatment.
The NHS predicts that around one in three people will regularly suffer from insomnia. This is a common problem, and not something that you need to feel scared about explaining. There’s a good chance that your boss has already had this conversation with another employee!
If you are finding that insomnia is affecting your work, then there are some helpful tips that you’ll be able to incorporate into your daily routine. Things such as keeping your energy levels up, but not by too much, and tackling the hardest tasks of your day first are useful ways to lighten your workload.
But, while these tips will help you get through the day, it’s a good idea to think about taking larger steps in tackling the problem of insomnia itself. Our online insomnia therapy has been proven to help alleviate the issue of insomnia and help to get busy employees back to focusing on their work.
Businesses, by nature, deal in figures, numbers and stats. If you believe that perhaps you need a short period off work rather than flexible options, explaining the numbers behind our online insomnia therapy can be a useful strategy when having a chat with your boss. We’ll all hit bumps in our lives from time to time, but showing you have a clear plan in place is ultimately what those in charge want to see.
The important thing to remember here is that you mustn’t feel embarrassed about having this conversation. Insomnia isn’t a choice, and it can have very real effects on your work and personal life.
But, by taking ownership of the situation, seeking the right insomnia treatment, and explaining to your boss the situation, you are in good stead to have an honest and productive conversation.
If you aren’t quite ready to open up to the man or woman upstairs, then we completely understand. If you would prefer to speak to an expert first, we would be more than happy to have a chat.