Asleep on the job? Half of us have dozed off at work, our survey found

Female Office Worker Asleep At Desk

We’ve probably all felt a bit sleepy at work at some time or other, whether we got to bed late the night before or we’ve just been working so hard that exhaustion has taken its toll. But if the results of our recent survey are to be believed, nearly half of us have actually fallen asleep while at work – sometimes for ten minutes or more!

It was surprising to see that so many people have dropped off on the job, and quite worrying that so few of us seem to get a good night’s sleep: less than a third of respondents said they regularly get the recommended seven hours of sleep or more.

Take a look at some of the eye-opening stats we found below – they might keep you awake at night!

Dozing at work
• 47% of people overall have fallen asleep at work
• 15% said it was for “less than a minute”, although 14% said their nap lasted between one minute and five
• 8% have fallen asleep for ten minutes or more
• 43% of women have had a nap at work, compared to 51% of men
• The younger generation is more prone to napping: 54% of respondents aged 18-24 admitted to it

Caught in the act
• 10% of people who have fallen asleep at work said they were caught at it by their boss
• A luckier 34% were woken up by a colleague first
• Another 7% have been shaken awake by a client, which must have been awkward
• 51% got away with it and woke up by themselves

• 72% get less than seven hours of sleep a night, the minimum amount recommended for adults
• 22% get less than five hours
• 86% feel like they need more sleep
• 25% admit to making mistakes at work due to tiredness, another 47% feel less productive when they’re tired

Dozing on the commute
• 31% say they have dozed off during their commute to work
• 14% have been late to work because of this

Are sleep pods the future?
• Just 11% of respondents said there is some sort of sleeping facility at their workplace
• 29% would like to see them introduced by their employer to help them get better rest

Where do people fall asleep?
We also asked participants where at work they have fallen asleep – below are a few of the choice responses:

“I drifted off in a meeting for a split second. I woke up when my head fell forward.”
“At desk, in meeting.”
“In my works van.”
“At my desk in the morning reading emails.”
“During a meeting, it went on and on...”
“Encoding room.” (?)
“On top of a freezer (I’m a chef).”
“During break times at the canteen.”
“I was in the eating area which has a sofa in there and TV, but the programme was boring so I just nodded off. As I’m in charge, not a good example.”
“In the smoking room, on top of all the chair cushions laid out on the floor.”
“Don’t laugh - I fell asleep on the toilet.”
“In a meeting, during a slide show.”
“In the communal room - this was very late at night (2am), and in the ladies’ toilet.”
“On the bus I drive.” (!!!)

The results are based on a survey of 1000 people carried out by Your Say Pays.