Survey: HR Professionals Lose the Most Sleep Worrying About Work

Survey: HR Professionals Lose the Most Sleep Worrying About Work

Owen Gough at Small Business passes along a study sponsored by UK bed and mattress retailer Time4Sleep, which found that HR professionals are among the most likely types workers to get sleep-deprived due to work-related stress:

Operational (57 per cent), accounts (47 per cent), IT (45 per cent) and administration (45 per cent) sit at the top of the table of professions that get an average of six hours sleep or less. Sales (43 per cent), shop floor workers (42 per cent) and marketing (35 per cent) sit in the middle, while director/owners (33 per cent), plumber/electrician/builders (33 per cent), teachers (32 per cent) prop up the top ten. …

Top five professions that are kept awake thinking about work-related issues are HR (93 per cent), marketing (89 per cent), doctor/nurse/dentist (88 per cent), lawyer (87 per cent) and artist/designers (85 per cent).

In our agenda poll at CEB, we saw that burnout was the second-most common cause of attrition for HR business partners, which is understandable given both the sensitivity of the issues HRBPs handle and the constant balance they aim for between reactive and strategic work. I can imagine this holding true across most other HR roles as well. We also hear often from HR staff that they got into the HR profession for a very specific and deliberate reason—to work with people—so their personal dedication to the profession could make them prone to overwork, or more willing to put up with job-related stress or sleep deprivation.

Last quarter’s edition of HRBP Quarterly included an in-depth discussion of the causes of HRBP burnout and how these professionals can hold onto their passion for HR by setting boundaries, maintaining perspective, reflecting on their limits, and constantly learning. CEB Corporate Leadership Council members can read the full article here.

Burnout in the HR department is obviously as much of a problem for organizations as it is for HR professionals themselves. Given the inherently stressful challenges of an HR job (separating the personal from the professional, owning emotionally taxing tasks, addressing urgent requests, and managing an evolving role), organizations may need to focus their HR recruiting to seek out those with the dedication to be resilient to these stressors, but there may also be ways to help reduce stress among HR professionals by making changes to how their roles are designed and managed.