Dismantling the All-Nighter Culture: Just Because Your Organization Never Sleeps Doesn't Imply You Shouldn't

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 1:22 AM

But working (and waking) at all hours is the exhausting new reality of the modern workplace. Omnipresent technology was supposed to liberate us from the constraints of the workplace, but something love the opposite has happened.

Dismantling the All-Nighter Culture: Just Because Your Organization Never Sleeps Doesn't Imply You Shouldn't

It'south a bit wealthy to grumble about the tyranny of fixed time-zone travel when your organization has "Global" in the name. But working (and waking) at all hours is the exhausting new reality of the modern workplace. Omnipresent technology was supposed to liberate us from the constraints of the workplace, but something love the opposite has happened. The literal notion of a "workplace" is receding into memory, at minimum in the sense of a physical space that keeps your work obligations walled off from what remains of your daily life. The treadmill is an office these days; the subway car; the escalator after a film that allowed you the luxury of a couple of device-free hours.

Across the world, Global Citizen whirs along without pause, from dawn in Sydney until lights out in California. As one team of activists and volunteers pack up for the day, another is assembling, raring to go. Official work hours across fill all but four hours of each day, but the truth is Global Citizen never sleeps and, as leaders within the organization, the risk is neither do we. If we authorize ourselves to be considered one instant-message far from immediate contact, sleep becomes near-impossible anywhere with an Internet connection.

I personally necessity to obtain more than seven hours sleep a night to function well and be a excellent leader. I function very poorly without it. While I love to be available for my team late hours every night, once I'm off to bed, I turn my phone off. Unless we're on the verge of a major partnership, or the launch of a new campaign, I'm unavailable once I'm off to sleep.

Few, if any, employees at Global Citizen are in it for the money. We invite incredibly talented and driven people who connect us to create a positive disagreement in the world. Many of them are in the first stages of their career, not too distant removed from the graduate school culture of "all-nighters." They frequently consider putting in long hours a badge of honor. I was precisely the same during the early days of my activism. You think that sleeping is cheating, and that any hr not committed to pursuing the cause is a wasted one. Anyway, we're young -- who needs sleep, right?

Wrong.

A tiny counterintuitively, research from the National Sleep Research Foundation shows that youthful people necessity more sleep, not less. And sleep deficit isn't just horrible for the individual'south health and well-being -- although that's reason sufficient to obtain people resting more -- it doesn't assistance the organization anyway. As the Harvard Business Review noted, "stay awake longer than eighteen consecutive hours, and your reaction speed, short-term and long-term memory, skill to focus, decision-making capacity, math processing, cognitive speed, and spatial orientation all start to suffer." I've witnessed more times than I could count: without sufficient rest, even the 'sharpest tool in the shed' loses its edge.

Employers should get the lead by dismantling the "all-nighter" culture, rewarding performance by measures other than by hours logged. Staying late in the office, or firing off emails at 3AM, shouldn't be seen as a tag of success, but a warning sign.

It'south long been accepted that you don't turn up to the office with a flu. A chronic lack of sleep may not be as contagious, but its impact on a team member'south performance and cognitive functioning can equally severe.

A watchful manager will frequently spot the symptoms before the individual, and we should intervene to encourage better sleep health. Ask the team member why their workload has become unmanageable. Can they shift or share some of their functions or responsibilities? Do you necessity assistance with time management?

As leaders, we should also demonstrate through our own work habits the importance of balancing professional demands with the necessity for a excellent night'south sleep -- and, if we're lucky, a personal life, too.

Memorise more about what it takes to be a Global Citizen here.

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