Alchemy

On civility, Standard Time, and sleepy staffs

Column by Andrea W. Doray
Posted 11/6/18

At this writing, because of publishing deadlines, we don’t yet know the results of last week’s midterm elections. I’m certain there are conversations to be had ahead … with, I hope, renewed …

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Alchemy

On civility, Standard Time, and sleepy staffs

Posted

At this writing, because of publishing deadlines, we don’t yet know the results of last week’s midterm elections. I’m certain there are conversations to be had ahead … with, I hope, renewed civility and a commitment to listen and learn. We’ll see.

My topic today, though, has almost the same impact on us everyday people. I’m referring, of course, to my favorite weekend of the year, the “fall back” to Standard Time. And I’m only just slightly joking.

That’s because we residents of the Denver metro area recently tied for second among the top 15 U.S. cities with the sleepiest workers.

Research conducted by the staffing firm Accountemps surveyed more than 2,800 workers who were 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments. Denver tied for #2 with Austin and Indianapolis for sleepiest staff.

Only 2 percent of the workers surveyed said they are never tired on the job. However, 74 percent of these professionals perform their jobs while tired. In fact, 31 percent answered “very often” when asked, “How often do you work while tired?”

I know I do, often. For thing, I don’t sleep well, and haven’t, for the better part of 20 years. Sometimes the next morning is actually when I finally drift off and because my work regularly requires conferring with colleagues on the East Coast or in Europe, I’m up and at it a few hours later.

But that’s just me, and our somewhat dismaying #2 rank has led me to wonder why the rest of we Denverites are so sleepy. Here are my thoughts:

1. We work hard and we play hard – sort of the de facto slogan for Colorado, isn’t it? We want to get out on our bikes after work – or play tennis or hike or hit a patio with an adult beverage or two. Then after that come evening activities such as meals or child care that push our bedtimes back even further.

2. Our geographic location means that we often get up earlier, especially our farming and ranching residents. Plus, as I mentioned, many of us need to accommodate co-workers in other time zones. And in my experience, we in the Western states just tend to get on the job earlier versus either coast … our 9-to-5 days seem to start at 8:00 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. (or even earlier). If that gets us out earlier – see #1 above – so much the better.

3. Our commutes are eating up larger chunks of our days. When I moved to Arvada 13 years ago from Colorado Springs, I considered my 20-minute commute then to be extreme. However, for a work assignment earlier this year, I traveled 90 minutes each way. Needless to say, even with the longer hours of Daylight Saving Time, I had little energy left for dinner, much less for fun activities.

Yes, the fall-back weekend is my favorite of the year … in part perhaps because the ensuing shorter days could signal earlier to my body and brain that bedtime is near. Maybe, too, we’ll now be having more civil discussions about the state of the country that don’t wind everybody up. We’ll see.

Andrea Doray is a writer who would love to hear your ideas about why we’re among the sleepiest workers in the nation. Contact her at a.doray@andreadoray.com.

Andrea Doray, sleep

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