Returning to Work Alert

As workplaces reopen, The Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) is recommending employers assess their workplace for optimised alertness, and is offering ways for workers to better manage their sleep health. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered people’s regular habits and routines, impacting their regular sleeping patterns and increasing fatigue. With the current focus on health and safety at work, managing workplace alertness and ensuring employees are switched on and able to respond to risks is especially important.  

The SHF has relaunched the WorkAlert® website, which can help employers to support optimal alertness in the workplace, and help individuals with achieving healthy sleep.

This website is the first of its kind in Australia to provide free up-to-date advice and strategies for employers and employees, based on scientific evidence led by the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC). 

Sleep is essential for the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of individuals and in the workplace can influence the number of errors and incidents that can occur when fatigued.  The SHF estimated the cost of inadequate sleep to the Australian economy in 2016-17 to be $66.3 billion, including $26.2 billion from productivity loss and $40.1 billion from the adverse impact on wellbeing.

The SHF is encouraging employers to use this time of reinvention and altered work patterns, to visit the website and see how they can easily improve their workspaces and systems.

There are also many ways employees can better manage their own sleep, with almost 40% of people aged 25-54 getting fewer than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night.1

Investing in better sleep can enhance mental functioning, improve your mood, and keep the immune system running at top capacity which is top of mind for all of us as we exit flu season and learn to live with COVID-19.

For more tips and advice on keeping yourselves and your workplaces safe, visit the WorkAlert® website:

1 CDC, 2011. Data analysis from the 2005–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

About WorkAlert®

Developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC), in partnership with the Sleep Health Foundation, WorkAlert® shares science-driven tips and knowledge with you to help conquer the challenges of staying alert in a busy world, providing advice on how you – as an employer or employee – can keep yourself and your workplace safe.

About Sleep Health Foundation

The Sleep Health Foundation is Australia’s leading advocate for sleep health. The Foundation aims to improve people’s sleep and their lives by promoting healthy sleep, raising awareness of sleep disorders and building partnerships with organisations. Free, independent, expert-written fact sheets on every aspect of sleep are available at Phone: (02) 8814 8655


Tessa Robinson – Palin Communications
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