Don't let this be your employees. (Photo: Flickr)

Don’t let this be your employees. (Photo: Flickr)

The International Carwash Association shared an interesting article in its latest newsletter entitled, “Employee Fatigue: Hurting Your Business Ethics?”

The article is topical in the car wash industry, particularly in California and New York, where strong pro-union movements have surged over fair compensation and more break time. Whatever your politics, the strategy piece in Information Week observes that more rest for employees may actually yield returns.

A 2013 study conducted by Christopher Barnes of Foster School of Business measured the effect of lack of sleep on ethical behavior. A test group was asked to participate in a trivia challenge for a prize of $50. All players were given an obvious chance to cheat on the test without being detected. The group of cheaters and non-cheaters were then asked about their sleep habits. It turned out that the non-cheaters slept more. Not a huge amount more — an average of just 22.5 minutes. But that time might be crucial in a sleep-deprived culture.

They’re also more likely to comply with company standards. One study featured in the Harvard Business Review focused on hygiene compliance at a company. Here’s what it found:

At the beginning of shifts when workers were fresh, only 42.6% were in hygiene compliance. That number dwindled after just a few hours on shift and settled at a rate of 34.8% at the end of a shift.

May be worth asking your employees how they’re sleeping lately. A good night’s rest can ensure better performance all day long. And the flexibility of a little extra break time may help your workers recharge.