Tiredness isn’t just an inconvenience for employers.
In many cases, fatigue in the workplace causes a severe risk to health and wellbeing, as well as diminishing productivity. Its accompanying loss of focus, concentration and judgment can mean danger to life and livelihood for employers, as well as the loss of time, money and morale amongst colleagues. Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to tackle tiredness, which can ensure employees’ safety and reassure company security.
Promote hydration and healthy diets
It’s very easy for employees to fall into bad habits, particularly when deadlines are looming. However, snacking on sugary foods, reaching for caffeine and skipping breaks are only temporary solutions to the problem of tiredness. Drinking plenty of water is just one way for employees to increase their energy levels, while fruit and vegetable snacks are a healthier, and more sustainable way to give brains a boost. Fight fatigue by making sure there are sufficient water stations and healthy snacks on offer for everyone.
Consider your working environment
Slouching does nothing for our minds or bodies, and nor does dim, ‘comforting’ lighting. Ergonomic office furniture and natural light, or brighter LED bulbs, will go a long way towards encouraging alertness and making sure that employees always feel comfortable and productive. You might also consider plenty of plants and foliage to inspire a culture of natural wellbeing.
Encourage regular breaks and employee wellbeing
Frequent screen breaks are beneficial for health and productivity, so remind employees to schedule time away from their workstations. Encourage employees to talk through any issues they might have, and ensure the managerial team is approachable when it comes to matters of mental wellbeing. With those support systems in place, you’ll quickly identify any causes of excess tiredness, and have the means to offer manageable solutions.
Undertake regular workplace testing
Perhaps you’ve noticed particular instances of tiredness, reduced focus, or severe lapses of judgment amongst employees. Regular workplace drug testing can identify when substance abuse has become an issue and will allow you to offer the right help and support to your employee. Risk assessments, such as Fatigue Risk Management reports are also vital if you’re to maintain a happy, healthy workforce.
Get to grips with employee medical histories
As well as identifying instances of substances abuse, it’s also essential for employers to familiarise themselves with workers’ medical needs. Are any of your employees living with a long-term, chronic condition that requires particular adaptations? Do any of your employees take a medicine that could result in instances of tiredness? Many situations could be accommodated with the right planning and risk assessment, but you must make a note whenever circumstances change.
Keep things clockwork, wherever possible
Beat tiredness by assigning regular shifts, so that employees can identify and work around their routine. This not only facilitates breaks but will also enable employees to develop healthy sleeping patterns. Avoid regular, extended shifts and periods of night working if possible, and always give your workforce plenty of time between their shifts. Could a long shift be broken down into multiple sections? That solution is just one way to keep employees alert.
Think about alternative therapies
Stress is one of the factors causing tiredness at work. Consider yoga, meditation and aromatherapy, also alternative therapies and methods to curb workplace anxiety. A quiet, calming break space away from screens will also help employees to relax, as will some time outdoors in a garden or patio area. Promote the benefits of a good night’s sleep, such as avoiding caffeine and digital blue light, and provide advice and guidance that will ensure employees can rest properly between shifts.
Employ team working
Try to avoid any employee taking on too much. Assign employees to virtual teams, and make sure that there’s always someone in the group looking out for problems with another worker. Team working ensures that tasks are delegated and distributed, and prevents individuals from carrying the burden of too much work. It also allows employees to manage their rest time and workloads and will create a culture of shared ownership over projects.
Above all, promote a happy, healthy culture at your place of work, and make sure that employees know that they can turn to you with any worries they might have. The burden of stress or problems relating to work or personal matters can seriously harm physical and mental wellbeing, and lead to instances of sleep deprivation, tiredness and loss of focus. By remaining approachable, you’re one step closer towards combatting cases of fatigue amongst employees and ensuring that everyone enjoys a safe, comfortable and productive environment.