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How Businesses are Fighting Workplace Fatigue

Update Date: Jul 22, 2019 12:38 PM EDT

Workplace fatigue is on the rise as employees work longer hours and sleepless hours. The National Safety Council claims that fatigued workers cost companies $1,200 to $3,100 per year per employee. If you have a company with 100 employees, that's the potential of up to $310,000 lost in productivity.

Businesses can work to reduce workplace fatigue in many ways, including:

Eliminating Rotating Shifts

A major issue in the workplace is rotating shifts. Employees may come into the workplace at 1 am one day and 9 am another day. The lack of consistency never allows the body's clock to adjust to proper sleeping habits.

These alternative sleeping patterns lead to fatigue.

Allowing employees to remain on a consistent work schedule is key. When employees are on a consistent schedule, they're able to sleep enough, adapt to these sleeping patterns and feel better overall.

Wearable Device Implementation

The American Society of Safety Professionals recommends that workers use wearable technology in the workplace. Monitoring may be able to reduce the risk of workplace accidents and injuries that are costing businesses millions of dollars per year.

Wearables are an interesting option that may be able to reduce workplace injuries and improve overall safety performance.

Wearables can be used to detect: 

  • Heart rate

  • Breathing rates

  • Falls

  • Postures

  • Movement

The right device may be able to help predict when a worker poses a risk of injury or accident at the workplace due to his or her movements. Data from these devices can be used in predictive data analysis to better predict a worker's risk of fatigue and to take action to ensure the worker's safety as a result.

Adapt the Workplace to Manage Fatigue

Businesses are going to great lengths to ensure the health of their employees. A few of the many tips that come from the biggest companies in the world are:

  • Brighten up the office. Dim lighting can lead to drowsiness and fatigue, while bright lighting will lift a person's mood and keep them energized.

  • Nap policies are starting to become popular. Google has their own nap pods that allow employees to kick back and take a snooze if they're too tired to work. These policies should not be abused, but they should be available to the workforce.

  • Nutrition plays a major role in fatigue, and many offices are offering more food and drink options to keep employees happy and awake.

  • Hour management is key in many workplaces. There are some workers who never seem to leave their cubicles, and these workers would be better off if management routinely monitored their hours and effectively forced the employee to stop working too much.

Encouraging movement throughout the day is good, too. Gym reimbursement or even building an in-office gym can help. Stress management tools can also be employed which will help reduce workplace stress and allow workers to sleep better at night.

When all of these tips are incorporated into the workplace, it's possible for management to help combat the fatigue of workers and keep productivity at the highest possible levels.

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