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Fighting Workplace Fatigue: How it Affects Employe

22 January 2024

How often do you feel your brain has just given up and you can't continue to work any longer or feel as if your body is turning limp? Well, if it has ever happened to you (which we are sure must have happened more than once), know that you're suffering from workplace fatigue.

Workplace fatigue is a condition where you're physically or mentally exhausted. It not only affects your productivity and efficiency, but it also has a profound impact on your safety. A fatigued worker is clumsier and, therefore, at a higher risk of meeting workplace accidents.

You're highly mistaken if your employees are fatigued at work, and you think it's none of your concern. Fatigued and overworked employees mean less work done and higher chances of error, which will cost you your business and clients in the long run.

If you're concerned that your employees may be reaching the point of burnout and fatigue, you've come to the right place. This blog post highlights how workplace fatigue affects employees and how you can reduce it.

How Does Workplace Fatigue Affect Employees?

If your employees suffer from workplace fatigue, you should expect delays in work, poor office morale, and an overall decline in employee engagement and quality of results. If an employee isn't feeling active physically and mentally, their productivity and efficiency are bound to go downhill.

Let's look in detail at how workplace fatigue affects employees and what it means for your business.

Employees will be Tired All the Time and at Higher Risk of Accidents

If you see your employees yawning often, you should take it as an indication that they might suffer from workplace fatigue. If your employees are fatigued, they'll feel tired and sleepy at work. Sleepy workers mean clumsiness and laziness, and that increases the risk of workplace accidents. Let's say you've got a worker working at a machine for several hours. If they're tired and sleepy, they may not be as focused and active, and the chances that they might get into an accident while working on the machine are exponentially increased. In case of a workplace accident, you'll be held liable, and that's the last thing you would want to do anything with.

Employees will be More Irritable

Workplace fatigue can make employees irritable. Irritable employees are usually edgier and more sensitive and are often found to be displaying bad behavior at work. Irritable employees are also more likely to get into conflicts with coworkers. This can directly impact their relationship with their fellow teammates and the quality of work.

Employees will be Less Alert

Some jobs require the employees to be alert and focused, especially those that involve working with machines and financials. Workplace fatigue impacts alertness, attentiveness, and responsiveness tremendously, which comes in the way of problem-solving and puts employee safety at risk.

Employees will be Demotivated

Fatigued employees will be highly demotivated, and without motivation, they'll fail to put their heart into their work. Demotivated employees are one of the biggest challenges for businesses, and employees today are trying hard to ensure employees are happy and motivated at work. When employees are demotivated at work, it reflects in their work. The quality of work and employees' efficiency is quite poor in this case.

What Can You Do to Reduce Workplace Fatigue?

Employees are the pillars of any business. It's the hard work and dedication of the employees that help a business flourish. If the employees aren't utilizing their maximum potential, the business won't do as well as it can. For this reason, the responsibility to keep the workers happy, healthy, and satisfied at work falls on your shoulders, as an employer.

If you're looking for ways to reduce workplace fatigue and ensure your employees are working to the best of their potential, continue reading ahead.

Encourage Employees to Take Breaks Between Work

One of the easiest ways to reduce workplace fatigue is by encouraging employees to take short breaks between work. Gone are the days when employees were expected to be glued to their seats all day long. Today, employers must ensure employee well-being at work. Working non-stop is bound to make one tired and exhausted, so you should change the dynamics around your workplace.

One way to do this is by designing an activity or relaxing room where employees can laze around for a few minutes and return to their workstations feeling fresh and active. You can also design picturesque lawns where employees can walk around and take in a gush of fresh air.

Ensure Adequate Lighting

Not many employers give much thought to lighting in their offices. One of the biggest causes of workplace fatigue is poor lighting. Poor lighting results in headaches, eye strain, and irritability in general, all of which will eventually lead to workplace fatigue. You should ensure that the lighting in your office isn't too dim or too bright. It should be just right. If the workers in your office have to work on documents and do a lot of reading and writing, ensure there's a task lamp on their desks. The better the lighting, the lower the risk of workplace fatigue in employees.

Maintain the Right Workplace Temperature

If the workplace is too hot or too cold, it can cause employees to get fatigued sooner. This is because when you feel hot or cold, you sweat and shiver, both of which utilize vital energy. When you're low on energy, you'll feel tired and exhausted. If you want to make sure your employees don't get fatigued, you've got to maintain a comfortable workplace temperature. Make sure your commercial HVAC system is in proper working order. In case an employee has to work in extreme temperature conditions (extremely high or extremely low temperatures), you've got to ensure they're equipped with everything they need to work comfortably and save their energy.

Provide Your Employees Ergonomic Equipment

Most workplaces are equipped with conventional furniture and equipment. While you may not find anything wrong with that, wait till you get a workplace hazard analysis. Since most jobs today require workers to sit and use computers for long hours at a stretch, you'll be shocked to know how massively the conventional workplace equipment contributes to workplace fatigue.

Conventional office equipment and furniture aren't designed to offer comfort to all employees. Most workplaces are equipped with identical work desks and chairs, but the important thing that they often miss is that one size doesn't fit all. A desk that's the right height for one employee may be too high or too low for the other. The same is the case with office chairs. If the desk and chair aren't the right fit for the employee, they'll be uncomfortable at work. Continuing to work in these uncomfortable conditions puts them at risk of developing serious work-related injuries and health conditions like musculoskeletal disorders. Working in an uncomfortable environment will tire the employees out and will result in workplace fatigue.

By providing the employees with ergonomic equipment, you can reduce workplace fatigue in your employees and ensure their health, safety, and overall well-being. Some of the best pieces of ergonomic equipment that you can provide your employees are:

Ergonomic Desk

An ergonomic desk isn't like a conventional office desk with a fixed height. Instead, these desks come with an adjustable height feature that allows users to adjust the height to suit themselves. If an employee is tall, they can raise the height of the desk so that they don't have to sit with their back curved and shoulders slouched. If an employee is short, they can lower the desk so that they don't have to sit with their neck and back awkwardly stretched. Sitting in awkward postures is bound to cause fatigue.

Ergonomic Chair

Just like an ergonomic desk, an ergonomic chair can also be adjusted according to each employee. The employee can adjust the height of the chair to ensure their feet aren't dangling in the air or their legs aren't awkwardly folded at the knees (as is the case when the chair is too low for the user). The user can also adjust the seat depth to match their physique. The backrest in an ergonomic chair, like in Standard Office Chair (C5), provides the back the much-needed support. As a result, the employees will be comfortable at work and won't get fatigued!

Encourage Employees to Take Annual Leaves

One of the significant causes of workplace fatigue is overworked employees. The employees spend all day at work and go home to spend the night. They follow the same routine every day, which tires them out, reflecting poor morale and productivity at work. One way to reduce workplace fatigue in your employees is by encouraging them to take annual leaves to relax and unwind. Taking a break from work to spend time doing what they like will really help your employees replenish their energy reserves and return to work happier and fresher.

Closing Word

Most workplace fatigue causes are due to employers' negligence towards employee health and well-being. All you've got to do is show some empathy towards your employees and acknowledge that your employees aren't machines but humans who get tired, exhausted, and overworked. Taking the necessary steps will ensure that your employees don't get fatigued, and when employees are active, fresh, and healthy, they'll deliver results much better than your expectations!