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Keeping Employees Productive When Fatigue Sets In

The last two years have been unlike any we’ve ever seen, and people are tired. They’re working long hours, they’re raising families, they’re looking for new jobs, all while trying to juggle social distancing and CDC guidelines, not to mention their mental health. It’s no surprise that employers are reporting that their employees are suffering from fatigue, and productivity is suffering along with it.

So how do you keep employees productive when fatigue sets in? How do you create a workplace that motivates employees to work, even when they’re tired, without jeopardizing workplace safety or the health of your employees? Try these seven productivity hacks:

Stop Over Scheduling Employees To Reduce Fatigue

One of the best things an employer can do to reduce employee fatigue is to schedule effectively. This includes assigning regular and predictable schedules based on the needs of the company and the lifestyles of the employees. There are some people who can only work mornings, those who have to be home to pick kids up from school, and those who prefer the night shift. Take these scheduling requests into account when creating the schedule, and give employees a voice in their schedule.

If possible, avoid shifts longer than 10 hours and, unless the employee specifically requests only night shifts, avoid assigning night shifts to the same person or groups of people. If you find yourself needing your current workers to work many long shifts multiple times a week to keep things moving, it may be time to connect with a temp agency to get more help.

Encourage Breaks To Reduce Fatigue

If long shifts are required, make sure adequate breaks are factored in. If possible, create a space where employees can take a 30-60 minute nap to rest before finishing their shift. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a 40-minute nap improves productivity by 34%, and many employers are taking this sleep science seriously. If naps aren’t possible, a space to rest and recharge can make all the difference when it comes to productivity in the workplace AND company morale.

Offer Flexible Work Stations To Help Reduce Fatigue

Sitting in the same chair, in the same room, in the same office can lead to workplace fatigue. Allow employees to get up, move around, and work from different places in the office. If possible, encourage them to work outside of the office, at a coffee shop, or even remotely from home. Of course, this is easier for someone who works in accounting than it is for someone who works in a warehouse, but there is always a way to offer flexibility when it comes to where and how employees get their work done. Working in a new place helps the brain stay active and reduces fatigue.

Employee Retention | Great Hire Los Angeles

Serve Coffee

This sounds like an easy one, but it’s a small step you can take that employees will appreciate. A simple coffee station can give tired employees the caffeine boost they need to make it through a long shift or wake them up for an early morning one. In the occasional situation where you need your team to work long hours, come in early or stay late, offer to do a coffee run, and get everyone’s favorite specialty drink.

Reduce Fatigue By Helping Employees Stay Hydrated

Dehydration leads to fatigue, so making sure your employees have easy access to good, clean, water is a must for fighting fatigue and motivating workers. Teach your employees about the importance of drinking water, and consider providing water bottles with a tracker so employees can keep track of their water intake. Start a water-drinking challenge to get the whole company excited about drinking more water. Staying hydrated helps improve focus, creativity, and efficiency. Keep water bottles stocked in the office, install water fountains or get a water dispenser so employees can have easy access to water.

Increase Natural Light In the Office

Open up the windows! Working under artificial light can tire the eyes, which makes it harder to see, work, and focus. This is especially true for those staring at a screen all day. Open the windows and allow natural light to come into the workplace. Encourage employees to move their desks near a window so they can be closer to the sun. Working in natural light has been proven to reduce eye strain and increase energy.

Provide Accommodations For Fatigued Workers

Even with the best-laid plans, employees are going to get tired. Even if they’re hydrated, are drinking coffee, working in natural light, and working on a predictable schedule, they’ll still get tired. At this point, it's your responsibility to provide accommodations to ensure their safety. This can look like providing accommodations for employees that have to work unusually long shifts or arranging for transportation for tired or drowsy workers. An over-tired worker is a worker's comp risk and one that should be taken seriously. A tired worker could easily be hurt on the job or miss an important safety checkpoint, and this is a risk you do not want to take.

If your employees are showing signs of fatigue, it's your responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure their safety. One way to do this is to hire temporary workers to fill in the gaps. Temporary workers can come in and take over some of the workload so your full-time employees can get the rest they need.

If this sounds like your next right step, connect with Los Angeles' leading staffing agency today!


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