Fight Fatigue and Get More Done At Your Business
Being a business owner, you’ve probably dealt with the issue of workplace fatigue, either from yourself or your employees. Workplace fatigue has been around for a long time, but has recently made more news than ever. Fighting drowsiness toward the end of a well-anticipated Friday is nothing new, but when such chronic fatigue causes things like car crashes, train wrecks, mid-air collisions and costly financial errors around the world, maybe it’s a bigger problem than we originally thought.
So, what can we do to fix it?
First of all, it’s helpful to know that fatigue, in general, is a real physiological condition that can take its toll on the body if left unchecked. Second, the most common remedies (take a vacation, get more sleep, work less) really only scratch the tip of the iceberg, could possibly make the problem WORSE, depending on the person, and manages to address only one facet of a problem that can be as unique as each person who experiences it. However, there are a few common threads that make curbing fatigue a little easier.
Getting enough sleep is great and all, but unless you’re getting the right kind of sleep, it’s not going to do you much good. Going to bed at a consistent time every night is far more important than going to bed early, and allowing time for winding down can work wonders for quickly reaching the REM stage of sleep where mental rest and physical healing take place. We don’t yawn because we’re sleepy. We yawn because our brains need oxygen.
And speaking of winding down, those that enjoy a good book before bed would do well to use classic ink-and-paper instead of a tablet screen. Though reading your Facebook feed might make you momentarily drowsy, the bright light and flickering screen frequency inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes REM sleep.
“Ergonomics” in the workplace is a real buzz-word for office furniture and computer accessory manufacturers everywhere, but real ergonomics can go a long way in reducing workplace fatigue. It’s natural for energy levels to slowly dip as the day wears on, but sudden drops could be a sign that your work habits could use an overhaul.
Good posture, supportive chairs, and alternating periods of sitting and standing are essential to reducing fatigue in the workplace itself. Reducing tension and resistance on the body reduces the amount of energy it takes to do simple things. Thus, that early morning energy lasts longer, you’ll be far more productive, and you won’t need that extra afternoon cup of coffee to make it to five o’clock!
Another surprising cause of fatigue in the workplace is sudden changes in temperature. A theory persists that the rocks of Stonehenge were cut by heating them with fire, then shocking them with freezing water, causing a clean split down the middle. Though we don’t split in half with temperature changes, hot and cold running climate in the office space has been known to lead to similar stresses on the body that cause energy deficits.
3) Chronic Issues
Sometimes, fatigue can be chronic, brought on by existing chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromialgia and migraines. What can be easygoing to one employee can be absolutely draining for another. Why? People who fight chronic illness on a daily basis tend to expend more energy than most doing the same simple tasks.
So what to do, then?
While there are no cures for certain chronic illnesses, changes in diet and lifestyle can help balance the daily energy budget. Also helpful is learning how to pace one’s self and realizing that stopping and planning short cool-down periods is a sign of forethought, not weakness.
At the end of the day, we all want our employees to be as productive as possible, but at what cost? With a little planning and lifestyle changes, studies have proven that not only can businesses fight fatigue without losing productivity, but can actually be happier, more alert, and MORE productive in the process! More productivity is a good thing, right?
And believe me, you definitely want your bus driver to be more alert, too!
First Baldwin Insurance