You hire your employees for their skills and talents. And you want them at their best physically and mentally to maximize those work habits. Part of setting up a safe, productive workplace for that to happen is fighting fatigue. Even your most capable employees get hit with fatigue from environmental factors and work hours. Singapore doesn’t have national fatigue management standards, but the Workplace Safety and Health Council offers fatigue guidelines for businesses. Write your own fatigue management policy to keep your staff safe, healthy, and productive.
Physical Environment Changes
Ever notice how some places just make you feel sleepy? It’s usually warm, dark places that make you feel like curling up and dozing. That’s because your environment affects how you feel. Cut down on fatigue and boost productivity with environmental changes to the office. Light, temperature, and ventilation are important pieces in the fatigue-fighting puzzle.
You don’t want to feel like you’re on the sun, but a bright work environment keeps employees alert. Darkness encourages sleepiness. Your employees can’t be productive when they’re thinking about nap time or fighting heavy eyelids. Dimly lit areas also put unnecessary strain on the eyes. Tired, strained eyes make you feel general fatigue. Throw open the blinds to let the sunlight pour into the space. Give Mother Nature a hand with artificial light. Overhead lighting keeps the office generally bright, and task lighting on individual work surfaces cuts down on eye strain.
Feel the heat every time you get to work? Turn down the thermostat to keep your staff from overheating. Hot work environments tend to cause fatigue. If some areas are hotter than others, modify those spaces. Covering windows to limit heat from the sun can make the space more comfortable. Other options include localized air conditioning, insulation around hot surfaces, and fans. Do a little rearranging to keep work stations away from hot areas. For employees working outdoors in the heat, provide a shelter option, access to water, and frequent breaks.
Ventilation helps control the temps in the work environment. It also gives your employees plenty of fresh air to breathe. That boost in oxygen keeps them feeling alert and ready to tackle projects.
Work Schedule Changes
Long hours make fatigue set in very quickly. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with a physically demanding job. Look at shift length if fatigue is an issue. Working employees too long cuts down on fatigue. If an employee works different shifts on different days, schedule those shifts carefully. Scheduling someone to work until midnight only to be back early in the morning is a recipe for fatigue.
Working in regular breaks helps fight off fatigue during the shift. Give your employees a comfortable place to take breaks. Encourage them to take routine breaks as established by your work policies. Rest is especially important if a job is stressful or physically demanding. Monotonous work can also cause sleepiness. Rests during the workday break up that monotony.
Time Off for Employees
Regular time away from the workplace gives employees a chance to recharge. That break can help with mental and physical fatigue. Granting occasional “mental health” days to employees to get a little rest and relaxation can boost morale. But keeping track of employees’ time off can cause you fatigue. Simplify it with apps like Talenox that let you easily track leave time. Talenox works with QuickBooks, so you can integrate that info with your accounting. Keeping all departments on the same page with employee leave cuts down on unnecessary stress and fatigue across the board.
Small changes save your employees from becoming fatigued easily on the job. From environmental changes to shifts in the work schedule, keeping employees alert means better productivity and fewer safety risks.