Imagine waking up everyday feeling like you need to go back to sleep. You remembered you have to get ready for work and the first thing that comes to your mind is, “That useless work”. You begin to curse your boss and supervisor for stressing you and start wondering if the work is worth it at all. Your mind begins to make up excuses on why you shouldn’t go to work and how you can survive without that job. You finally sighed as you got up the bed because your bills and responsibilities flashed through your mind and jolted you back to reality. Deep down, you know you need the money but you don’t want to work for it because, honestly, you are tired to your marrow.
When you finally prepared for work, you grudgingly left the house, complaining about everything. You complain about bad roads, traffic jams, hawkers, traffic wardens, and even the early morning cool breeze. You hiss at and ignore friendly neighbours, who sent their greetings your way. You shout at the security man in your office because he took a second longer before opening the gate. You played deaf to customers’ complaints and wondered why they won’t try other places. In fact, you just don’t know why everyone won’t allow you to sleep off your day in the office.
But as the day goes by, you become worried because you noticed despite the adrenaline surges from your incessant anger and complaints you still feel tired and spent. You noticed you’re battling anxiety and depression and, even though you know you need to socialise with colleagues to elate your spirit, you just want to be left alone. You may become alarmed because you are becoming forgetful and you can’t even get yourself to concentrate on anything. Maybe before the end of that day, you will consider handing in your resignation because a motivational speaker just told you it’s the best thing to do. Well, before you do that, check if you are experiencing work-related fatigue.
Causes of Work-Related Fatigue
Work-related fatigue happens to a lot of workers, irrespective of the type of work they do. Initially, it was believed that only the people that exert much physical energy (such as lower carder industrial and manual workers) are easily worn out. But today, it has been discovered that anyone can be fatigued, including those at the managerial level. Both those that do physical and mental works are affected. No one is spared.
Causes of fatigue at the workplace have been linked to medical and/or work-related conditions. Medical conditions that lead to fatigue include cancer, anaemia, concussion, failures and/or diseases of vital organs, and so on. Work-related fatigue can be caused by working for long or irregular hours, doing shifts, personnel cut, the intensity of work demands, inadequate sleep, stress, change of jobs, changes in the work environment (such as the introduction of new directives, machines, or work schedule), and negative experiences at work. Experiencing one or more of these factors can drain a worker of his energy and zeal to work. His performance may decrease and he might begin to make mistakes that could cost the office a lot. Accidents have been linked to workplace fatigue and so are several deaths. This makes it imperative for both the employees and the employers to ensure workplace fatigue never happened in the first place.
How Employers Can Prevent Workplace Fatigue
Considering that fatigued workers perform poorly and can make mistakes that cost the company a lot, employers must prevent it from happening in the first place. This can be achieved through the following:
- Allowing several break times per day for workers.
- Encouraging workers to socialise amongst themselves.
- Ensuring workers take time off for leisure. This is usually done through holidays and leaves.
- Providing medical support for workers.
- Providing a place for workers on late shift to sleep. That way they won’t be worried about going home late.
- Overlooking napping employees and having a session with them later.
- Exercising patience with workers.
What Employees Should Do In Case of Workplace Fatigue
- Talk to your boss when you think you are fatigued; you never can tell how he can help.
- Avoid working overtime; try to stick to your work schedule.
- Work with your team; don’t try to be the hero by doing works meant for others.
- Take your off days (such as weekends) to relax.
- Cut down on the number of side jobs; stick to the ones that require less mental and physical works.
- Sleep in a well-ventilated noiseless environment.
- Seek medical help if it becomes chronic.