By Lauren Stariha

Did you know that fatigue dramatically increases the risk of accidents and injuries occurring in the workplace? Working while fatigued can be just as dangerous as drink driving, with Monash University’s Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety, and Productivity finding that it causes almost 10,000 serious injuries in Australian workplaces annually.

While some industries are more likely to be impacted by fatigue than others, all workplaces are affected by this whether it’s physical or mental exhaustion. The challenge for employers lies not only in identifying the causes of fatigue but also in how to manage and prioritise the well-being of employees with competing demands.

Mental or physical exhaustion, it doesn’t matter, they both hugely impact an employee’s performance and safety at work.

Playing an active role in managing stress and well-being at work can help prevent fatigue and create a working environment that’s both enjoyable and rewarding.

The most common causes of fatigue in the workplace include:

  • Irregular working hours;
  • Sleep disruptions;
  • Environmental conditions make it hard to concentrate or work safely;
  • Physically or mentally demanding tasks;
  • Personal and emotional well-being; and
  • On-going pressure or criticism.

Fatigue is manageable. Here’s how.

A business should have good policies and procedures in place to protect the well-being of its people and there is a multitude of things that HR teams, leaders, and managers can do to identify, assess, and manage workplace fatigue should it appear. Recognising and managing fatigue-related risks in the workplace is an essential part of creating a safe and healthy workplace.

1. What does your workplace look like?

Creating a workplace where the risk of fatigue is minimised and managed will help you foster a positive culture and improve overall employee satisfaction, productivity, and performance.

2. Do my employees understand their roles?

When there’s a miscommunication between an employee and their manager about role expectations it can leave feelings of frustration and stress behind. Continuing to function while experiencing these emotions in the workplace can be mentally and physically draining and lead to fatigue. Ensuring that both role expectations are clear and understood allows for improved collaboration productivity, and staff retention to materialise.

3. Is the workload manageable?

Regularly checking in with your employee’s workloads can make all the difference in managing the signs and symptoms of fatigue and burnout. Monitoring potential hazards will ensure you eliminate or minimise the risk of fatigue impacting employee performance and well-being.

4. Did you know your managers and leaders are valuable tools?

Whether you’ve got one or one hundred employees, managers are the crucial relationship holder linking HR to your people. Taking the time to invest in the interpersonal skills of employees will help to create a workplace culture that prioritises mental and physical health.

5. How does an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) help?

This voluntary and completely confidential service supports employees with any personal or professional issues they experience and can make all the difference in managing fatigue. Giving your people the right tools that support their well-being is a win for them, your team, and your business.

Use this digital tool to give staff a great experience when they have to interact with HR

Managing each step of the employee lifecycle seamlessly is a key part of ensuring your business is providing the best possible employee experience from recruitment and onboarding to performance management and termination. With enableHR’s cloud-based software, you’ll have access to workflows and checklists that guide you through smart, legally compliant HR processes without any headaches.

Get a demo and see how enableHR allows you to easily manage your people.

Looking to take your HR to the next level? Our team is happy to answer all your questions. Call us on our toll-free number 1300 120 469, or fill out this form for a prompt call-back.

Lauren Stariha is a copywriter at FCB (enableHR’s sister company). She is responsible for creating engaging and meaningful content across various brands from eBooks and email campaigns to blogs and multiple social media channels.