Fatigue in the Workplace – Part 2: Our Top 5 Strategies for Employers to Navigate Workplace Fatigue

In last week’s article, we explored the causes and significance of workplace fatigue, highlighting its detrimental effects on safety, productivity, and employee well-being. Now, being the solution-based people that we are, we present our top five strategies to combat workplace fatigue and create a healthier, more energised work environment for all.


1. Establish Clear Expectations and Realistic Workloads


A job without clear expectations is like navigating a maze blindfolded — you might stumble around, but reaching the finish line becomes a monumental challenge. Add unrealistic expectations on top of that and suddenly the size of the maze increases 10-fold! It’s stressful even to think about, right? Unfortunately, many people are living in this maze day to day. It’s stressful, exhausting and worst of all, it often has no end date. It’s no surprise that fatigue is the result. By setting clear expectations regarding goals, workloads and deadlines and ensuring they are realistic you will save your employees a lot of overwhelm, and you’ll likely find that they are better focused as a result. 


2. Promote Work-Life Balance


Did you know that in some countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, it is frowned upon to work late? Those countries also have the lowest fatigue-rating worldwide. Encouraging a healthy work-life balance by providing flexibility and insisting that employees successfully “switch off” is crucial to mitigate workplace fatigue. Support employees in taking breaks and vacations to recharge and rejuvenate and opt out of rewarding employees for working too far into their own time. By fostering work-life balance, you prioritise the overall well-being of your workforce, reducing fatigue and long-term, the risk of burnout.


3. Education around managing fatigue


We may consider ourselves pretty clued up in the fatigue-management space, but we recognise that not everyone knows what we do! Many people feel endlessly tired, with no clues as to why that might be. Even the simplest education on fatigue management, including strategies for improving sleep quality, managing stress, and enhancing overall well-being can be a game-changer for many people. As an employer there is only so much you can do on your own. Equip employees with the knowledge and tools to recognise and address fatigue symptoms effectively – by empowering individuals, you create a proactive and collaborative approach to fatigue management. 


4. Encourage Physical Activity


We wouldn’t be good exercise physiologists if we didn’t include this one! Although it seems counterintuitive, physical activity is great for energy – and sitting all day. . is not so great. So promoting regular physical activity will do wonders for your employees! Encourage exercise during and outside of work hours, provide access to fitness facilities, organise group activities, or implement wellness programs that motivate and support physical activity. By fostering an active lifestyle, you enhance energy levels and reduce fatigue and if done with a little more thought, it can even feed into our next point. . . 


5. Foster a Supportive Work Environment


More often than not when we see a case of work-related burnout the person experiencing it has come from an unsupportive work environment. It makes sense that a lack of support can bring about fatigue. Therefore, creating a positive and supportive work culture that values employee well-being is key to mitigating it. Encourage peer support and collaboration, promote open communication channels, and ensure employees feel comfortable discussing fatigue-related concerns. By fostering a supportive environment, you empower employees to seek help and support when needed, instead of fighting on alone! 


While there are numerous strategies to explore, it’s crucial to start somewhere on the journey towards an energised workforce.

By focusing on these five key aspects, you lay a strong foundation for success.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and progress takes time. Embrace these strategies as a starting point, and you’ll be on the path to cultivating a fatigue-resilient team. 

Author: Tessa Nielsen 
Clinical Exercise Physiologist and
Content Creator at Specialised Health

Further reading:

Fatigue – It’s Not Just Physical!

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) in Fatigue Management

Or check out our ‘blog‘ page and use the search bar to type in the keyword ‘fatigue’ for more great reads!

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