The silly season is well and truly upon us and this means that workers may be prone to fatigue brought on by physical, cognitive and emotional overload. The impact of dealing with increased customer activity, longer and more frequent shifts, more intense organisational demands and compressed deadlines can be compounded by the pressure of fitting in more social activity and personal commitments in the lead-up to Christmas. Fatigued workers are at greater risk of workplace and transport accidents, not to mention less productive, liable to make mistakes and emotionally more fragile with colleagues and customers.
Key warning signs to look for, where out of character for an employee, include:
- Heightened emotional reactions such as being snappy or upset, withdrawal, moodiness or generally a bad attitude
- Consistently late for work
- Frequent forgetfulness or mistakes
- Chaotic workspaces
- Tired or dishevelled appearance
- Falling asleep at work
- Increased susceptibility to illness
- Decreased productivity with longer hours
If you are concerned about fatigue talk to the worker about what you’ve noticed and ask about the increased pressures they’re grappling with. You may be in a position to help them manage or eliminate some of these pressures, or refer for support if needed.
Jo Saies CPHR
Director PB Performance Coaching