A 9-to-5 office job can be exhausting, especially if the office has not been built to boost productivity and good mental health. When employees feel perpetually tired at work, they start to feel burnt out. This feeling can be difficult to overcome, especially if workers feel like they have no one to talk to or that their workplace has an unhealthy setting. Burnout dangers can lead to lowered productivity, increased absenteeism, and an overall sense of dissatisfaction in the workplace.
According to a study, chronic work fatigue is a combination of emotional, physical, and mental tiredness, which is not lowered by sleep or rest time. This fatigue affects the employee's ability to perform tasks while reducing focus and lowering motivation. Loads of stressors can lead to chronic fatigue at work, such as not having an interactive work environment, is expected to work for long hours, a poor office layout, triggering colors, and so on.
Here are some tips to beat chronic fatigue for 9-to-5 office workers:
Encourage Work-Life Boundaries
As an employer, you must encourage and ensure healthy work-life boundaries at the workplace to lower the chances of chronic fatigue in workers. This does not mean that employees will spend less time working. It simply means that they will not be contacted by their employees after work hours so that they can give their body and mind a rest and restore their capabilities.
One thing you must establish is a rule of leaving work at work. No emails should be sent out after working hours. Openly tell employees that you do not expect them to be accessible to their work around the clock unless they have been informed beforehand. To ensure that your office space is full of energized and well-rested workers, you must give them time to cool off mentally and physically. If your employees are always available to reply to calls and emails, they will start to face workplace fatigue symptoms.
With the pandemic, remote work has become increasingly common. Even though this does not require a physical office space, you must ensure that your employees know the line between work and no work. This line often tends to get blurry, but the key is to establish discipline. Workers usually have a hard time working from home as they cannot unplug easily. They know that the only commute they have is from their office desk to their sofa.
Take Care of the Health of Employees
Chronic fatigue can be caused by health problems, most of which result from eating unhealthy food or not eating enough food in general. To ensure that your employees remain active and productive, it is best to set up a food service in the office that provides your workers will healthy food to get through the day. This may seem like an added cost, but the truth is that if you do not take care of your employees, your business will suffer. After all, diet affects one's energy and productivity levels. For example, eating too many carbs can cause a short-term energy boost but will have the opposite effect after some time.
You must also keep water readily accessible so that employees can keep themselves hydrated. Water is known to boost concentration levels, so it is a win-win solution.
Moreover, if you have the budget and resources, give your employees access to a gym. Most office jobs require their workers to sit for extended periods of time, resulting in added strain on the back and posture. Easy access to a gym or a discounted gym fee will encourage employees to work out after office hours, enabling them to remain healthy- mentally and physically.
Support Mental Health Days and Breaks During Work
If you are looking for good work performance, you must encourage your employees to take a break from work every now and then. Research has shown that to build productive employees, allow them to work for 52 minutes at a stretch before giving them a break for 17 minutes. By working in sprints, their body and cognitive functions have sufficient time to rest and reset. After their break, workers will resume their tasks with excellent efficiency.
Moreover, it is important to provide your workers with mental health days. These should not require a prescription or doctor's note, and workers should be allowed to take them based on their needs. When dealing with chronic fatigue, these leaves can help employees reset. After all, routine is the enemy of motivation, productivity, and creativity. By allowing workers to take the day off, you are lowering the chances of burnout and chronic fatigue.
Try Ergonomic Office Designs
Did you know that employees who spend more of the day sitting are at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and early death? The risks attached to sitting for long periods have encouraged offices and workplaces to adopt more ergonomic office designs, like a sit-stand desk and ergonomic office chair. These are height-adjustable pieces of furniture that should be available in every working space.
A sit-stand desk allows employees to alternate between sitting and standing, all the while doing their work. They can stand or sit depending on their preference, stretch their muscles, or change their posture, all the while continuing to work. Did you know that adjustable desks have been linked to burning calories and lowering the risk of weight gain? According to studies, if employees are allowed to stand and sit based on their convenience rather than spending an afternoon doing sedentary work, they were able to burn 170 extra calories each day. This resulted in 1000 extra calories being burnt each week.
Similarly, ergonomic office chairs help reduce back pain, as well as neck pain. Sitting in one spot for longer periods can greatly mess up posture while causing aches and knots in the body due to the lack of movement. However, a good-quality office chair can help improve blood circulation while relieving hip pressure and offering support to the body. The more comfortable your workers are, the more likely they will be to work efficiently and productively.
Create Policies for Transparent Communication between Employees and Management
Your employees must be able to feel like they can talk to the managers. You must develop management programs, like a Fatigue Risk Management or Mental Health Management program that helps struggling workers and give them coping tips to perform better at work. It is important to train employees so that they understand the process and do not feel shy in making use of these programs.
Moreover, your employers should not feel a communication gap in the workplace. Workplaces that encourage open communication are known to be more successful, especially since workers feel cared for and valued and believe that they are being heard. Workplaces that do not allow this usually deal with loads of workplace tension, including riots and bad behavior.
To encourage clear communication and coordination, you can get in-office therapists whose responsibility is to deal with employees and their problems. This can greatly help boost productivity while lowering the risk of chronic fatigue and burnout, especially since your employees know that they belong to a modern workplace that values their rights as human beings.
While continuing to look for ways to make your office space better, encourage your employees, as well as managers, to speak to one another. Do not build an office space that shies away from conversations as this way, you will never know what your workers need.
Understanding your employees can greatly boost work morale and can be great for your business as well. You do not want to be an employer that employees feel uncomfortable talking to, or else you risk the chance of chronic fatigue, increased sick days, and of course, losing out on some of your best workers.