Putting in the hours and getting the job done consistently is how employees are supposed to get ahead in their roles. The more productive they are, the more reliable they are perceived to be, and the higher up the career ladder they’re likely to climb.

But sometimes employees try to do too much. They take on more work and toil for extended periods. And they do this almost routinely. Work takes on so much of their time that they don’t have enough of it to catch a rest.

As a result, they become fatigued. In other words, they frequently feel lacking in physical and mental energy. Sometimes they’re drowsy even on the job. Ultimately, it takes a toll on their productivity and safety.

Fatigue contributes to poor hand eye coordination, memory problems, poor decision making, and even depression. All of these reduce the fatigued person’s effectiveness on the job.

What Causes Fatigue?

Fatigue among workers is caused by a number of factors. But among the most frequently fingered culprit is a poor quality of sleep, which is itself a widespread phenomenon with employees. One study suggests that 26.4% of workers in one American state have less than the 7 hours of sleep per day recommended by healthcare professionals.

Fatigue is common but not limited to people who work long shifts, night workers, emergency services workers, and seasonal employees. These people typically have to carry out heavy tasks within a compressed time frame, and often don’t have enough rest time to regain physical and mental strength before getting back to work.

Ways to Deal with Fatigue and Sleep Problems

The following steps could be taken to improve the quality of sleep.

  • Adopt an exercise routine. Persisting with this could help enhance the quality and increase the duration of sleep.
  • Put mobile and other blue-light emitting devices away two hours before going to sleep.
  • Spend more time outdoors during daylight hours.

Some measures could also be taken by employers to tackle employee fatigue:

  • Design and implement better work schedules based on input from workers.
  • Adjust the distribution or spread of tasks over time.
  • Give workers access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that helps them get expert counselling and coaching to deal with their fatigue issues.

Tackling Poor Sleep and Employee Fatigue: Traditional Versus Proactive EAP

Employee Assistance Programs are a means of helping workers deal with emotional pressures and mental health issues so that they can stay productive on the job.

There are two kinds of EAP. The traditional sort relies heavily on face-to-face sessions with a counselor. A more proactive kind of EAP utilizes online or digital channels to enable chats with a professional counselor, coaching, and wellbeing checks to its users wherever they are, in addition to scheduling visits to mental health experts. These two approaches yield different results for companies that adopt them. Here’ an examination of those outcomes.

Outcomes for Quality of Sleep

Traditional EAPs place a strong emphasis on visits to the counselor. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a lot of the trips to counselors’ offices only take place after the employee has reached near-crisis stage. In other words, their problem has deteriorated significantly.

For persons having sleep problems, this may mean that they may have either developed persistent fatigue or may be suffering from a sleeping disorder.

With proactive EAPs, workers don’t have to ignore the early consequences arising from poor sleep. Those signs can be picked up and worked on before they develop any further, thanks to the tests and reports that are delivered by such systems. One such EAP is Uprise, which deploys techniques based on a decade of research into employee wellbeing and workplace psychology.

In 2018, Uprise users reported a 10% improvement in the quality of their sleep after going through its program. This contrast quite significantly to the minimal coverage offered by traditional EAP to people with sleep issues.

Outcomes for Dealing with Fatigue

Counselors working with traditional EAP may be able to proffer practical solutions to the fatigue suffered by individuals. But they aren’t as effective when it comes to preventing fatigue from getting worse prior to it being reported to them.

On the other hand, the training programs offered by an EAP platform like Uprise equip its user with mindfulness, stress management, and mindset skills, which are essential for preventing fatigue and coping with its effects if it does arise.

An Employee Assistance Program is only one part of a comprehensive approach to tackling fatigue and ensuring that employees are getting enough rest. But it’s a crucial part nonetheless. It provides them with a healthy path to recovery from exhaustion and helps them stay fit for future task.