Everyone who works will at some point have to deal with fatigue, but the important thing is to know how to combat it so that it doesn’t affect your productivity.
A study by Ipsos Global and Reuters revealed that 53% of South African employees were not taking their annual leave.
Research has also showed that one in three South Africans suffer from stress-related fatigue, which means that companies and individuals face a significant loss of productivity.
Absenteeism, mainly attributed to workplace stress, burn-out and ill health, costs the South African economy between R12 billion and R16 billion annually.
“The fast pace of modern living has resulted in always being connected and on the go. This means that more than ever before it is important to keep your energy levels up in order to maintain a competitive level of productivity,” says CULT Raw Energy Country Manager Sebastian Groenskov.
What then is workplace fatigue and how can you combat its effects?
Fatigue is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy and motivation that can be physical, mental or both. The main causes are continued exposure to high stress levels, repetitive tasks and the modern phenomenon of constant connectivity through various electronic devices.
Although workplace fatigue seems like a large problem to tackle, it can be easily managed without having to take weeks of leave just to recharge. By incorporating only three small steps into your daily routine it is easy to keep energy levels at an optimum.
1. Take care of yourself
Get regular exercise, keep a tight sleep schedule and aim to get those eight hours of sleep every night and make sure you have regular small snacks throughout the day to keep your energy levels up. If you are having a crazy day, even a sugar-free energy drink will get you through that tough mid-afternoon dip. Also remember that maintaining your close personal relationships goes a long way, so keep in touch with your friends and family (even it is just to vent the daily work frustrations).
2. Prioritise and organise
Planning is key here. Get to work 15 minutes earlier to allow yourself that little bit of breathing space and time to visualise the coming day. Prioritise tasks in order of importance – if there is something unpleasant to do, get it done early. It will improve the quality of the rest of the workday. Plan small regular breaks into your day and delegate responsibility to other people capable of doing the task. Let go of the need to control every small detail. Try to find that perfect balance between work, family, social activities and downtime.
3. Improve your emotional intelligence
This might seem like an odd bit of advice with regards to boosting productivity, but recognising and using emotions in positive and productive ways is about effective communication with others, easing the way for day-to-day interactions and lessening the frustrations that contribute to your fatigue. Even in an increasingly stressful job environment, anyone can maintain self-control and confidence using emotional intelligence.
Combatting workplace fatigue guarantees better productivity and a more rewarding working environment. Luckily you now have easy-to-identify ways to manage your fatigue in the short term and in the long term. Your body and your bank balance will thank you, enabling you to enjoy your hard-earned freedom to the fullest when you finally take that annual leave.