EFFECTS OF EXTENDED WORK SHIFTS ON EMPLOYEE HEALTH & PRODUCTIVITY

Most of us are familiar with jobs offering overtime hours extending beyond a 40-hour work week. For entrepreneurs and employees creating their schedule, working long hours is often the norm, making it difficult to disengage mentally from work. In turn many employees. Electronic devices intended to increase productivity are being used throughout the day, evening, and on weekends for work-related responsibilities. There are great benefits in using technology, yet it’s crucial to diligently balance work and social life. Whether you work a fixed schedule or different hours of the day employee safety begins with education. Taking positive steps when working extended hours promotes health, safety, and work productivity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comments on long work shifts, “According to U.S. National Health Interview data from 2010, almost 19% of working adults work 48 hour or more per week and over 7% worked 60 hours or more. Both shift work and long work hours have been associated with health and safety risks.” Sleep deprivation can affect concentration, alertness, mood, and general health. Attentiveness to details is critical in certain occupations like nursing, chemists, pharmacists, employees operating heavy machinery, and others. Feeling tired, stressed, fatigued, or burnout not only affects work performance, but also safety concerns for yourself and others.  

The University of Surrey documents a study by the Journal of Science on the effects of sleep loss on various brain regions. “Research has significant implications for our understanding of how the brain is locally affected by internal time of day and sleep-wake cycles.  Results shed light on why shift workers and people working very long hours struggle to pay attention and concentrate on their job, in particular in the early morning hours,” documents The University of Surrey. Working extended hours coupled with consistent lack of sleep can only raise health concerns. When working overtime hours, consider ways to ensure adequate sleep and proper nutrition each day. Accommodate your work schedule to allow times of relaxation. Perhaps take a power nap during one of your breaks or enjoy a 15-minute meditation? The idea is to find creative ways to take breaks, eat nutritious foods, and get adequate sleep each night when working extended hours.

5 TIPS WHEN WORKING OVERTIME HOURS:

1. Don’t skip meals. Healthy foods fuel your body and mind. When working long hours, it’s important to fuel the brain and body with nutritious foods.

2. Take a break. Disconnecting for a few minutes can increase creativity and focus.

3. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. To be your most productive and keep mentally sharp it’s vital to get a good night’s rest. If having trouble sleeping early, refrain from having caffeine in the later afternoon.  

4. Make times for activities that bring joy. Lasting success is grounded with balance. Hobbies and activities that create meaning, joy, and purpose enhance mood.

5. If overwhelmed talk with your employer. If you feel exhausted and depleted with all the job responsibilities, voice your concerns. At times the employer is not fully aware of the workload or how you’re coping with working extended hours. If you’re feeling burnout be sure to express your concerns to your supervisor. 

*This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to direct health advice. For health questions please inquire with your physician.

INCREASE WORK SATISFACTION WITH THESE SIMPLE STRATEGIES

Purposeful employment, career growth, and personal interests are factors influencing professional aspirations. Most individuals have the opportunity to choose a career path, yet vocational choices may present unexpected outcomes. How can we cultivate work satisfaction despite career outcomes? Simple strategies can be implemented to make your daily work shift satisfying and meaningful.

SIMPLE STRATEGIES TO CULTIVATE WORK SATISFACTION:

1. Build a relationship with coworkers. Make an effort to connect with other team members at work. Social interaction with others is a great way to build professional relationships, and in turn enhances job satisfaction.

2. Communicate with your team leader. Brainstorm with your supervisor, providing suggestions that enhance work environments and professional aspirations.

3. Consider occupational requirements. Find creative ways to make meaning of unsatisfying work responsibilities that must take place. Certain job duties seem daunting, yet they provide a beneficial purpose for everyone involved.

4. Focus on the good. Even the toughest occupations have positive qualities. Noticing influential attributes in your current job shifts the focus from the negative, contributing to satisfying careers.

5. Enhance your environment. Small changes can cultivate greater work satisfaction. For instance, individuals who enjoy outdoor settings yet work indoors can decorate their workspace with nature themes, listen to relaxing sounds, and open window blinds for an enhanced setting.

Career outcomes may differ from initial expectations, yet there are ways to increase work satisfaction. The idea is to see the good in your current occupation, while cultivating an environment that promotes work performance. Get excited about your career! Your leap to work satisfaction can start today!

TIPS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Job responsibilities and time constraints in the workplace calls attention to the importance of productivity. This is essential for individuals in professional roles were company success is co-dependent on leadership performance and accountability. Having more time to accomplish tasks doesn’t necessarily yield better results. On the other hand, using allotted time efficiently and effectively can bring about even greater positive outcomes.

LEADERSHIP TIPS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE

1. Focus on one project at a time. It’s difficult to concentrate on any given assignment when your attention is split on numerous tasks. Rather than multitasking, thoroughly complete one project before engaging in another.

2. Schedule times for correspondence. Not all messages and calls need immediate attention. Wait for an opportune time to address correspondence, and then address each message and phone call in order of importance. Being quick to respond to incoming emails and calls can disrupt creativity and workflow.   

3. Take care of important jobs first. It’s easy to procrastinate least enjoyable assignments or those requiring great effort. As the day evolves these projects seem all the more dreadful when a time crunch is in place. Instead, place important tasks on the top of your daily to-do list.  

4. Do what can be done today. If taking care of an assignment today alleviates tomorrows workload, then it’s best to finish the same day. Do take into consideration other work responsibilities and job roles. Don’t overload yourself to the point of exhaustion, which can potential decrease productivity the following day. Use discretion when considering additional assignments.

5. Take breaks. Skipping breaks and lunch time may seem like the best way to get the most out of your workday. Yet, depleting your body of nutrition and rest can have negative impacts on work performance and health. Take a breather from time-to-time throughout the day. Recharging your mind and body promotes creativity and productivity.