What Are Some of the Effects of Fatigue in the Workplace?

The National Sleep Foundation has conducted a poll that says that many people have experienced extreme fatigue in the workplace at some point in time. According to the poll, the majority of Americans suffer from inadequate sleep, enough to impair how they work in their area and become at-risk for accidents, injuries, and health problems. The poll shows that fatigue in the workplace costs American industry about $77 billion every year!

The Effects of Fatigue 

There are many different ways that fatigue in the workplace can affect an employee in a negative way. An individual will realize that, through lack of sleep, they are unable to complete their work at hand and may be working unsafely. We have broken up the ways into different categories.

Cognitive Performance: Your cognitive performance will decrease when you are tired, causing factors like short-term memory issues, problems with concentration, and slow job performance to complete the tasks at hand. For those who work long hours or night shift, they could experience a loss of sleep more often during the week. This can be detrimental on their health.

Work Performance: You may experience a loss of productivity when you are more fatigued on the job. Those who are on shift work, night shift, rotating shift, or work overtime hours may see a decline in their work performance. 

Safety Performance: Negative workplace safety incidents occur when workers do not get ample sleep. In fact, approximately 13% of all work injuries could be attributed to sleep problems. Having insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea can cause you to be involved in an accident on a much larger scale. The time of day can also have an effect on when an accident occurs, with many more negative incidents happening on night shift. 

Health Consequences: Many fatigued individuals may suffer health consequences like depression, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and more. You may also be more likely to be involved in a vehicle crash, be obese, or suffer from psychological disorders. 

Economic Consequences: Because lack of sleep can cause decreased productivity, this may lead to increased costs to employers as a whole. In fact, it can cost employers several thousand extra dollars per year. Insomnia itself leads to billions of dollars lost every year as well as sleeping disorders, that can lead to higher healthcare costs.

As you can see, the effects of fatigue in the workplace can be debilitating for employees and the companies they work for. It is important to understand the effects of fatigue and the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep so you can focus on the task at hand.