Unfortunately, long working hours are often embedded into SME culture. According to our recent research*
- 47% of employees in SMEs across the UK said they regularly work 4 or more hours of overtime per week
- 29% of these put in 7 or more hours
- For half (52%), the extra hours are unpaid
- Over half (54%) of employees have continued to work after putting children to bed
- 27% have cancelled family time and 19% have missed a child’s event such as a school play
- 21% of employees take fewer than 30 minutes for lunch
“Just like other occupational safety risks, stress can be systematically prevented. The behavior of managers or employees may be responsible for causing it. The more your workforce knows about the phenomenon of stress, the less chances there are that it will occur. Stress damages the entire company”.
Dr Annabel Bentley has created eight top tips to help Brits fight fatigue, including:
- Sleep hygiene is key. Getting into a regular routine will help you get better sleep. Make sure your bed is in a dark room and don’t use ‘blue light’ – such as your mobile phone – as it may interrupt sleep patterns. Turn off your phone several hours before bed or put it outside your bedroom door so you’re not tempted to look at it in the night.
- Don’t drink coffee late in the day or evening. Whilst coffee is commonly used for a quick ‘pick-me-up’, it has a long half-life, around 5-6 hours for the average adult. This means any consumption of coffee in the afternoon and evenings will still affect your brain when you’re trying to sleep at night.
- Exercise is important but going to the gym isn’t for everyone – find a way of getting active that you enjoy, whether that’s simply going for a walk or playing ‘team sports’ with your friends or colleagues or taking up dancing. Yoga is also another way to boost your mental health as meditating helps to calm your mind.
- Socialise – spending quality time with family and friends, or even your pets, is a simple way of taking take to relax and calm your mind. And to make the most of it and really reap the benefits, why not book a spa day or a trip away to really relax.
- Don’t use alcohol as a way to beat fatigue – it will stop you sleeping properly, and you may well end up feeling more fatigued as a result.
- Have a digital detox. Set a time to switch off your phone and 24-7 access to TV and films. If you find yourself doing meaningless ‘scrolling’ on social media, take some time out either by limiting your use each day or giving it up. It can be a non-value adding activity and may harm your mental health.
- Get back into good food habits – don’t get caught up in ordering takeaway food when you’re feeling tired. Cooking from scratch can actually be a simple way of relaxing your mind… and using healthier ingredients! Food prepping at the start of the week will also make sure you don’t fall into unhealthy eating habits as you already have all your meals ready and will stop you from snacking on unhealthy foods.