Occupational stress is something that all employers must be concerned about. It may produce “both overt psychological and physiologic disability; however, it may also have more subtle manifestations that can affect personal well-being and affect outcomes of organizational importance such as productivity” (LaDou, 2003, p. 603). A lot of workers experience occupational stress or problems from their work environment, which can affect their productivity. Normal working hours can be stressful to a worker but shifting work schedules can become more of a problem since the time of work of the employee constantly changes.
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common problem encountered with shift work. Shifting of the schedules is not easy and affects a person’s body clock. Therefore, he or she can feel not well-rested. A person will find it hard to focus and concentrate on his or her work when he or she is restless. To overcome physical fatigue, an employee should make it a point to go home as soon as his or her shift ends. Workers should also not drink or do anything that might keep them awake. Staying at home during their rest days would also help them recover physically and mentally.
Shifting of work schedules also makes it hard for some people to eat regularly since their body clock has become disoriented. However, problems with eating is easy to solve especially when the work requires physical and mental strength. When a person uses his or her physical and mental powers to work, it would not be hard for him or her to go hungry, which would make it easy for the worker to eat during his break times whatever the time of day it may be. As stated earlier, most companies require physical strength from their workers.
Due to this, many of them feel physically fatigued. This type of occupational problem might be hard to solve since physical strength is involved in most work environment. However, companies can do something about this by providing proper medicine or other medical aid to their employees who are physically fatigued. They can also help their workers by providing the proper tools or equipment that would lighten the load that the workers have to carry or use. Accidents are inevitable in any work environment.
However, those who are in shifting schedules are more prone to accidents especially if they are not used to the time of their work or if they are not fit to work due to fatigue or exhaustion. To avoid accidents, companies must provide their workers proper equipments and they must be strictly instructed to protective gears whenever they are working or at the site of work. Employers should also have clinics and medical aids always ready in case accidents occur at the workplace. Lastly, numerous workers perform poorly in shifting schedules.
To overcome this problem, employers must make it a point to check each workers’ schedules to see if they do not work more than five days a week or are not maintained in the schedule that they are currently in. Companies need to understand that these people are not robots that can work anytime and not get affected with the constant changing of their work schedules. They should also be allowed to swap schedules in case they can not work at the assigned shift.
LaDou, J. (2003). Current Occupational and Environmental Medicine. New York: McGraw Hill Professional.