The new year is almost upon us, so this is a great time to plan ahead and make sure your workplace supports the wellbeing of all lone workers. Whether you’re an employee or an employer, here are some handy tips for keeping well at work.
Don't spend too much time alone
The clue’s in the job title: lone working often involves spending large amounts of time by yourself. However, too much time alone can develop into loneliness, which is now known to have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health. If you’re an employee who feels like they are not getting the right amount of social interaction, why not try organising get-togethers within the working day. For example, a weekly breakfast for yourself and fellow lone workers or another communal activity. If that’s not practically possible, try starting a work Whatsapp or Facebook group and invite people to join. Even the smallest of regular daily interaction can have a big effect on our mental wellbeing
Why are you really feeling so tired? A recent survey of 300 GPs across the UK revealed that tiredness and fatigue are the primary cause of one in five (21 per cent) of GP consultations. And in more than one in ten of these cases, GPs believed dehydration to be the primary cause. So make sure you get your fluids in. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women consume 1.6 litres a day and men two litres. If you’re not a massive water drinker, lower fat milk, non-sugary drinks and tea and coffee all count.
We don’t want to sound like a nag but eating the right food at the right times is surprisingly hard to do when you work irregular hours at multi locations or in remote places that are miles from a shop. The tendency can be to grab something on the go. But, too much eating around the clock like that can leave us feeling exhausted and unhealthy – definitely not good when you’re in a physically demanding job and need to keep your wits about you. A good idea for employers could be to put on a nutritional talk with an expert to talk time-poor workers through quick and easy ways to make a healthy lunchbox and knowing the best options to go for.
Sleep well -- not on the job!
It seems pretty simple, but the reality is that most of us aren’t getting enough quality shut-eye. Typically, we need between seven- and nine-hours sleep. However, a study by the National Sleep Foundation found that 16% of adults in the UK sleep for fewer than six hours a night, while another 19% sleep for between six and seven hours. A long-term lack of sleep can expose people to risks like depression and dementia. It carries an economic cost too: the UK loses 200,000 working days a year to absenteeism caused by lack of sleep. Try cutting down on caffeine after midday and limit alcohol – it might make you drop off quickly, but alcohol blocks the circadian rhythms that lead to deeper REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. You could also introduce a smartphone free hour before bed as the blue light emitted by your screen tricks your brain into thinking it’s still day and makes it hard for you to drop off. Alternatively, try switching your phone to a more sleep-inducing Night Shift mode. Sweet dreams.
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today
About Lone Worker Solutions
At Lone Worker Solutions, it’s our business to protect employees, managers and shareholders from the risks associated with working alone. This includes the potential hazards faced by staff who work by themselves, remotely, or out-of-sight or earshot of colleagues. When it comes to safety we don't believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach; instead, we tailor our solution to each organisation's exact needs.