Health and Performance Implications of Future Work under Disrupted Schedules, Working Environments and Careers
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Fatigue is a physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance capability that causes direct negative impacts on performance. Fatigue results from a number of factors, such as: transient or chronic sleep deprivation, working conditions (e.g., high workload), and circadian processes. A great deal of research has established that excessive fatigue in shift-workers in complex work environments (e.g., medical staff, military domains) can lead to increased human error, decreased productivity and also negative long-term impacts on health and wellbeing. However, changes in working practices (e.g., technological advancements; 24/7 global-connection) has meant that employees across a range of sectors no longer are constrained to the standard working week, and also are at risk of fatigue-related impairments.
In this presentation, I will review the basic literature underlying sleep, recovery and performance. I then draw upon a field study conducted in a naval maritime environment that examined the associations between sleep, fatigue-outcomes, and performance. In this case study, staff were equipped with a range of wearable sensor devices and completed daily activity logs and surveys. The results of this study indicate that poor sleep is associated with higher subjective-fatigue, decreased performance assessments, and lower mood. The study demonstrates the outcomes of organisational fatigue practices, and highlights several industry-specific interventions to improve sleep related wellbeing.
Finally, I conclude the presentation with a broader discussion of fatigue-management practices in a range of organisational contexts. I will discuss how the structure and demands of work are linked with sleep; and evaluate a few of the methods that organisations are implementing to combat fatigue (e.g., sleep-pods in the workplace).
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