How Can I Avoid Workplace Fatigue? | AFC Urgent Care | Portland

Workplace fatigue has been around for years and years, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace fatigue has become a larger issue. Let’s use Leslie as an example. Before the pandemic, she would head into the office around 8:30 then at noon would grab lunch with a friend or client, and typically she’d head home around 5:30. Maybe after dinner and enjoying some family time, she sneaks in another 30 minutes of work. Now, Leslie is working from home. She doesn’t have a hard start or stop time for work since she essentially lives at her office and any mid-day breaks are gone since meeting up for lunch isn’t an option. We won’t even factor in the chance that she has kids learning from home as well.

According to the CDC, long work hours combined with stress (like a pandemic) can lead to poor sleep and extreme fatigue. Fatigue has very real, tangible effects on the workplace. The most important ones are an increased rate of accidents and injuries, a negative influence on decision-making, and lower productivity.

7 Signs of Fatigue:

  1. Tiredness, Weariness, or Sleepiness

  2. Irritability

  3. Reduced Alertness, Concentration, or Memory

  4. Lack of Motivation

  5. Increased Mistakes or Lapses in Judgement

  6. Headaches

  7. Increase Susceptibility to Illness

While it may be harder to pick up on your coworkers’ fatigue if you’re working remotely, it’s not impossible. Keeping an eye on your team while video chatting or just doing simple check-ups with your friends can go a long way.

What Can I Do For My Employees?

  1. Recognize that this is a stressful time and the unusual circumstances increase the risk of fatigue.

  2. Acknowledge when you, the employer, are feeling the signs of fatigue, and don’t be afraid to talk about it.

  3. Allow your teams enough time to organize their off-duty obligations and get sufficient rest. Understand that some of your employees may have unofficial second jobs such as caring for dependents. 

  4. Post the Epworth Sleepiness Scale in common areas so employees can self-assess their fatigue levels. 


Identifying fatigue and taking steps to educate yourself and your teams can go a long way in ensuring a safe, healthy, and productive work environment for everyone. If you have any further questions or want to speak with an Account Manager regarding workplace safety or occupational health, please email