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Tips for Employee Productivity

Night Shift: Napping Your Way to Productivity
Sleep problems can make you fall asleep on the job. Twenty-five percent of America's night shift workers have had such an experience. Taking a nap before you go to work can help you stay awake, improve your effectiveness, and, more important, reduce your risk of an accident on the job. Here are some tips to make every minute of your nap before work count.

Plan Ahead: Avoid greasy meals and caffeine at dinner and don't smoke after your meal. Avoid alcohol with dinner. After a natural sedation effect from drinking, your body recoils with a slightly agitated nervous system. This will interfere with a nap. For the same reason, don't use alcohol to go to sleep.

Find the Right Time: Keep a log and begin experimenting with your naps. Before going to work at night, take a nap at about 1 p.m. (this assumes you aren't sleeping at this hour). Move this forward 30 minutes until you find the right time. Your body's natural sleep/wake cycle (also called the circadian rhythm) may produce a subtle but natural craving for a nap between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Don't Overdo It: Try a 20-minute nap, or a longer 90-minute nap. Between 20 minutes and 90 minutes people typically enter a deeper sleep cycle. Awaken yourself fully before doing anything hazardous.


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Helping Your Injured Coworker Bounce Back

Welcome a recovering "light-duty" worker back on the job and help yourself, your coworker, and your employer all win with better relationships and reduced costs by remembering:

Donít coax a light-duty worker into participating in a restricted duty. Recovering workers who appear fit for duty may be vulnerable be being coaxed into work assignments beyond what's medically recommended. They may find it difficult to say no and risk re-injury or even permanent disability.

Never accuse your coworker of "taking advantage" of an injury to get out of work, or even worse, of "faking it." Don't participate in conversations with others about the legitimacy of a coworker's injury. Always assume your injured coworker wants to return to full duty, not experience pain and limitations.

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