Six Tips For Helping Your Staff Survive Long Shifts

Tips For Helping Your Staff Survive Long Shifts

When you are running a healthcare business, you are employing staff to be reliable for long shifts. Health and medicine shifts are generally between ten and sixteen hours long, which means that you are looking after a team of exhausted, stressed staff. The least that you could do is make their lives as easy as possible, and it can be easy to forget that your employees have private lives on top of all of that. Their private life has to slot around potentially unsociable hours that are long, tiring and difficult to manage. Particularly in medicine, shift work is mentally draining as well as physically; when you’re on your feet for hours on end, it’s difficult to keep up with your personal life.

Dealing with a team that are working long hours in your business means making them as comfortable as possible. One of the biggest hot topics out there is flexible scheduling and how it works for people in a healthcare setting. When your staff get the right control over their own schedules, they can achieve a much better work/life balance. This balance can directly improve job satisfaction, and this is what you want to provide for your staff; especially if you aim to retain them. Healthcare staff need to feel comfortable in what they are wearing on long shifts and as their employer it’s up to you to ensure their comfort, and you can do that by placing an order at to buy scrubs in bulk. Another way to help your staff to survive longer shifts is to help them to balance their hours better and introduce flexible scheduling so that you can give them some control over their shifts. There are tons of ways that you can help your shift workers to survive those long hours, and we’ve got six suggestions for you below:

Encourage Staff To Be Healthy

Encourage Staff To Be Healthy

When your staff are on their feet for hours at a time, they need to stay hydrated and eat well. This will help them to maintain a healthy weight and stay comfortable on the job. If BMI is higher than 27, your staff on their feet are more at risk of health issues. Putting on healthy foods, vending machines with food that is nutrient-dense and optimized for health is a good idea, and it can help your staff to avoid unnecessary snacking on the job. It’s easy to order in plates of cupcakes and bagels, but switch these out for snacks that will be better for their energy levels.

Arrange Shifts With Sleep In Mind

Night shifts are very demanding, as they go against the circadian rhythm of the body. If you are offering shift work to staff, make sure that you are offering them the chance to sleep, too. Hours should be balanced, so when you're doing the schedules, don’t mix up nights and days in the same week; try one week of night shifts for every three weeks of day shifts, and have it balanced on a fair rotation through their schedules. Your staff need balance, and you need healthy, awake staff that aren’t going to make exhaustion-related mistakes on the job. The more you can show fairness and balance in your scheduling, the happier your staff will be.

Provide A Gym Membership/Alternative

Shift workers often don’t get the time to work out, because when they’re not working, they’re catching up on sleep. If you have a hospital to run, install a staff gym and mandate that they must spend time there during their shift. If you are working in construction, provide a gym membership for a 24-hour workout center. Doing this can help your staff to stay healthy and motivated, and it’s a really great benefit to offer people who are doing their best to stay active in their job.

Mandate Meal Breaks

Mandate Meal Breaks

Most healthcare workers know exactly what a working lunch is, because most employers do not give them the time to eat their meal properly before calling them back to work. You need to ensure that your staff are working in a culture that allows them to take those breaks that you gave them when they joined your business, and they aren’t going to feel guilty for it. It’s all in the planning and hiring, and you need to ensure that you have enough staff for yours to feel comfortable enough to do it. Support your people in this; it’s important.

Free Water & Flasks.

You want your staff to stay hydrated on the job, right? Well, offer them free stainless steel bottles and flasks and provide refillable water fountains on the right floors of the building. They need to feel like they can continue working and being properly hydrated is the way to do that. It’s not something that you should miss out on providing - in fact, if you expect people to work long shift hours, it’s a must.

Needs Differ

When it comes to your staff, you need to realise that their needs are going to differ. What works for one member of staff isn’t going to work for another, and so it’s important for you to understand from your staff what will help them as individuals. Once you know that you can work with them to provide them with better benefits and ensure that they are happy in their roles. What you should do is meet with your shift workers individually and ask them their opinion. You’re going to get a lot of insight about your own business if you ask the opinion of the people who work within it - you’ll learn a lot and it can help you to make better choices.

Your shift workers are going to appreciate you going the extra mile where you can, and if you can show them that you care about their wellbeing, they will stay loyal to you and let you know that they love working for you. Make the long shifts easy, and you’ll have a grateful team of people.



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