Dreaming of productivity improvement

It’s well known resource workers suffer from disturbed sleep patterns and high fatigue. Fluctuating schedules and demands of the industry mean many employees are not rejuvenating enough between shifts to arrive at work with all engines firing.

When we get less than 7.5 hours of quality sleep, our cognitive function diminishes and we perform poorly. Problem solving becomes difficult, accidents increase and mood swings disrupt the flow of steady work.

The cost is high. An Australian Sleep Health Foundation study found lack of sleep costs Australia $5.2 billion annually in lost productivity and subsequent accidents.

Companies can play a significant role in creating a culture that supports and encourages wellbeing - helping their workforce be at their best. Healthy, well- rested employees lead to greater results all round.

What can companies do? Here are a few practical suggestions that will make a difference.

1. A culture that values wellbeing
The most potent way to influence your workforce is through organisational culture, behavioural examples from leaders and recognising that being safe is more important that being tough.
Give regular reminders about the benefits of ample rest for health and quality of life. Communicate this in various ways, so you appeal to differing mindsets.

For example; send email or text messages with practical de-stress and sleep-well tips; give visual queues such as posters they regularly see with motivating messages such as: Sleep is your number one ally for health. Having issues? Ask for help. An extra hour of sleep will improve your mood and energy. Make sleep a priority and you’ll feel a whole lot better. These reminders can inspire workers to make wiser choices.

2. Provide training with immediate impact
Help employees get maximum benefit from downtime with training that empowers them with the ability to reduce stress and improve sleep. When people have alternatives to alcohol and medication for winding down, they have a choice. If not, they can get trapped in a cycle of high-stress, sleep deprivation and poor performance.

By introducing relatively simple programs, you can enhance the coping skills, emotional wellbeing and personal fatigue management of your workforce. This in turn maximizes productivity and company returns.

3. Be informed and offer incentives
Do regular health checks that monitor sleep and measure work performance, so you’re aware of what’s really going on. Offer incentives that excite your team for improvements in health and performance.

4. Work accommodation conducive to quality sleep
Simple changes to accommodation can improve sleep quality, enabling workers to emerge revitalised. By understanding the impact of environment on sleep and the exact changes that will help, you can make wise investments with a substantial return. One of the most powerful considerations is light. Light exposure not only makes it difficult to fall asleep, it inhibits deep sleep, which provides the most rejuvenation. Offering ambient lighting options and the ability to block light from outside are two significantly helpful changes.

5. Resources that improve sleep
The skills needed to release stress and wind down into quality sleep can be learnt with support and guidance. There are various resources available, such as The Sleep Kit for Remote Workers. This is a practical guide to great sleep that includes a step-by-step booklet and an audio track on a simple mp3 player that guides the listener into deep sleep.

Ahna de Vena helps resource companies get the best from their employees through sleep support strategies, seminars and resources. Learn more about Ahna and her Sleep Kit for Remote Workers at www.ahnadevena.com. NMC

Picture: Thinkstock

latest news

Rox unveils maiden Olympia resource

Rox Resources has announced a maiden inferred mineral resource for its Olympia nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum group elements deposit near Laverton in Western Australia. 

Read more

Eastern Goldfields pays up to cancel wind-up order

The wind-up of Michael Fotios’ Eastern Goldfields has been cancelled after payment of the debt which triggered the order.

Read more

Private miner hits SA iron ore milestone

South Australian iron ore producer CU-River Mining Australia has reached its milestone one million tonne production target in just over 12 months.

Read more

AMEC appoints new chief executive

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies has looked outside the mining sector to find a new chief executive to replace long-serving boss Simon Bennison.

Read more

Coal prices fire soaring Whitehaven profit

Whitehaven Coal has delivered a sharply higher full-year profit as well as its first dividend in more than four years on the back of growing production and a surge in coal prices.

Read more

Forrest wins appeal to keep miners off station

Billionaire Andrew Forrest has finally won his years-long fight to prevent sand mining on his family cattle station in the Pilbara, after the High Court today ruled in his favour and against the mining company wanting to work near his Minderoo station homestead.

Read more


industry insight

Falling short for the long term

Australia has long been regarded one of the mining innovation capitals of the world, although a

Products & technology

Deal to open doors to international market

An Australian technology that provides cost-effective and rapid new knowledge on orebodies and mineral systems could soon benefit the global mining

People & Projects

Kal expansion for BGC

BGC Cement has reinforced its position as the premier supplier to Western Australia’s mining industry, recently announcing the construction of a major new facility in

Occupational Health & Safety

Dreaming of productivity improvement

It’s well known resource workers suffer from disturbed sleep patterns and high fatigue. Fluctuating schedules and demands of the industry mean many employees are



Forging a lasting legacy

There’s a bucket list to tick off, fish to be caught and golf to be played; but as the clock runs down, Simon Bennison’s mind is still firmly on mineral exploration.

Read more