Workplace Fatigue: Simple Hoax or Real Threat?

We all had days in which it’s barely 2 o’clock, lunch is barely over and you are absolutely exhausted. While this feeling is absolutely normal after lunch, what do you do when this feeling follows you all day, every day? Workplace tiredness doesn’t necessarily mean physical exhaustion but focuses more on the mental side of things.

This state does not appear solely due to low energy levels, but it also signals a clear lack of motivation. Due to this continuous state of fatigue, people can hardly concentrate and stay organised. If these circumstances keep on longer than a few weeks, in spite of enjoying adequate sleep and feelings of anxiousness and depression start to settle in more and more, then burnout is on its way.

There is no shame in feeling tired at work; there may be some stressful situation at home or simply you did not get enough sleep the night before, it happens. Nevertheless, when the relentless feeling of tiredness has set in for weeks on end then it is time for people to take action. This is your brain trying to tell you that something needs to change in what and how you do things. You might be overworked, stressed or generally unhappy with the state of affairs surrounding you.

Recent research has revealed that fatigue still ranks amongst the top symptoms for both anxiety and depression, with the added bonus of having a better understanding of why our bodies “ask” for more rest. Obviously, these fatigue periods start with a very stressful event that activates the “fight-or-flight” response in our bodies and we start releasing a lot of adrenaline, amongst other hormones. The hormones released in the body alter physiological traits such as heart rate, given the fact that cortisol levels are up whilst serotonin and dopamine are on the back foot. Studies show that there is a clear correlation between stress and neurogenesis (the process of creating neurons) in the hippocampus, which ultimately leads to numerous depression symptoms.

Given all these changes that are happening internally, the theory states that fatigue is simply a coping mechanism. When stress hormones are produced, they usually start the process of “circuit breaking” and simply block glucose intake by receptors in both the hippocampus and the amygdala. Even though this protects the brain from way too much excitement, it does make it incredibly harder to remain happy over longer periods of time and do everything you have planned.

Work fatigue – Slippery Slope towards Burnout

Ironically, the main issue here isn’t that these elements make people feel tired at work, but that they can become so aggravating that the road to burnout becomes shorter and shorter. Burnout can be explained like a constant state of fatigue combined with a deep sense of cynicism, lack of ambition and accomplishment.

A sudden burst in fatigue can mean that people require more time to decompress, rest, and enjoy life. That might mean that the manager may have to offer more resources, more flexible or slowed scheduling, informal get-togethers, or just being more approachable by all members of staff. More often than not, people assume that they’re tired for various other reasons, such as not exercising enough, drinking a bit too much on a night out, etc. They could also say nothing about their prolonged state of exhaustion due to existing stigma around mental health and the desire to look strong and in control.

Managers should also factor in the negative influence on productivity levels and decision making that fatigue can have. The worst thing management can do in this situation is to start pointing fingers and openly criticise people, before even trying to find out what is the source of the dip in productivity. However, this does not mean that accountability should be eradicated, but done after rigorous talks and one-on-one meetings.  Some managers just assume that employees just do not want what is best for them in order to succeed. Everyone deserves a second chance to fix their mishaps and mistakes, while management should focus on eliminating stressors that usually come from operations and organisational culture.

One last thing that a manager should definitely take into account is that every person is unique, which makes the process of identifying stressors even more difficult.  What is stressful for someone may be a cakewalk for someone else and vice versa. Thus, while it’s more than ok to set general goals and standards, managers should be interested in knowing each member of his or her team in order to fully understand what makes them tick and what makes them doubt themselves. Hard work must be put in to create a real and meaningful work relationship so that when employees have a stressful situation on their hands, they’ll be more than comfortable to share their experience and, it goes without saying, that friendship is one of the best stress relievers out there.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

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Workaholics and Their Toxic Mindset

In the United States, the 5th of July is also known as National Workaholics Day. This day has been set more as a means of creating awareness for what is also known as ‘the addiction of the century’. Unfortunately, people still do not know what workaholism is in a time when society praises ‘busy’ people and also view it as an important status symbol.

However, there is a difference between workaholics and hard workers. For example, workaholics are those employees who cannot stop working long hours, even during weekends and vacations. They are physically addicted to their job. On the other hand, hard workers do not put themselves in these types of situations. Of course, they may stay overtime from time to time in order to ensure a deadline is met, but they do not start neglecting their health, their friends and their families.

This issue is of a serious concern to an organisation on multiple facets. On an individual level, workaholics, besides neglecting their health and personal lives, also experience lower levels in regards to job satisfaction and obviously makes it harder for them to achieve a healthier work-life balance. Given the fact that workaholism is an addiction, it is very much similar to alcoholism and other similar addictions in the sense that little enjoyment is had while working. Thus, the organisation may have numerous overworked and unhappy employees.

In a clear domino effect, those unhappy employees will surely affect teams and the company culture in the process. Given the fact that workaholics are always looking to one-up everyone else and they become an issue in terms of teamwork due to the fact that they can’t and won’t work well in a team. Their approach is sometimes extreme and it can usually be seen by a disregard of social norms in terms of collegiality. So what are the differences between hard workers and workaholics?

It is worth mentioning that the difference cannot be summed up simply by the number of hours put in. The problem here revolves around the implications it has on their lives. In a 2015 study published in the “Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services”, it has been revealed that workaholics encounter several problems such as social, psychological and physical complications due to their addiction to work. Additionally, the study discovered that these people are at a huge risk of burning out, are closer to depression, a weaker immune system, very little life satisfaction and deteriorating relationship problems. And the more workaholics work, the consequences are getting bigger. The stress that results from these consequences leads to less productivity. Consequently, less productivity results into longer hours at work. Hard workers, on the other hand, are passionate about their work and always maintain a good work-life balance.

What if you love your work?

Interestingly enough, the majority of workaholics know that their behaviour is detrimental to their job performance and health, but their defence almost always revolves around how much they love their job. The stress and problems that result from workaholism lead to numerous health issues. In an interesting take regarding this problem, studies have been done in order to assess if there is a difference between engaged and unengaged workaholics. The results pretty much speak for themselves. Both sets of workaholics have experienced a higher number of psychosomatic health issues such as headaches, digestive system problems and also more mental health problems i.e. depression, mood swings, sleep deprivation. Unsurprisingly, unengaged workaholics are at a 4.2% higher risk of experiencing these medical complaints. The number itself does not seem like a lot, but when it comes to health risks, it could be a game changer.

Additionally, engaged workaholics have shown more resourcefulness both at home and at the office. They are being offered more social support, from everyone ranging from spouse to manager. Their communication skills are also better developed, with time management skills also in the green.

A proactive mentality is usually a characteristic of employees who have been blessed with intrinsic motivation can help themselves in terms of taking action when they experience even the slightest health problems. On the other hand, when it comes to people with extrinsic motivation, anxiety may transform a workaholic into an even more passive individual who will dwell even more on their unhealthy habits.

Of course, managers are recommended to intervene in such cases. Helping employees discover their intrinsic motivation can help them re-engage with their job and co-workers, who in turn will provide support. Intervention can mean anything ranging from offering them challenging and feasible tasks, discussing their professional development to things such as autonomy and feedback regarding their work.

In the end, the challenge lies in identifying the compulsive workers and prevent the consequences this type of behaviour may have. In layman terms, the focus should be on employee engagement and their ability to ‘switch off’ after office hours. It will definitely help all members of staff to be and feel happy both professionally and personally.

We have an impressive assessment library with hundreds of dimensions that can be leveraged in creating a custom skills-based assessment that supports your organisation’s specific competencies and unique vision. Please contact us if you need to measure the engagement level in your company.




Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment is something people experience on a daily basis, but are too afraid to speak out about it… By law, harassment is described as any unwanted verbal or physical behaviour which are based on ideas such as colour, race, sex, religion, nationality, age, either physical or mental disabilities, and last but not least, gender identity. A harassing behaviour can take many forms which include: slurs, offensive jokes, intimidation, ridicule, insults, name calling, physical threats or assaults, offensive pictures and many more.

Many people encounter harassment even during interviews. It is important to know what rules apply to the employers and what they can and cannot ask you. Moreover, recruiters cannot ask you about your religion, race, marital status, disabilities, ethnic background, country of origin, age or sexual preferences. Next time you’re going into an interview, pay attention at what and how they ask about information regarding yourself.

Unfortunately, anyone can be in a situation where he or she is the harasser or the person being harassed. The harasser can range from being your boss, a co-worker, a supervisor from a different department, or even a non-employee, whilst the victim of the harassment doesn’t necessarily have to be the one directly harassed, but it can be any person in the office who feels affected by the harassing behaviour.

How to Deal with Harassment at the Workplace

Usually, people who are dealing with workplace harassment have the intention of solving the incident internally. The first option would be to approach the offender personally and explain how his behaviour and language have offended you. If you feel uncomfortable with the direct approach, the other option would be to contact your manager or supervisor and ask him to handle the situation before it develops into something more problematic.

Of course, there are cases in which the offender is your manager or supervisor and your only course of action is to contact the HR department or your manager’s boss and request an analysis of the situation.

Types of Harassment

There are numerous ways in which harassment takes place in the workplace. Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be one of the primary courses of harassment, although that does not mean that non-sexual harassment must be treated lightly. It is essential that people understand that harassment at the office can affect them, whether they are victims or not. One way or another it could impact people’s state of mind and even their careers.

As mentioned above, harassment can take many forms at the office. It could vary from being both physical and sexual and ending up with it being based on religion or race.

In the United States, the definition of harassment ranges from state to state. For example, in Florida a court decided that ‘fat jokes’ are offensive, while in Wisconsin and New York harassing people based on their criminal record is against the law. It is obvious that this issue represents a tricky subject everywhere around the world.

Sexual Harassment

This type of harassment does not limit itself to just physical contact or words and just between co-workers of the opposite sex. All of the following examples classify as sexual harassment:

  • Staring in a provocative manner, or whistling.
  • Emails, letters or notes with provocative messages.
  • Obscene videos and images shared with colleagues during a break or at lunch.
  • Expose posters of inappropriate sexual imagery.
  • Sharing sexual anecdotes or lewd jokes with the co-workers.
  • Making offensive remarks about a person’s gender identity.

Non-Sexual Harassment

This type of harassment includes remarks ranging from a person’s physical appearance to his mental disabilities or cultural values. A co-worker can create a hostile work environment by continuously commenting that a person is too old, too stupid or too fat.

If you someone in the workplace is making either racist or negative comments regarding another person in the office is definitely harassment. In this category can also fall drawings, clothing or gestures that hurt or transform someone in a victim at the office. The following examples fall into the category of non-sexual harassment:

  • Making jokes and negative remarks about a co-worker’s religious beliefs, or enforcing one’s own religious views on a person.
  • Racist nicknames, slangs and phrases are all prohibited.
  • ‘Distinguishing’ people at the office by the colour of their skin or ethnic characteristics.
  • Talking about cultural or religious stereotypes in an offensive manner.

So, having read all this, next time you are a victim of sexual harassment or notice a colleague in this situation, you will know how to recognise it and take action.

The Great People Inside employee assessment solutions and technology can be tailored to your company’s specific needs and organisational culture and can help you to boost the levels of job-fit and skill-use in your employees, generating job satisfaction, improved motivation, health and happiness, and boost employee retention.

Try out our assessment in order to measure the level of wellbeing in your organisation and find out the best approach to improve it.







Why is freelancing so popular these days?


Freelancing is becoming a more and more common practice in this day and age because of the simple fact people get to ditch the routinely 9 to 5 schedule. In a study conducted by the HR service Paychex, the freelancer market has shown rapid growth. This surge in the freelancing market couldn’t have been foreseen back in 80s or 90s. To put things into perspective, between 2000 and 2014 the freelancer workforce has grown by 500% according to the same report from Paychex. This type of work environment has become possible due to the rise of startups, millennials and their pursuit for a more flexible work schedule. The economic recession and the continuous development of technology have also been key for this shift to occur.

At the moment, there are around 53 million freelancers working in the United States. Out of them all, 14.3 million are people who have full-time jobs, but also perform freelancer tasks when time allows it – they are also known as “moonlighters”. Another 9.3 million people do freelancing in combination with part-time jobs. The remaining people are working as full-time freelancers going from project to project. By 2020, it is estimated that over 40% of the workforce available in America will be pursuing independent work.

Given these numbers and the growing desire for more control over their own schedules, there now are co-working spaces specifically designed for freelancers. It is a well-known fact that working from home can become uncomfortable and maybe just a little bit depressing. In the U.S. this issue is beginning to be tackled, especially in large cities. For example, WeWork has become one of the most popular providers of common workspace for freelancers and has also started expanding outside the United States. They have concentrated on creating the best working atmosphere for everyone around, competing with the best startups. They provide independent workers with things such as fresh fruit, arcade games and even beer on tap. Why wouldn’t anyone want to be a freelancer these days?

Although some people may consider freelancing as a way of avoiding the real working world, businesses actually thrive on finding specific talent for particular projects and needs and with the advantage of a smaller fee. Instead of going through the hassle of interviewing and recruiting someone new (and all that comes with it), companies can now find consultants for each and every project they have. And more often than not, that person has more time to deal with arising issues when that happens.

It is important for people to understand that the freelancing world isn’t about “temporary” work. These people are highly experienced, professional and very engaged with the tasks they have to perform. All they want is more flexibility and most of time they get what they want.

There are also platforms that connect freelance workers with multinational organisations or even small local businesses. A primary example of this type of business is Upwork, a company which manages to connect 3.6 million organisations with over 9 million freelancers from all around the world (180 countries to be more precise). This platform allows large corporations to hire people when the need for a full-time employer isn’t justified and the need for cost control is very important. Small businesses profit from this service as well, especially when they require help with their finances, marketing strategy or even a product launch.

The industry of freelancing is highly evolved, given the fact that there are websites where you can hire people to do your daily menial tasks such as: house repairs, cleaning and running errands of any kind. TaskRabbit is known to offer people this type of service. Amazon is also in this area of business helping people with moving, cleaning, shopping and repairs.

But as with anything in this world, there must also be a downside. Although there are numerous platforms for people to find a job or get help in various activities, due to the increased number of such platforms and the obvious competition that ensues, many of the jobs available do not reach the living wage, which can be difficult for many people.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:







Preventing Burnout in 5 Easy Steps

If you’ve been working in the past few years, you’ve probably heard about the term “burnout” and you should know that it is directly related to stress revolving around work. The general definition for burnout describes it as a combination of 3 factors: mental, emotional and physical fatigue combined with serious doubtfulness regarding your competence and value of work. Everyone has a couple of coworkers who stay for way too long at the office after the business hours have ended. Of course, this is understandable if they have an important contract to honour, a project deadline that cannot be pushed any further, or maybe they are just really dedicated. No harm, no foul until the stress from the actions mentioned above can transform itself into a serious case of burnout.

Entrepreneurs are flying into the face of danger due to their working program, which usually is 24/7/365. Given the fact that they are trying to build a serious company from the ground up and have to deal with issues left and right, the stress that is building up inside them can lead to a serious burnout.

Thankfully, nowadays there are many ways in which you can identify if you’re starting to experience burnout symptoms. They are pretty easy on the eye if you feel you are heading towards complete exhaustion. Here is a list of a few early signs of a potential burnout:

  • Huge amount of stress and anxiety
  • Low engagement or lack of it
  • You’re more cynical than usual
  • Not enough sleep
  • No breaks during the day
  • The feeling that there aren’t enough hours in a workday
  • Consistent physical illness


These are 5 easy steps you should follow in order to get back on track on your own terms:


  1. Take frequent breaks during office hours

People sometimes fail to understand that it is an art to accomplish top workplace performance. You cannot remain at 100% during all of your working hours, which is why it is important to give your brain a bit of a break; it needs a recharge, just like your smartphone does. If you have a more flexible work arrangement, go for a run or a walk in nearby park. Try and have lunch outside the office space, it will allow you to decompress and maybe see the bigger picture. Needless to say, you need to careful when taking a break as well. Avoid doing so when your brain activity is at its highest, more often than not, this happens in the morning.

  1. Distance yourself from digital devices

Before the era of smartphones, gadgets and various wearables, when you left the office that meant you were done for the day. Even if you wanted to work from home, that required a lot of planning and effort. Now, we never really leave the workplace, because we are physiologically and psychologically very much still connected. Although it may seem difficult to get rid of this problem, there actually is an easy solution for it. As soon as you arrive home, either leave your phone somewhere in the hallway or even turn it off after a certain hour. You must understand that whatever you want to do CAN wait until tomorrow.

  1. Plan something interesting right after work

Whether this activity involves playing football with your friends or cooking with your loved one, it will make you focus on that particular action rather than telling yourself you shouldn’t check your emails every 10 minutes. You may as well want to be transform yourself into a couch potato as soon as you get home, but engaging in something more meaningful like a jigsaw puzzle or studying a new language will give you a better feel factor.

  1. Take a longer weekend from time to time

If you start to feel weak both physically and mentally, maybe that’s your body’s way of telling you it’s time for a longer break. Instead of taking a long vacation, try and constantly give yourself 3 or 4-day weekends. It is vital you don’t interact with anything related to work. It ruins the whole concept of a mini-vacation.

  1. Focus on the meaningful work you wish to do

There are some times when you simply cannot get some time off work. It happens to everyone and there is no need to panic. Instead, try and find a deeper meaning for the task at hand. Maybe you can correlate it with a personal or professional goal of yours. The reasons may vary from: getting the job promotion you wanted or simply preventing yourself from procrastinating. But keep in mind that this is just a temporary fix to the problem. If you are really stressed and lack any sort of energy, take a real break.


We have an impressive assessment library with hundreds of dimensions that can be leveraged in creating a custom skills-based assessment that supports your organisation’s specific competencies and unique vision. Please contact us if you need to measure the engagement level in your company.