Fighting off festive fatigue

Managing fleet fatigue business motoring
Managing fleet fatigue business motoring

Do you remember December 24 last year? If you’re running a business, it was probably a blur that ended long after 5 pm and left you and your team exhausted for the next two days.

After three months of lockdown, many businesses have been scrambling to recover lost revenue as customers emerge from their spending slumber to reinvigorate the economy and get back to their normal lives. So, without some planning now, the next few weeks could drive you and your crew to exhaustion.

Depending on your business type, there’ll be several things that could cause the wheels to come off due to fatigue in the rush leading up to Christmas. One of them is people. Your staff may be feeling re-energised at the moment after getting back to normal trading conditions. However, they’ll still need to eat, take breaks and look after their health to stay 100% productive, especially when the Christmas crunch period hits.

The other resource that’s often overlooked is motor vehicles. When they’re being overworked without proper care and attention, they can break down more frequently. And the lost productivity from a car/truck/van sitting on the side of the road will always cost more than some preventative maintenance.

Here are our top 5 tips for you and your team to avoid festive fatigue in December as the silly season kicks into full swing:

1. Don’t skip lunch

Taking time for lunch gives you a half-time break to recharge and reassess your list of priorities for the afternoon. If you’re on the road, stop at a park and get out of the car to eat. The break will give you an opportunity to stretch, get some fresh air or take a short walk.

2. Consider the rhythm of the road

After three months of COVID lockdowns, traffic volumes and driving behaviours have changed. Leading into Christmas, people may return to the office five days a week, or continue to work from home either some of the week or Monday to Friday. All of these scenarios will impact the rhythm of the road. So, it’s a good idea to reassess your regular routes each week in December to ensure they’re still the quickest.   

3. Make the most of the summer sun

It took COVID and rolling lockdowns for most people to realise that the 9 to 5 routine isn’t necessarily the most productive anymore. To make the most of the summer sun, consider running split shifts or extending trading hours to spread the load over a longer period. Staff may be willing to vary their hours so they can have flexibility, and customers will love you for adapting to their new lifestyles.

4. Find your car person

Someone in your business will love cars. Use that passion during the busy period to monitor your fleet. Put them in charge of looking out for issues that may cause a breakdown at a time when you can’t afford to have a vehicle off the road. They can make sure the routine services have been carried out, conduct visual checks for damage or tyre wear, and talk to drivers and line managers about fatigue and road safety. If they’re passionate about it, and you provide them with a little extra incentive, they’ll do a great job while still performing their other core tasks. 

5. Do some pre-season planning

Lockdown impacted us in ways that will only become apparent over the next few years. If your staff aren’t ready to perform at their best when you need them, the Christmas rush will feel harder than it needs to be. Start by looking at last year. What happened? What worked? What caused issues? Talk to your team and ask them for ideas. Even if you’re already feeling a bit overwhelmed, spare some time to step back and look for a better way.

The festive season will provide great opportunities for recovering some revenue lost during lockdown and a little pre-planning can ensure that it’s a safe and profitable time for everyone.

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