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6 Types of Workplace Drug Tests on the Rise

6 Types of Workplace Drug Tests on the Rise

Employers testing workers for drug use is on the rise, and it’s not uncommon to be asked for a sample before joining a job. There are a lot of reasons why an employer would ask for a drug test before an employee joins their team. For example, to ensure worker safety, to lower medical costs, to keep productivity steady, or simply to follow state protocol. It’s interesting how drug testing has increased over the last 5 years with more companies joining the trend. If you do a quick search online, you’ll read extensive content on this topic and will also learn more about its importance.

I was thinking about incorporating random drug testing in my organization so decided to research this topic. I was surprised when I found that there are so many different types of tests being administered by companies. I know this would be a great topic to write about especially if you own a business or are planning on implementing such a practice soon.

Let’s explore some of the most common types below.

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First, I’d like to introduce the following chart on random drug testing

    1. Reasonable Suspicion

    This type of drug testing is administered in the workplace only if an employer suspects an employee is using drugs. There are many things which would force an employer to believe this: like lower production, aggressive behavior, or even lack of coordination (mainly construction). If you observe the chart above, you’ll notice how 80% of employers are administered drug tests because of suspicious behavior. This makes sense especially when someone who has been working with you for a certain period of time suddenly experiences a great change in productivity compared to before.

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    2. Post-Accident Testing

    This follows the same pattern as someone who starts drinking after a traumatic event has occurred in their life. If someone has been injured away from work or even on the job, then this can lead to increased likelihood of drug use. This is why many companies will monitor medical expenses of employees to see what they are getting help for. If something stands out as a life-changing event, then they’ll most likely start administering random drug tests. In the end, this is to ensure the employee’s own safety, and so the employee can receive the right kind of help.

    On the chart, you can see how 73% of companies have implemented testing to monitor post-accident situations.

    3. Random Testing

    Mainly administered in sports teams, but increasingly in companies to keep productivity and employee safety high. Random drug testing used to be an issue especially when employees were not aware this would happen, but now companies are making sure new employees are well aware before joining. Random drug testing can occur at any time to make sure employees are clean. 46% of companies are now random testing which is up from 39% in 2006.

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    4. For Cause Testing

    Sometimes, companies will require employees to be tested because they are taking on a sensitive project. For example, if your company is working on a third-party project for an external client, then they might require drug testing for anyone working on their project. This is not uncommon for companies like Apple which manufacture products in China and so will require everyone on the line to be tested. 41% of companies require for cause testing, and this has grown ever since outsourcing increased within the last couple of years.

    5. Follow-up Testing

    If you have been tested and failed the random drug test, then the company has many options available to them. Some will fire you on the spot, while others will require you go into treatment for a specific duration. You’ll either be sent to a third party treatment center or receive help in-house, however, after successful completion of treatment, you will be retested. The follow-up testing can happen immediately, and at a higher frequency too.

    The rate of follow-up testing is currently 30%.

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    6. Baseline Testing

    If companies allow workers to use recreational drugs, then a baseline level needs to be considered. This means employees will be initially tested to establish a baseline level, and then tested against this level going forward. Anything above the acceptable baseline level will demand consequences. Baseline testing is a new thing which is why it’s at the bottom of the chart and many companies have not yet implemented it. The states which allow recreational marijuana are the ones that have a baseline policy in place.

    Final Thoughts

    I believe drug tests can be a vital tool in making sure high levels workplace safety are maintained. It’s also a great way to ensure productivity doesn’t suffer so you can stay competitive in your niche. The only problem I see is testing the employees who didn’t agree to this policy before joining the company. But, those not doing drugs don’t have to worry and are happy to be tested. Going forward, the company has to make it clear to new employees that random tests might occur while employed.

    Featured photo credit: blog.employersolutions.com via blog.employersolutions.com

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    Rizvan Ullah

    Online Blogger

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

    How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

    We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

    So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

    While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

    Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

    What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

    How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

    But what does being productive actually entail?

    Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

    Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

    It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

    Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

    9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

    1. Avoid Multitasking

    Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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    Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

    If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

    2. Turn off Notifications

    According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

    Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

    The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

    Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

    3. Manage Interruptions

    There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

    Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

    If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

    By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

    4. Eat the Frog

    Mark Twain once famously said that:

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    “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

    What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

    We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

    Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

    5. Cut Down on Meetings

    Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

    You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

    The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

    But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

    If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

    6. Utilize Tools

    Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

    If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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    And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

    Some examples of tools that could be used:

    Communication
    • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
    • Samepage for video conference software.
    • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
    Task Management
    • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
    • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
    • Wekan for an open source option.
    Database Management
    Time Tracking
    • Clockify for a free tracker.
    • TMetric for workspace integrations.
    • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

    You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

    7. Declutter and Organize

    Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

    Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

    Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

    Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

    8. Take Breaks

    Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

    As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

    Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

    Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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    9. Drink Water

    Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

    Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

    Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

    A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

    If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

    You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

    The Bottom Line

    The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

    After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

    In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

    A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

    Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    More About Boosting Productivity

    Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

    Reference

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