We’re all guilty of succumbing to poor ergonomics in the workplace. Whether we’re hunched over our computer screens or sitting in an uncomfortable chair, bad ergonomics can lead to a host of problems like headaches, neck pain, and fatigue. But did you know that poor ergonomics can also lead to decreased productivity and less engaged employees?
As the workforce shift back to the office, ergonomics are more important than ever to ensure employees are productive and comfortable. By making a few simple changes to the workplace, we can create an environment that is better for both employees and businesses.
Here are some core ideas to hold on to.
Modern ergonomics is a scientific field dedicated to optimizing comfort, safety, and efficiency throughout various human tasks. Professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, Alan Hedge, is one such expert dedicated to the field. His research has distilled into a mnemonic of the 20-8-2 rule— 20 minutes work, 8 minutes break, 2 minutes stretching activities. Workplaces that incorporate this rule benefit by boosting productivity and reducing fatigue.
Source Credit: Professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, Alan Hedge
Furthermore, proper posture while sitting and standing can help reduce strain on your body and can also contribute to being alert and focused for an extended period of time. It is also recommended to keep your back straight, support yourself with a cushion, keep elbows bent at 90° angles, maintain wrists in a neutral position and position your monitor at an arm’s length away from you.
Practising proper ergonomics is necessary for better body postural alignment, enhanced performance and overall well-being in the long run. All of this together can result in feeling healthy both mentally and physically which leads to successful outcomes.
Ergonomic furniture is essential for many different work contexts to ensure maximum productivity and a healthy working environment. Educating and reminding employees of proper posture, arrangement of equipment and regular stretching between tasks is a great start however integrating ergonomic furniture into different office setups can take employee wellness to the next level.
As an example, desks with built-in technological features, such as phone connections or charging ports, can serve both as a reminder of the importance of ergonomics when it comes to computer work tasks, while also aiding in comfort by making materials and technology easily accessible at eye level while seated.
Additionally, conference calling desk setups often require multiple screens with special risers to accommodate height differences between users; ergonomically designed furniture helps make these setups more user-friendly and comfortable.
Similarly, adjustable height desks that accommodate different types of paperwork requirements can help reduce back pain typically associated with repeated movements from paper‐heavy processes.
Finally, ergonomic chairs designed for conference calling discussions can provide additional lumbar support and stereo sound amplification that encourages collaborative conversations without causing physical discomfort. Overall, having ergonomically designed desks and other furniture for workplace use is one way to promote healthy lifestyle habits among employees.
By investing in ergonomic furniture and taking the time to create an ergonomic workstation, employers can see a decrease in absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, and health care costs. This is on top of improved morale and engagement. For employees, ergonomics can lead to increased productivity, fewer injuries, and less pain.
Until now, ergonomics had yet to be used in full capacity in the corporate world; recognizing its value will give employers an edge on the competition as they ensure workers’ safety while looking ahead towards future trends.
At JOS, we are committed to helping our clients create healthy and productive workplaces. We offer a wide range of services including office design consultation, space planning, material specification, installation, on-site support, and much more.
The office of the future needs to consider optimizing office space and improving flexibility, the promise of the long-term office plan to reduce businesses’ carbon footprint, and the potential development of smart offices. Some new metrics to consider are employee satisfaction, performance, flexibility, sustainability and digitization.
Looking at office trends beyond 2023 requires forward-thinking by management which is only possible through a successful workplace strategy.
Here at JOS, we specialize in ergonomic furniture and have a team of experts who can help you find the best solution for your needs. We offer consultations to assess your situation and recommend the best products and practices for your specific circumstances.