These days, businesses and offices, as well as people working from home, are always looking for ways to boost their productivity amid the new world brought about by the pandemic. When it comes to improving conditions for workers, most business owners think of listening to employee problems, work flexibility, proper compensation, and opportunities to advance their career paths. Few think of the input that workplace ergonomics has on employee productivity.
Ergonomics is the art of designing the workplace with the limitations and abilities of workers in mind. Ergonomic practices in the workplace optimize employee interactions and make performing duties efficient and easy. Here are ways that ergonomics increase productivity.
1. Ergonomic Desk Setup Make Injuries Less Likely
One of the biggest threats to productivity in the workplace is an increase in injuries, causing an increase in the number of employees who are absent from work. Surprisingly, most of the accidents do not result from lifting heavy items or slipping and falling, but from the strain that comes from repetitive work and stagnating in one place for too long.
The reason repetitive strain injuries are not noticed as quickly as they should is that they develop slowly over time. It’s difficult to track these injuries because they don’t just suddenly happen. They are slow and silent, but before you know it, you’ll start feeling pain in places you didn’t know were under strain.
Workplace injuries can also take time to heal, which can cause employees to leave work for longer periods of time. Not only does this put a strain on the company because of a worker shortage, but potential losses in the form of compensation claims. Companies can deal with the problem by acting preventatively and offering comfortable workstations that promote healthy postures and enough light, which, in turn, help cut down strain and make work easier.
2. Balancing Sitting and Standing Eases Your Pain
Standing desks have become a trend in many workplaces. Most people believe that standing for long hours may help in keeping fit as part of a workout routine. However, standing for long periods of time at work is often counter-productive. Most of the employees end up with back and heel pain.
While it’s good to stand for periods of time during the day, it’s essential that these periods are adequately balanced with sitting down, ideally in an ergonomic chair. That way, you can combat sedentary working while still taking care of your legs and knees, as too much strain can cause joint pain.
There are great solutions to this problem. The pomodoro method is an increasingly popular way to schedule breaks and chunks of work time throughout the day. Why not use it to schedule when you should be standing and sitting? This is a great, flexible tool that you can adjust to accommodate your unique needs.
3. Ergonomic Equipment Increases Employees’ Accuracy
Workers who work in ergonomic workstations concentrate better at what they are doing. In contrast, employees who are uncomfortable tend to get distracted from their work by the discomfort and end up making errors that they would have otherwise not made. This is very important, especially where workers are doing physically demanding jobs or operating machinery.
Small mistakes when operating machinery can lead to wasting valuable supplies and even severe injuries. On the other hand, mistakes when doing calculations, making measurements, and other industrial activities may hurt the quality of the products. Avoid all these scenarios by researching the best postures or sitting positions for your workers and invest in ergonomic furniture and equipment.
4. Comfortable Employees have More Energy, Increased Motivation
Most of the workers who fall sick due to discomfort usually start by complaining of fatigue and muscle aches. This makes them less capable of performing their duties quickly and efficiently. The problem deteriorates with time until they are unable to work at all. They are then forced to take frequent breaks to lie down and stretch to ease aches and muscle strain.
Physical pain not only impacts on bodily output but mental energy, too. Such people are hard to inspire or think through challenges in the workplace. They also cannot come up with innovative ideas.
5. Ergonomic Offices Show Employees that They Are Cared For
Productive ergonomic office design shows that you care about workers' health and well-being. A mere thought that the employer cares about them can have a profound impact on motivation and productivity. In fact, one of the ways to motivate the workers is to show them that you care. It makes them feel indebted to reciprocate with a similar positive gesture.
6. Popular Tools to Make Your Office More Ergonomic
There are a lot of great ergonomic tools on the market today, some more well-known than others. Of course, standing desks and ergonomic chairs are commonly used by workers in the office and increasingly at home.
But there are lots of other tools you can incorporate to make your workday more ergonomic:
- Neck pillow - A neck pillow can give your neck the support it needs even if you don’t have the fanciest office chair. It’s a great way to ensure your upper spine is properly supported...and it’s comfy too!
- LED Lamp - Proper lighting is essential, so it’s best to have a good lamp that lets you illuminate everything on your desk. There are lots of good budget options out there. If you want wide coverage, check out the ultra-wide LED lamp from Autonomous.
- Laptop stand - This is a simple yet effective tool to make sure your screen is set to eye level. This is very important for back and shoulder health, as well as your neck. Keeping your monitor at eye level will encourage you to sit up straight and maintain good posture throughout the day, and laptop stands are a very inexpensive solution.
- Ergonomic keyboard and mouse - Ergonomic keyboards help combat cerebral palsy and keep your fingers and wrists pain-free. They’re a little strange and may take some getting used to, but we’re sure you’ll find them very comfortable to use in the long run. Your other most-used tool, your computer mouse, should also have an ergonomic and comfortable design that lets you move around and grip comfortably.
- A standing mat - This is an important tool for anyone who has a standing desk. The standing mat will help you stay comfortable and easy pressure on your joints for those times that you stand and work at your desk.
There is a strong connection between ergonomics and office productivity. If you are looking for ways to motivate your workers to work harder and better, consider redesigning the workplace to become more comfortable and enhance interactions among workers. It reduces accidents and fatigue and creates a conducive environment for workers to concentrate on what they are doing. If you do not have enough cash for an overhaul, you can gradually redesign the workplace in parts until the whole of it is transformed.
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