Although it's counterintuitive, a desk job takes a toll on the human body over time. In the short run, it can cause joint stiffness, and in the long run, it can lead to muscular skeletal issues. If you're a manager, creating a comfortable and ergonomically healthy work environment has many benefits for both your company and your employees.
Office ergonomics for employee productivity
Enhancing office ergonomics has two primary benefits when it comes to employee productivity:
- Improved comfort - If your employees have to get up and walk around once an hour to relieve back pain, they're not working. Even if your employees aren't leaving their desks, they might be putting their work aside frequently to stretch their shoulders and necks. Creating an ergonomic office environment that optimizes comfort will reduce these types of interruptions and help to improve productivity.
- Job satisfaction - Employees who feel that the company has their best interest in mind are more committed workers. If you invest in the health and well being of your employees with office ergonomics, they will invest more time and effort in their work.
Next time you purchase office furniture, take the time to research ergonomic options that will allow your employees to work more efficiently and take fewer breaks.
Office ergonomics for employee health
In addition to increasing productivity, office ergonomics can reduce the number of sick days your employees take. In the long run, they could even help you lower your employee health insurance costs, because your workers won't be developing the long-term problems associated with sitting at poorly designed work spaces. Purchasing ergonomic office furniture helps reduce the incidence of issues such as:
- Back pain
- Neck strain
- Repetitive injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Eye strain
Properly designed desks, chairs and keyboards can help reduce or eliminate some of these problems, but it is also important to consider factors such as computer placement. Many desktop monitors are too far away, causing eye strain and headaches. The angle of the monitor is important, as well. When an employee has to tilt his head back to view the screen, he can develop neck and back pain issues.
Think outside the box
Consider ergonomic desk that mimics natural reading habits. Flat-screen computer monitors can be angled so that your employees' eyes look down comfortably. A screen that is lower than the desktop also allows a worker to glance between the keyboard and the monitor without moving his or her head.
A flat-panel display below the desktop, like the NOVA Solutions Downview, also provides more usable desk space. As office spaces continue to shrink, this smart use of space will become increasingly important.
Fortunately, creating a comfortable work environment is not difficult or expensive. While innovative desk technology may come with a slightly higher price tag, the benefits to your company's bottom line are increased productivity and fewer missed days of work. Add employee satisfaction to this mix, and it's clear that office ergonomics should not be ignored.
Create an ergonomically healthy office environment with the BIFMA's Ergonomic Guidelines.
Photo Credit: joelogon