Posted on January 19, 2021
How to Make an Office Ergonomic
Office Ergonomic is commonly referred to as sitting techniques. However, the list goes beyond your chair and the way you position yourself. Ergonomics goal is to make your employees get used to their workplace. It also guarantees their safety, health and enhances productivity. In as much as an office requires organizational ergonomics, cognitive and physical ergonomics are critical too.
What is ergonomic training?
Training is the most critical part of an operational ergonomic progression. Ergonomics call for the team’s abilities to assess and fix any problems emanating from your workplace.
What category of staff needs ergonomic training?
1. The safety ergonomic team
Ergonomic training in this sect is to equip the team with the ability to identify risks solely. Identification is based on the stipulated assessment risk. They also work on investigating, prioritizing, and provide chances for ergonomic improvements.
Moreover, if there are new tasks to be designed, the safety team shall ensure it hinges on the ergonomic principles. As such, they will communicate with the employees about ergonomics and educate them if relevant.
For example, if you lived in Allentown, PA, to Allentown employees, Allentown ergonomic training is all about discomfort signs and filing reports. Ergonomic training will also enable them to make suggestions on controlling ergonomic risk issues and detecting future hazards.
Whether it is within an office or outside, the work of a supervisor is to ensure the smooth running of activities. Orchestrating ergonomic training on them will help them detect incongruities. Consequently, they can direct ergonomic policies within the workplace. Supervisors will also encourage the early reporting of fatigue. Accordingly, they will see non-verbal signs of difficulties among employees and act appropriately.
What are the types of ergonomics?
1. Physical ergonomics
Physical ergonomics is the most valuable type of ergonomics. All employees need physical comfort to discharge services. Its Centre of focus is on how employees use tools. That’s either desktops, chairs, or even other computer equipment that maybe be required.
2. Cognitive ergonomics
Cognitive abilities are the key to productivity and speedy brain functioning. The memory abilities, reasoning, and reflexes affect the mode of interaction between customer and employee. Ergonomic training in this sect will help in reducing stress and promote more reliability.
3. Organizational ergonomics
Organizational ergonomics deal with optimizing technical systems. It also encompasses layouts, structures, and strategies. Your team enjoys the overall benefit of ergonomic training. They get insights on how to keep themselves safe and healthy while they are working.
With all that said, how do you make your office ergonomically organized?
Since offices are all about layout and structure as well, they hinge a lot on organizational ergonomics. The way your office seats and peripheral devices are arranged matters to a great extent.
Considering that you have imparted ergonomic training on your employees, risk assessment becomes their duty. Determining whether the seating is comfortable for employees is encompassed in the evaluation. Should there be any inconveniences, the employees must inform their employers of the defects.
Herein are some ways of making your office more ergonomic
1. Optimize your office furniture
Optimizing your office furniture is the goal of making the environment ergonomic and efficient. Since most office work is done while seated, furniture that jeopardizes employee well-being should be replaced. Luckily there is ergonomic office furniture.
These chairs features are far different from regular office seats. They enable the worker to sit upright, supporting their lower back, neck, hips, and thighs. Being able to sit comfortably promotes the proper circulation of blood. Consequently fostering high cognition and strength.
b) Use ergonomic desks
Ergonomic desks are specially designed to be shortened or even raised. It works best in reducing your sitting time during a workday. As such, you can extend it and still when you feel uncomfortable while seated.
According to NHS, sitting for long periods within a day is harmful. Their research shows that the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes is imminent, should you sit for long. Additionally, you become vulnerable to musculoskeletal injuries, back pain, and also repetitive strain injuries.
Ergonomic management of office computers
1. Use laptop stands
When using a laptop stand, you have a firm base. The base allows you to raise and put the screen in the most comfortable position. As a result, it reduces neck strains and makes your work less strenuous.
2. Position your office monitors suitably
The ergonomic training on employees is aimed at fatigue detection, among others. In this case, wrongly positioned monitors can cause neck and shoulder pains. For a good ergonomic office, placing the monitor 20 inches from you will be effective. Setting it too far will cause eyestrain and slouching to read what’s on screen.
On the angle of placement, it should be 15 -20 degrees. A different angle will coerce you to twist a neck at a bad grade, causing neck strains. Most monitors have permanent stands. However, there are plenty of monitor stands in the market which can be improvised.
3. Try out document holders.
Office work that involves computers, at times, will demand one to make references from documents while typing. Positioning these documents at random positions while working can cause neck strains. Since you will need to bend to see what’s on the papers. A document holder places the document at a better viewing angle. It allows you to read and type with a straight neck.
4. Ensure you use good keyboards and mouse
While it may require you to get proper placement of these gadgets, sometimes ditching them can be the best course of action. It would help if you had ergonomic devices. Office staffs are prone to tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Badly enough, the infections are a product of poor keyboards and wrong mice positions.
For an ergonomic office, distance diktats where you should site your keyboard. Sufficed to say, your keyboard must be accessible with your elbows at your sides. Also, its angle should be tilted away from you.
In terms of height, your wrists should be straight and parallel to the floor. You should choose to buy Ergonomic keyboards and mice and make your hands assume natural working positions accordingly.
The mouse reduces tension in your fingers that can lead to nerve damage and pain. The mice imitators a handclasp. Thus, there is no need to kink your wrists while using it.
5. Organize your office cables
In as much as wireless gadgets are growing prominent, cables are still lingering. It’s not uncommon to find offices with cables and wires crosswise the flooring. It’s a big risk for employees. However, management can be done. That involves using cable bins and spines to store the cables. Consequently, it creates a safe office that fruits from ergonomic training.
6. Invest in CPU supports
Computers are coherent in every office. However, many offices lack the means to store them in the right positions. It’s therefore not bizarre to find them placed on the floor.
Nonetheless, when using a CPU holder, you get to mount your PC below your station of work. Placing them on the flow is only a recipe for employees tripping over cables. It may also cause electrical malfunctioning, such as shots, which can be hazardous.
Layouts, air conditioning, and environment ergonomics
1. Organize your office into sects
Your office can be arranged in different styles for different needs. The tasks you are to do in a day can run smoothly as long as they align with your office arrangement. Your desk is always your dashboard. Sufficed to say, items that you need must be within your desk’s reach. For this reason, you have to divide your workspace into three main zones.
a) Zone 1
With the first zone, items that are here must be reachable with just a hand stretch. It’s the zone ideal for keyboards and mice.
b) Zone 2
This is the area that you can reach for documents or telephone. It’s also ideal for items that you need to use frequently.
c) Zone 3
This is the zone that you place completed tasks and other ornaments. That can be trophies or family photos. Organizing your office in such a way reduces congestion in one place. It also makes the working environment more comfortable to work from.
2. Optimize your working environment
An ergonomic office is no different from any other regular office without proper environment optimization. The office lighting and temperature are the drivers towards ergonomics. The air conditioning in the office is also a matter of great concern.
Intense fluorescent lights can cause eye damage. Dim light, on the other hand, will cause eyestrain. So, for an ergonomic office, it will be wise if you try natural lighting.
If natural light is inaccessible, you should try out artificial lighting. According to GSA, standard lighting must be 500 lumens per square meter. Still, in terms of the office environment, you should add a little greenery to your office.
b) Temperature and air quality
Since every worker has their temperature preference, setting the most favorable to everyone will be ideal. Air conditioning, on the other hand, is a major concern. Currently, indoor pollution is rising. The age of your office construction materials and molds can cause bad air. As a result, it can cause flu and exacerbate respiratory ailments. For an ergonomic office, you should invest in a good air conditioner and quality filters.
Why is office ergonomics essential?
Bad office ergonomics can negatively impact your employees as well as your business. Lacking office ergonomics shall cause workplace injuries and even health damages.
Some of the health problems include?
1. Numbness on fingers and wrists
2. Soreness on joints
3. Neck and back pains with muscle cramps
4. Damaged vision
On the Other hand, musculoskeletal disorders are a long-term effect of working in a static position. Your office equipment must allow alternate working positions. At times the disease may also result from monotonous movements.
Benefits of office ergonomics
1. Proper service delivery and customer response
Of course, any worker who is not feeling comfortable will have cognitive anomalies. Being in a perfect set place raises the mood and, thus, good service delivery.
2. Promotes productivity
Productivity relies on the general health of your office workers. Health depends on the office ergonomic setting. Having ergonomic equipment will reduce absenteeism due to health and fatigue.
3. Creates a safe environment
Office ergonomics shows your employees that you are committed to improving their safety and health concerns. It promotes a safe culture within your office. Fostering this culture will enhance your office’s work output.
Is office ergonomic training worth it?
Retrospectively is ergonomics worth approaching? Yes, it is not just essential for your business. It’s worth it for your employees. As a good manager, the wellbeing of your office staff comes first, and so does ergonomic training.
How do I ergonomically set my office?
1. Chair selection
The process starts with the office chair. Your chair must provide anchorage for your lower back and protect your spine. It should also give room to rest your arms.
The second step involves your desk. It must provide room for your thigh and allow movement of feet and thighs. The desk should also be raised to keep your mice and keyboard at the appropriate height.
3. Monitor positioning
Thirdly, monitor placement depends on your vision. Whether you are long-sighted or short-sighted, your monitor needs to be in line with your vision.
4. Keyboard and mouse selection
Hard keyboards can be stressful. It would be best if you used rubber keyboards that are easy to work with. Additionally, it would help if you placed it on a flat surface. The mice, on the other hand, must embrace a handshake to avoid extreme wrist twisting. If not, consider using wide surfaced mats that allow easy movement of writing rather than twisting.
Every office, despite its work nature, needs to perpetuate an ergonomic environment. However, despite the workspace being well designed, employers must ensure ergonomic settings are followed. For this reason, it’s imperative to conduct ergonomic training on your office staff.
To increase productivity and staff health, you have to consider office ergonomics. Additionally, you should confirm if your teams are comfortable with the ergonomic training equipment. The fancy equipment won’t work if they are still slouching.