Why ergonomics is a big deal
Ergonomics refers to the way people move around certain environments, and how those environments can affect what they do. The way a space works can have more of an effect on people than you realise, and maintaining excellent ergonomics can be the difference between being comfortable or awkward in the workplace.
Many people think of ergonomics as specially adapted tables and chairs, but there’s a bit more to it than that. It refers to a variety of environmental influences. from the way things are places to the style of your mouse and keyboard.
Below, we take a closer look at why all companies should be considering their own ergonomics.
Affects your workforce
Your workers are a top priority when it comes to your company, so making sure they are able to work efficiently and effectively is key. Any discomfort or needless obstacles could distract them from their tasks and thus taint the workload they have with delays. It’s worth having a talk with your team to make sure everyone is happy with the current set up, in order to make them feel comfortable flagging up any issues that might exist.
If the bulk of your team are sat at computers all day, you need to make sure their seating and tables work for them, and extra accessories, such as back or wrist supports should always be to hand. If your workers are on their feet a lot then you should have a clear rest area and, if possible, everything they need to do their job should be within close proximity to them.
Affects your business
Ergonomics is important inside a business, but is also needed outside a business too. If your premises receives a lot of different visitors, it’s important to consider their comfort as well. In terms of furnishings, you will want to make use of as much space as you can, but at the same time you don’t want everything to be cramped.
If your business is in the retail sector you will need to make sure that your customers can reach everything they might wish to view or purchase, and that they can get in and out without any fuss. If your business is more one-to-one, you need to make sure your meeting area provides comfortable seating and suitable presentational equipment so they feel right at home.
Health and safety
Being a business, there are plenty of rules and regulations you need to abide by to ensure that both your staff and your customers are happy and healthy, and some fall under the ergonomic category. For instance, all fire exits need to be clear of obstacles and even though you might be able to fit a certain amount of desks into an office, it might be worth fitting less to give staff more space, with specially designed relaxation areas.
As well as needing a space that you can move around with ease, you also need to ensure that your staff don’t suffer any strains from their environment. This commonly refers to eye and wrist strain, which can both be prevented. If you’re not sure about what your exact responsibilities are, when it comes to certain regulations within your sector, you should speak to a specialist who can talk you through it.
It’s not too hard to create a space that works for everyone, and it doesn't cost much more than creating a bog standard set up.
To help you out, here’s five quick top tips to use when considering your companies ergonomics:
1) Talk to your staff about their comfort
2) Think carefully about the layout of your premises
3) Consider investing in specialised furnishings
4) Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
5) Be clued up on all health and safety guidelines