Creating An Ergonomic Workplace to Boost Productivity

Are you looking to increase productivity in the office while improving the working conditions of your employees? There is a direct correlation between how productive employees are and the conditions in which they are expected to work.

For increased reliability, improved working conditions, and quality of work, you need to focus on your office’s ergonomics.

What Exactly Is An Ergonomic Office?

Ergonomics is the scientific study of the type of work you do, the environment in which you work, and the instruments you use to complete your tasks effectively. One of the goals of office ergonomics is to ensure that you and your workplace are both comfortable while doing your job duties.

An ergonomic office is designed for each individual that works in it to allow them to do their job easier without undue stress and support their natural body positions. The thing with ergonomics is that it isn’t a one size fits all, and to get the maximum benefit, each employee needs to be assessed separately and provisions made for them based on what they need to do their job.

Why Do You Need An Ergonomic Office?

An ergonomic office means that even though your employees may spend hours at a time behind a desk, they are not bound to a life of neck and back pain or stiff wrists and fingers. Working in an office environment with proper office ergonomics — such as the optimal chair height, adequate equipment space, and decent workstation posture — may keep your employee’s comfortable while at work.

Creating an ergonomic office allows you to reduce work-related injury resulting in fewer sick days taken, a decrease in painful ailments that can hinder people during their working day and reduce stress levels. Employees with lower stress levels who are confident their employers care about their needs in the office typically work better and are more productive than those who don’t feel valued.

Valuing employees is about more than thanking them for a job well done; it is paying attention to what they need to do that job and being considerate of them as human beings, not just a number on the payroll.

When creating your ergonomic office, you can consult with enterprise office solutions to find the right space for you if your current office is suitable for your purpose. Once you have found an area that is sufficient for your needs, you can add ergonomic furniture.

What Parts of The Office Can You Make Ergonomic?

Desk

Your workstation is the hub for all of your work-related devices. When looking for a workstation that fits your industry and your body, numerous aspects come into play. First and foremost, note its height. Not sure of your desk height? Create an ergonomic workspace using tools like Ergotron’s workspace planner. You can also pick between a standard and a standing desk. The planner will calculate your measurements and give you your optimal seat, keyboard, monitor, and height in inches. 

Chair

A good chair doesn’t just need to be comfortable; it needs to be supportive too and in many different ways.

  • Armrests – people need to be able to rest their arms when not typing or writing. Armrests should be in a position where elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Adjustable – If you cannot adjust your desk height, you need to allow employees to be able to adjust their chair height.
  • Cushioned – your office chairs need to be cushioned to be comfortable for sitting for long periods every day. Breathable memory foam is optimal.
  • Lumbar Support – As the small of your back curves, so should the lower back of your chair allow for maximum support. If this isn’t possible, a lumbar support cushion can be a great alternative.
  • Adjustable Back – the chair’s back needs to be adjustable and positioned leaning slightly forward to avoid slouching backwards.
  • Swivel Wheels – the chair should be able to move quickly to avoid strain from reaching too far or physically having to move the chair into position.

Keyboard

When setting up your workspace, keep your mouse and keyboard close by. It’s crucial not to strain or feel uncomfortable when using these devices. The “B” key should be aligned with your belly button.

The keys should be near your fingertips. This reduces the typing reach. Therefore, you need to look for keyboards with natural arcs. A keyboard with a palm lift and a cushioned wrist rest is helpful for better body alignment.

Monitor

You’ll also want to consider where to place your monitor while arranging your workspaces. The top of your display should be just below eye level for the best ergonomics. This reduces neck strain and prevents glare from entering the eyes. Consider using two monitors for better workflow, but make sure both monitors are positioned for easy viewing.

Temperature

It will be nearly impossible for you to get the right office temperature for everyone; there is no denying it. But it is widely considered that 21.5°C is optimal and more comfortable for most people. If people need to be warmer, position them away from open windows or doors and vice versa for those who prefer it to be cooler.

Equipment Placement

To reduce the amount of reaching they have to do, employees keep essential items close to them, such as the phone, stapler, and printed paperwork. Take a few steps forward to reach anything challenging to get comfortably while seated.

Frequent Breaks

As previously stated, prolonged sitting has significant health implications. There’s no avoiding it. Every half-hour to an hour, take a five-minute break from the screen. You can also follow the 20-20-20 rule for employees too. Every 20 minutes, glance away from the screen for 20 seconds and at anything at least 20 feet away. To preserve long-term health, have employees keep track of how long they’ve been sitting still, staring at their screens. Make it a stipulation that people regularly move their eyes away from the screen.

Creating a fully ergonomic office can take time and money. But the benefits of this for both your company and your employees can be vast and worth the time and expense you invest to get this right.

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