Studies have shown time and again that good ergonomics in the workplace produces happy, healthy, and productive employees. Many business leaders have thus invested time and money to create an ergonomic office and reap its benefits. But now that the current health crisis has pushed a huge part of the workforce into remote working arrangements, what can managers do to make sure their teams will practice good ergonomics at home? In this post, we’ll take a look at why ergonomics matters and how remote workers can achieve it.
The Many Benefits of Ergonomics
One of the main factors driving the productivity of an employee is their efficiency. Since good ergonomics makes it easier for an employee to move around their workstation — as well as the office — it goes without saying that having good ergonomics directly affects the productivity of your workers. Indeed, a study in the British Medical Journal reveals that workers who used ergonomic tools like sit-stand desks performed better at their jobs compared to their chair-bound peers. This shows that ergonomics has a clear impact on how your employees do their jobs.
Keeps Your Employees Healthy
It’s common for many workers to sit for long periods of time, and this can quickly deteriorate a person’s health — especially if they’re not keen on practicing good posture. By having an ergonomically sound workstation, workers are then encouraged to adjust and correct their posture. In fact, the CDC notes that reducing sitting time by 66 minutes a day can already lower a worker’s chances of developing back and neck pain. Furthermore, good workplace ergonomics can also help your worker avoid various health issues, like migraines, joint problems, and eye strain.
Reduces Overall Costs
Since having good workplace ergonomics is synonymous with protecting your employees’ safety and health, business leaders can save on lost workdays, injury claims, and compensation costs. Ergonomics also influences work quality and worker productivity, and business leaders who invest in creating an ergonomic space for their workers will see this return in the form of profits and better company performance overall. A study conducted by Worksite International, Inc. for a large government agency, from 2008-2013, demonstrated a $10.00 return on investment for every $1.00 invested in an ergonomics process through workers’ compensation claim avoidance.
Creating an Ergonomic Space at Home
Now that we’re well acquainted with why ergonomics is important for both workers and business leaders, it’s time to get into how workers can carve an ergonomic workspace at home. Now that most businesses are forced to operate remotely, many workers are left to their own devices and are forced to work in poor ergonomic conditions in their own houses. Fixing up the working conditions of their workers at home should be of utmost interest for managers and business leaders, as insurance company Marsh states that the widespread remote working situation might create an increase in worker’s compensation claims. By improving your remote team’s ergonomics at home, you can mitigate the chances of any work-related injuries that might arise.
The concept of good ergonomics varies depending on what a worker prefers — especially since they’re in charge of their own workspace in their houses. However, remote managers can help their teams create ergonomic workspaces in their homes by laying down the basic dos and don’ts of good ergonomics in an extensive guide. Indeed, Worksite International’s Home and Office Ergonomics Guide points out some good tips for setting up your workstation and changing your work behaviors.. Team managers should also include the do’s and don’ts of home ergonomics in their guide, such as working on the couch, sitting too long, and working without adequate lighting.
In order to make sure that your remote workers are actually practicing good ergonomics at home, have a clear discussion with your team on how this can make a difference in the long run. While the effects of bad posture and poor ergonomics are not immediately apparent, it will eventually become a bothersome health issue that they’ll have to deal with in the future. Ask them to conduct a self-assessment of their own working space and if you can, consider setting up reimbursement programs for ergonomic furniture, such as wrist supports, stand-up desks, and adjustable monitor stands.
If you’re keen on understanding more about ergonomics and how to maximize its benefits, have a look at the ergonomic training programs we offer here on Worksite International.