Ergonomics is a whole science that may drastically change the relationship between employer and employee. A satisfied employee is a productive employee, as you may know. And when it comes to desks, there are certainly some progressive solutions to pay your attention to.
So what is ergonomics? Office ergonomic solutions are designed to best suit the anatomical and psychophysiological traits of individual employees. The main goal of ergonomics is to provide a level of comfort at work sufficient enough to increase worker performance and reduce harm from static work.
What is Office Ergonomics
Ergonomics of an office is when all furniture including your work desk and other devices are adapted to individual physical needs. In such conditions, an employee is likely to feel less tired, less distracted, and perform better as a result. This is not just a concern for the staff of the company, it is also an investment in better quality.
Modern studies claim that 1 out of 3 cases of absence at work are directly connected to workplace ergonomics issues. There are several major categories of performance-influencing factors, including:
- Anthropometric - anatomical specifics and body posture while working.
- Psychophysiological influence - a person’s attitude towards the interior, lighting, shapes, color schemes, and other visual details of the office space;
- Sensorimotor influence - an overall speed of performance and individual susceptibility to distractions;
- Energetic influence - rates of consumption of energy required to complete various tasks and work actions.
Ergonomic Office Equipment
A large desktop with a spacious surface is a good place to start as you get more tabletop space to work on but also have enough room to keep all your necessary office supplies, documents, and devices close at hand.
Then, there are chairs, which can make a drastic difference to your office ergonomics. The chair should match a desk in height so that there is enough legroom. At the same time, it is very important that the knees and elbows are placed at an angle of 90 degrees.
Ergonomic Workstation Assessment
The main goal of the office ergonomic assessment is to define how much existing work equipment meets the anthropometric and psychophysiological specifics of individual employees and see what can be done to improve the situation.
One of the commonly used methods of assessing an ergonomic office design is Rapid Entire Body Assessment or REBA. It evaluates proper working postures based on the level of workload, types of activities, and repetitive actions. Every separate part of the body is assessed individually: wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders, neck, torso, back, legs, and knees.
The result of this assessment is used to indicate any possible risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
Office Ergonomics Guidelines
Every manager wants their employees to invest fully in the workflow. There are a lot of aspects that you can work on, but if we talk about the convenience of the office space, then there are several ergonomic workstation guidelines that are important to remember:
Rational office planning
The staff shouldn’t have to wander along the tangled corridors, waste time trying to go around the next table, stumble over office furniture or equipment.As Ergonomic office design is crucial to the planning process to ensure that walking paths are accessible and moving around the office as a whole doesn’t take much time.
One of the ultimate office solutions to keep everything ergonomic and in reach is the “all-in-one” approach. For instance, tables with lots of foldable and sliding drawers and storing spaces are greatly practical as they allow keeping all the necessary stuff at hand.
Warm pastel shades cerate an invigorating, inviting effect and help improves mood, thus creating a positive atmosphere to work. In turn, colder shades expand the space visually and help to concentrate on tasks better.
Oxygen feeds the brain and it is, therefore, important to ensure that your workspace has enough airflow. The optimum humidity is about 40-50%. The overall air supply may be efficiently controlled by automated ventilation or air conditioning. The room must be ventilated once an hour on a regular basis.
Lighting significantly affects the psychological state, metabolism, hormonal levels and, of course, mental activity. Today, experts recommend going for LED lamps. The soft diffused light is easy on the eyes, making LED lamps an effective and affordable option.
Ergonomic Computer Equipment
Comfortable office furniture ensures proper sitting and helps avoid problems with the spine. Working in front of a monitor screen, we face numerous health risks. But adhering to computer ergonomics guidelines can significantly reduce fatigue and other harmful effects.
Such risks are minimized by setting the monitor at the correct height and working at the appropriate distance from it alone. A keyboard set too high or too low affects wrists, arms, and shoulders all at once. When it comes to a computer mouse, you should definitely know whether a particular employee is right- or left-handed and avoid non-standard shapes.
Laptops may be a real game-changer in the matter, by the way. They are very practical and accessible. However, your employees’ ultimate computer workstation should not be limited to a laptop that is dragged to and from the work all the time.
Ergonomic Desk Designs
An ergonomic desk design can save you from a number of problems. This is one of the ergonomics office supplies that not only complements the office interior and serves as a workstation but is also a source of numerous long-running health consequences. An ergonomic standing desk with an adjustable desktop height will save your employees from fatigue, making them more productive, active, and healthy at work.
When choosing a table, make sure to consider the following factors such as:
- Tabletop height - An adjustable desk can help with employees of different heights as they can set the height of their desk according to what’s most comfortable for them.
- Drawers & Shelves - lots of paperwork means lots of files, folders, and papers; lots of tech work may require additional hardware devices; if this or that is the case, additional drawers or shelves will be required to make room for your employees to work.
- Surface size – it is important to consider the size of your tabletop depending on the type of work it is being used for.
Ultimate Office Chair
What does ergonomic chair mean? This is, perhaps, the most important workspace item. The visual design here is less important than the advice of qualified doctors and the main chair ergonomics guidelines come down to using a chair that must match a desk in terms of legroom. It should also be height adjustable, and meet individual body characteristics.
A bright, spacious, comfortable office is more of a necessity than just a part of the proper office ergonomics presentation. Caring for company employees and their comfortable stay at the workplace is a must in achieving great business goals. After all, a satisfied employee brings much better results than one with constant backaches. A wise leader knows that the right furniture and appliances boost team productivity, which means it's definitely a good investment.