Your government agency has to stretch resources to the max. Your current equipment could be threatening employees’ mental and physical health, slashing productivity and driving up healthcare costs. Ergonomic office products are the solution.
Do you know where your agency ranks on the list of best places to work in the Federal government? Last year’s list showed a stark divide between agencies with engaged, loyal employees and those where workers had a negative view of their job and workplace. Most agencies fell into one category or the other, with very few in the middle. Ergonomic products help government agencies improve how employees feel about their jobs, and happy employees are productive employees.
Your agency competes with the private sector when it comes to hiring and keeping the best talent. It isn’t just about pay. Top minds go where there’s the best workplace environment, culture, technology and equipment. They stay where they feel valued and supported.
Right now the government lags behind the private sector, and the area with the biggest gap (a 31 point difference) is the issue of employee voice. At some agencies workers don’t believe their employer hears their needs and concerns. They don’t think leadership is interested in making their organization a better place to work. Ergonomic office equipment shows you care about their well-being and want to help them be their physical and emotional best. Here’s how.
#1 – Prevent Work-Related Injuries
Ergonomics is the process of designing equipment for the way people work instead of making people conform to their tools. When workers are forced to move or hold their bodies in unnatural positions, it’s uncomfortable. If they have to do it over and over or for long periods at a time, it damages muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons. Painful injuries develop. Musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome account for 32 percent of workplace injuries that require taking days off work.
Just using a computer keyboard and mouse every day can injure your employees. Computer keyboards force you to twist your hands and arms into unnatural positions and hold them there. Then you have to stretch your fingers at odd angles and forcefully strike keys. When you reach for the mouse, your hand and arm are contorted into another awkward position.
Typing and clicking hour after hour strains muscles and tendons, causing tiny tears. Those tears cause the tissue to thicken, decreasing range of motion. There’s no time to heal, since you do it every day, so inflammation develops. A repetitive strain injury (RSI) causes symptoms like fatigue, weakness, tingling and pain in the hands and forearms.
Ergonomic office products prevent repetitive strain injuries. For example, Goldtouch Ergonomic Keyboards have a revolutionary design that keeps the wrist in a neutral position and adjusts for every body type. We also carry a range of ergonomic mice for hands of all sizes.
Government employees are responsible for solving problems large and small, and they can’t do so effectively if they’re in pain. The carpal tunnel is a tiny passageway made of small bones and ligaments. It protects the carpal nerve, the one that allows you to bend your thumb and have sensation on the palm side of your fingers. When the tunnel’s walls experience repeated damage, it narrows and pinches that nerve.
Symptoms start gradually, often appearing at night so workers don’t realize the connection to work. Harvard Health says delaying treatment can leave to permanent nerve damage. Symptoms include burning, numbness, a feeling of swelling, decreased grip strength and difficulty performing manual tasks.
Government employees deserve better. They’re already performing high stakes tasks with limited resources. They shouldn’t have to risk their physical well-being to put in the long hours required. Ergonomic office products provide protection and support.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds the back is the most frequently injured part of the body no matter where you work. Government employees might not realize how their desk and chair can cause serious back problems because of the following:
- Incorrect posture – When workers sit at a desk and chair that doesn’t fit, their body is out of alignment. Over time that causes discomfort, pain and fatigue in the back and hips.
- Cramped neck and shoulders – Repetitive keyboard mouse use requires small, focused movements of the hands and fingers, often without support. You’re forced to contract muscles in the neck, along the spine, at the base of your skull and in your shoulders. Over time, you could experience pain and weakness.
- Lower back – Sitting all day puts pressure on the spine and hips. Over time, support muscles weaken and the spine compacts.
Government agencies can safeguard back health with ergonomic solutions like the GoldTouch EasyLift Adjustable Standing Desk.
#2 – Improve Productivity
You don’t need anyone to tell you there’s more work than time. Ergonomic office products are worth the investment because they help employees get more done.
If you type 40 words a minute, you hit around 12,000 keys every hour. In an eight-hour day, that adds up to 96,000 keystrokes. Each keystroke requires your fingers to move forcefully, displacing thousands of pounds in the course of a day. If every movement causes pain, you can’t work efficiently. Ergonomic products remove the cause of that pain, so productivity climbs.
Reduced pain from ergonomic office products also means less absenteeism. People don’t call in because they hurt. They don’t need weeks or months off because of carpal tunnel surgery or back injury rehabilitation. No pain also means less fatigue and more focus.
#3 – Protect Mental Health
Working for the government can be stressful, and stress is a continual assault on mental health. Work overload combined with physical discomfort and feeling undervalued can lead to anxiety and depression.
If you’re like most people, what you do is connected to your identity and sense of well-being. When you’re successful and productive, your mood and mental health receive a boost. When you’re in pain, working in a negative environment and surrounded by others in the same situation, it damages morale. Improving equipment and technology avoids risks to mental health caused by repetitive strain injury and stress.
#4 – Gain Loyal Employees
Your government agency can’t be effective without well-trained staff. Ergonomics is key to employee retention because it addresses things employees want most. People stay with employers when they form positive relationships and have the opportunity to use their skills and abilities in meaningful ways.
When your agency invests in workplace ergonomics, staff knows you care about their physical and mental well-being. They feel their comfort is taken seriously and their needs are heard. Your agency becomes known as one of the best places to work because you care, and that attracts even more top talent.
Ergonomic office equipment empowers staff to use their skills and abilities at peak efficiency, to be their very best. Energy previously sapped by fatigue and pain now flows into creativity and innovation. Success fuels even better mental health and productivity. Your entire workplace culture becomes one that prioritizes health and safety so you can focus on your mission.
#5 – Reduce Healthcare Costs
Workplace injuries cost your government agency money. To put things in perspective, try using the United States Department of Labor’s calculator to estimate the cost of just one injury. Then look at the comparatively small investment it would take to provide ergonomic equipment for your agency.
For example, one instance of carpal tunnel syndrome has an average direct cost of $30,882 and indirect cost of $33,970. That’s at least $64,852 for which your government agency will be responsible. You lose that worker’s productivity and the time spent training a substitute or replacement. Plus, some patients go through painful surgery and rehabilitation, but can never go back to doing what they love.
It doesn’t make sense to risk someone’s future and waste limited dollars on an injury that could be prevented. The bottom line is, ergonomic office equipment doesn’t cost money, it saves it.
Goldtouch Pilot Program for Government Agencies
You could be the one credited for transforming the culture and productivity of your government agency. Let us show you how Goldtouch can help your organization when you explore our ergonomic government solutions today.