Is ergonomics just another piece of management jargon, or is it something that can actually improve employee efficiency and productivity? You don’t want to waste time and money on new office equipment if it doesn’t make a difference, but what if ergonomics can do much to improve company culture and your bottom line?
The Direct Impact of Ergonomics
When employees are in pain, they focus on what hurts, not on their work. The greater their pain, the more productivity rates plummet. It costs you in terms of efficiency and it also impacts your profit margins in other ways. Ignoring ergonomics means your company has to pay for costly surgeries to correct years of damaging behavior. There’s just no way around it: good ergonomics is key to efficiency.
Eliminate Poor Posture
Poor posture stresses muscles and joints, causing fatigue and damage that can lead to chronic pain. U.S. News Health and Wellness interviewed multiple physicians and found poor posture affects health in the following ways:
- Spinal malalignment makes arthritis worse, especially arthritis of the knees for reduced quality of life.
- Bad posture causes poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins.
- Sitting incorrectly causes tension and compression that creates fatigue.
- Poor posture has been linked to mild to moderate depression.
- Forward head posture causes neck pain, muscle strain, tension headaches and other musculoskeletal dysfunctions.
- Sitting incorrectly contributes to shoulder pain that can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.
However, the right ergonomic equipment corrects poor posture so your employees are energized and their health is protected.
Prevent Damage From Repetitive Tasks
If your staff members repeat the same movement again and again, that repetition causes muscle fatigue, and over time creates the risk of injury. Watch your workers for just a few minutes and note how many times they type information, cradle a phone between their head and shoulder, extend their arm to reach for the mouse or move their head to look from their work to a computer monitor.
That repetition could be causing incremental damage that adds up over hours, days, weeks and months. Today it costs you in terms of productivity. In time, it could mean a painful and expensive repetitive strain injury that requires surgery and time off work, all of which is covered under worker’s compensation. Employees can’t work efficiently if they need time off to recuperate.
Reduce Sick Days
If employees spend day after day with throbbing arthritis, back pain, neck pain, headaches, muscle strain or any of the other issues caused by workplace discomfort, sometimes it gets to be too much. They take a sick day to rest and heal.
When staff members call in, other workers are left scrambling to fill in. Employees already faced with challenging workloads are spread even thinner. They’re less able to provide the quality, innovation and customer service your business needs to grow.
In contrast, with workplace ergonomics, that pain doesn’t occur. Your staff members show up day after day ready to work.
Energize Workplace Culture
Imagine the message it would send to employees if you invested in an ergonomics program aimed at helping them be healthier and more comfortable. Workers who currently struggle with discomfort will notice an immediate difference.
Over time, staff will realize they’ve been working free of the pain they didn’t even recognize they were dealing with every day. As your employees recognize you invest in their long-term health, workplace culture becomes infused with fresh positivity.
Ergonomics Means Personalization
You don’t have to hire more staff to get work done, you just need to enable your current employees to do their best. Ergonomics improves efficiency because it allows each member of your staff to find the unique postures and working positions that work for them. Goldtouch offers a range of products that allow you to find the right combination for each individual.
If you give your employees traditional keyboards, a number of problems occur because of its one-size-fits all design. Most of them are flat, so workers have to twist their wrists in, rotate the bones in their arms and forcefully strike keys over and over. It puts strain on delicate finger joints, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders. Within minutes they start to feel discomfort.
They need more breaks all morning and they’re tired by lunchtime. They get even less done in the afternoon. Over time, they may develop repetitive strain injuries. However, ergonomic keyboards completely change the way your employees type.
A Goldtouch ergonomic keyboard is adjustable. Split keyboards pull apart in the middle, adjusting both horizontally and vertically. Every staff member can find the unique angle that allows them to type without straining, so they feel zero pain and fatigue.
Keyboards aren’t the only piece of office equipment cutting into productivity. The computer mouse can also cause repetitive strain injuries. As employees spend hours clicking, highlighting and dragging objects on the screen, they stress muscles and joints.
Most standard computer mice require the user to contort their hand so the palm is parallel to the desk surface. The wrist stays twisted, muscles tense. Workers stretch with their fingers to reach buttons designed for the “average” hand, not for your unique individuals.
Goldtouch offers a whole collection of ergonomic mice designed for hours of working comfort. Each keeps hands in a neutral position, provides support and makes clicking effortless. We offer mice for different hand sizes, so you can find the right fit for each employee. They feel supported both by their desk equipment and their administration, so they’re willing and able to give 100 percent. Plus, our wireless keyboards and mice work as well on the go as they do at the office, so your employees maintain peak productivity no matter where they travel.
Other Ergonomic Equipment to Boost Efficiency
Small changes allow you to tailor each workspace to individual needs. Your business grows because employees work more efficiently using solutions like the following:
- Numeric keypads – Speed up the data entry process and prevent strain for both left and right-handed employees who perform number-intensive tasks.
- Standing desk converters – Staying seated all day makes you feel sluggish. Our sit-stand desk allows employees to switch positions in seconds for a fresh dose of energy.
- Laptop stands and tablet stands – Poor posture causes neck and back pain. Pair your ergonomic keyboard with one of our laptop or tablet stands for better posture and you’ll see a corresponding productivity boost.
As you make changes, comfort improves almost immediately. The energy your staff spent dealing with pain and fatigue becomes available for innovative thinking. You tap into resources and creativity that wasn’t available before, improving your bottom line.
Getting Started With Ergonomics
Beginning an ergonomics program doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start by bringing in an ergonomic expert to evaluate workstations, make recommendations and train employees.
From there, it’s important to put a support system in place.
This could mean creating an “ergonomic buddy system” or simply keeping management’s door open for feedback. Ergonomics may cost money upfront, but it’s an investment that’s certain to pay off in the future.
For more ideas on great ergonomic policies and a number of other helpful tips for creating an efficient workplace, we recommend the LifeHack article 8 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency.