Do you notice that your employees feel exhausted towards the end of the day? You think it’s a caffeine-related issue, but that may not be the case. Instead, what could be the culprit is your office ergonomics.
ErgoPlus defines ergonomics as “the science of designing the workstation to fit within the capabilities and limitations of the worker.” This essentially means that you should be focusing on designing a space that fits and allows for maximum comfort at each workstation so that each employee can reach their maximum productivity and efficiency. iSpace Office Interiors offers an ergonomic analysis for any business interested in improving employee experience in the office. During this process, we get asked a lot of questions. So, while we cover quite a few on our website, we thought we’d answer some additional questions with this blog.
- Why should we care about ergonomics in the office?
We’ve already covered the science behind ergonomics, but why is this important in the workplace? For starters, an ergonomic analysis identifies potential risk factors that play into your employees’ health. Then, the goal is to reduce exposure to risk factors, using what we know about human physiology, biomechanics, and anthropometry. All three areas allow us to create an ergonomic space for your entire team.
- Are there any national standards for ergonomics?
Yes, there are several national standards for creating an ergonomic office environment. While many of these standards relate to the manufacturing side of office furniture, you can still use them to determine whether or not a piece of furniture will be sufficient for your employees. One of the most popular standards is the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers of America (BIFMA). Their G1-2002 Ergonomic Guidelines for VDT (Visual Display Terminals) Furniture used in Office Work Spaces created a guideline for furniture intended for computer use in the United States and Canada. You can find the entire thing here.
- What are the health risks of a poorly designed workspace?
There are several health risks associated with poor ergonomics in the workplace. These include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff tears
- Low back pain
Some of these health issues could put employees out of work for months or even years with required surgeries and physical therapies. This not only costs your company more money but also reduces productivity.
- What is the most important feature of an ergonomic space?
The answer to this question depends mainly on the type of office or workspace you have. However, in our experience, the office chair tends to be the most critical piece of equipment in an ergonomic office. The desk chair is where many of your employees will spend most of their time and can be the root cause of many of their ailments or work-related injuries. So, investing in the right chair for each employee is at the top of any ergonomic project.
- What should we look for in ergonomic office chairs?
The key to an ergonomic chair is adjustability. The office chair should fit most of your employees, no matter their weight, height, or body type. So, when you’re shopping for a new office chair, look for one that has adjustable seats, armrests, and backrests. You should also look for chairs with ample padding in the seats, backrests, and armrests. Furthermore, if you have a large office, consider going with an office chair that comes in various sizes: petite, medium, and large. This allows your teams to find the proper seating for their bodies.
- What should we look for in ergonomic office desks?
The answer to this question also depends mainly on your workforce and who will be using the desk. You should also consider whether or not desks will be free standing or if they need to be part of a modular furniture system (aka: cubicle). You’ll also want to factor in costs for your business, if more than one employee will be using the desk, and if the desk is for someone who is right-handed or left-handed. These are all questions iSpace Office Interiors can help answer during our analysis of your office.
Are You Ready to Get Your Analysis?
Employees notice when their company cares about their health and comfort at work. Healthy employees are your biggest asset, so having an ergonomic analysis done in your office ensures you can make all the necessary changes for a more comfortable and motivating workplace. Not only can iSpace Office Interiors help you with this, but we can also help you space plan, find the right furniture, and remodel the space. So, give us a call today at (317) 694-7197.
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