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New Trends in Workplace Ergonomics

OpenWorkSpacePic.jpg#asset:2776Workplace ergonomics is a hot topic with many employers today. The  idea of designing equipment and spaces so employees can use them  more efficiently and safely has caught on with even the smallest  businesses.

As a result, work spaces are getting smaller and walls are disappearing.  Many employees see this loss of space and privacy as a negative and might not focus on the good that can come out of the reorganization of their work areas.

 Today’s managers are communicating the benefits of these changes to the team members who will be affected by them. They realize change can be difficult for even the most loyal employees if the modifications seem arbitrary rather than a logical move that will afford benefits for both the company and their team.

Here are some of the points that managers are emphasizing as they introduce the new face of their workplace:

It’s about collaboration

Employees need to know that while their offices are getting smaller, other spaces will become available and they will be given the independence to use them. These so-called collaboration spaces will enhance the flexibility of the organization and allow for quicker responses to problems and other business challenges.

With the new open-office concept, hierarchies are becoming less evident and communication is open and more efficient as workers are released from the chains of their desks.

And mobility

The new workplace is energetic. There are fewer desktop computers because employees are moving through the office, laptops in hand, taking advantage of the collaboration spaces or maybe doing some field work. With smartphones, tablets and laptops by their sides, workers have broken free from the confines of an office. Many employers have added standing desks (and yes, even treadmill desks) as ergonomic improvements to assist employee mobility.

Being mobile has the added benefit of contributing to better health within the workforce.  Years of sitting behind one desk for eight hours has created an epidemic of overweight and obese workers whose accompanying health issues have taken a toll on their personal and work lives. The ability to be mobile has created opportunities for improvements in overall wellness.

Functionality and aesthetics work hand-in-hand

The open office is not without its challenges. Businesses have taken into consideration the sights, sounds and smells of the new work environment. Here are just some of those considerations:

·         Office décor that is stimulating or relaxing, depending on the area

·         Controlled noise levels

·         Proper ventilation

·         A scent and fragrance policy

·         Private areas for completing disruptive tasks

Employers understand it’s critical to create an ergonomically advanced workplace to fit their employees, instead of the other way around.

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