Making ergonomic improvements to your office or workspace can help you increase your workers’ productivity and make the office safer and more comfortable.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary [http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/netdict] defines ergonomics as an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.
Typing the keyword “ergonomics” in most major search engines will bring back hundreds of companies that offer ergonomic consulting services or numerous ergonomic products that will help make your office space safer and more efficient. Companies sell such products as specially designed chairs; wrist, back and neck support devices; ergonomic work stations and anti-fatigue carpets or mats that massage your feet while you are standing still to promote circulation and reduce fatigue. However, for small businesses there is a drawback to these solutions: they cost money.
Small business owners looking to keep costs down can use these inexpensive methods to ergonomically improve their office:
– Keep supplies within reach. Don’t force your employees to continually bend over or stretch to reach supplies. Keep papers, pens, tools and essentials at a convenient height. Make sure heavy objects that are used frequently are easily reachable.
– Only purchase adjustable chairs. When outfitting your business, buy your employees office chairs that are adjustable and make sure they use this feature.
– Keep the office clean. Remove clutter from the office and make sure heavily trafficked areas are clear and unobstructed. Frequently dust off computer screens and vacuum the work area to reduce dust accumulation.
– Properly position computers. Make sure computers are situated directly in front of workers as to avoid uncomfortable positions. Place computers perpendicular to light sources and consider buying screen protectors to cut down on glare.
Small business owners should also poll their employees and see what improvements their staff would suggest. Polling employees will help identify what needs to be changed in your current office set up.