Monday, December 3, 2012
Understanding Workplace Ergonomics
An ergonomic workplace can only be achieved with products designed to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. This much is certain, but what products and how? Understanding workplace ergonomics begins with knowledge of the most common ergo friendly products and how they will work for you. More directly, you can have the most expensive office chair on the market with every bell and whistle. However, if you don't know how to utilize those features in a way to make your more efficient, you are not ergonomic. Knowing how to utilize ergonomic products to work for YOU is absolutely essential in the modern workplace.
All too often companies spend thousands on ergonomic furniture and office products and then fail to show employees how to best utilize them. Products like ergonomic keyboard trays, monitor arms, and office chairs are the three most commonly seen ergo products in business. In order to best understand these products, you must review and educate yourself on the features and benefits of each. By doing this, you will have a better understanding of workplace ergonomics while simultaneously learning how to increase your day to day efficiency and productivity.
Product 1: Ergonomic Keyboard Trays
We've all seen them. They slide underneath almost every modern desk surface in the country. The importance of a properly used ergonomic keyboard tray cannot be understated. They better your posture, help take pressure of your wrists and increase usable desk space. Using an articulating keyboard tray will allow you to adjust the angle and height at which you type. Going a step further, standing versions are also available to help maximize productivity and space in multi functional areas.
Now that you know some of the basic benefits of ergo trays, let's determine if having one will help you gain an ergonomic edge. To do this ask yourself one simple question. Will this product help me? Well, if you are constantly scrambling for useable desk space and deal with arthritic conditions the answer is definitely yes. Utilizing an ergonomic keyboard slide under your desk will allow you to recapture a significant portion of your desk while offering the adjustable needed to take pressure of your writs thus reducing pain in your hands. Over the course of a typical 8 hour work day, these benefits add up!
Product 2: Monitor Arms
Over the past few years monitor arms have sky rocketed in popularity. These popular ergonomic products are designed to offer versatility and mobility in the workplace. For those unfamiliar with this type of product, feel free to check out user videos and tutorials on sites like YouTube. These awesome and revolutionary products allow for a full range of screen adjustments. Arms allow computer screens to be set at any angle while being as close or far from the user as desired. Installation is a cinch. Arms mount through desk grommet holes or via clamp to the side of any office desks surface. Models are available for single, dual, triple, and all the way up to 8 screens. These awesome products are no longer for the tech savvy. They are being used in homes now more than ever. Essentially, people are falling in love with their monitor arms benefits at work and can't live without it at home. Ergonomic monitor arms cost as little as $99.99 and the usable desk space gained alone is worth the money. Believe this, once you convert you will never go back to the basic computer screen stand included with your MAC or PC.
Product 3: Office Chairs
Being the most popular ergonomic product in this article, ergonomic office chairs were saved for last. But what makes a chair ergonomic? That answer is surprisingly simple, anything that increases YOUR individual productivity. As noted in the beginning of this post, understanding ergonomics is about understanding your body. It's commonly recommended to meet with an industry professional or chiropractor to discuss your body type and thus determine the office chair features that will benefit you most. Commonly, ergonomic office chairs and even office guest chairs can feature attributes like pneumatic seat height adjustment, lumbar support, and adjustable arms. More in depth features include syncro tile mechanisms, contoured seat cushions, headrests and much more. While these features are always nice, if you don't need them, don't pay for them! In this economy money saved is money earned and when it comes to ergonomics it's just smart. Save the money you could have spent on vibrating seat cushions and spend it on a monitor arm. You will get much more day to day benefits. That being said, that's what workplace ergonomic is all about. Understanding the products you need and how to make them work for you, thus making your day easier!
Overall, any area of your business can be made ergo friendly. Conference room furniture like lecterns and modular conference tables will keep all members of a meeting engaged. Training room furniture like mobile tables will ensure you space can be transformed in minutes. However, if these products aren't used properly you and your business are not reaping the rewards you should be from your office furniture. Take the time to understand the needs of your business and the ergonomic products will reveal themselves!