Ergonomics is a science that deals with designing a workplace as per human needs. Its primary purpose is to ensure that a workplace is designed in a way that best suits basic human needs, especially in the areas of physical and mental health. Studies have shown that an ergonomically designed workplace helps in increasing overall production as result of the happier, healthier employees.
Although every workplace should be designed with special consideration given to employee health and/or performance potential, many are not. As a result, many companies, large and small, are missing out on the huge potential for increased and sustained productivity that could be easily gained if they simply knew to think about such things.
Ergonomics and Employees
There are hundreds of thousands of employees who are not satisfied with their workplaces or work environments. They often complain about the following:
- inappropriate desktop.
- bad lighting.
- bad chairs.
- computer equipment (like mouse and keyboards).
All these usually lead to low productivity of employees hence a loss to the employer.
Thousands of employees suffer from back injuries or other workplace related injuries annually. This could be eliminated by following simple ergonomics principles.
An irritated and unhappy employee can’t perform well regardless of the type of industry in which he/she is engaged. Providing ergonomically designed products and solutions in the workplace makes employees feel better. As a result, they will, therefore, perform better and probably would love or enjoy their work more.
The changes don’t have to be big, either. You can simply start by providing all employees with a standard ergonomic workstation, include keyboard, mouse (with wrist support) and desk.
Benefits to Employers
You cannot work effectively at a place where you don’t have enough room to spread or stretch your limbs, the light is not adequate for reading, the mouse and keyboard rest places are not adequate and where the chair is uncomfortable, or broken. These are obviously not conducive areas to work from.
Healthy and mentally fit employees can work better than those who are irritated by their workplace. If employers are unable to provide suitable environments to their employees, then it is absurd to expect an increased productivity or better efficiency.
An ergonomically designed workplace results in enhanced productivity. Research has shown that workplaces that are ergonomically designed are more productive than those which are. It also goes without saying that a worker cannot work properly in a poorly designed workplace.
Compensation costs for workers can also be saved through designing a workplace ergonomically. Remember that most American organizations are paying billions of dollars in terms of workers compensation cost annually.
Ergonomically Designed Workplace As An Expense or Investment?
Employers should not consider this as an expense. Instead, they should change their vision and see it as an investment. They would certainly get their return-on-investment in the form of the following;
- low absenteeism
- low workers compensation costs
They will also save thousands of dollars or more annually depending on the size of the organization.
Ergonomics plays an important role in the performance of a worker. An ergonomically optimized workplace is essential for all employees. Employers have to invest initially, but they will certainly save much more than they invested through low workers compensation costs and enhanced productivity. In short, it is vital to understand that it is a long-term investment and not an upfront expense.