This month, Spaces, Inc. was featured in Work Design Magazine with our article, “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Ergonomics.” In the article, Trisha Allenbrand, president of Spaces, Inc., explains the importance of ergonomics in the workplace and gives some unconventional tips on how to create a perfectly balanced workspace for your employees. When it comes to office design, a simple change can make a huge difference, both in employee happiness and productivity! Thank you to Work Design Magazine for featuring our article!
Ergonomics is the study and design of the most effective and healthy ways to work, including the kind of work you perform, the environment you work in and the tools you use for your job. In the article, Allenbrand explains that improper ergonomics in the workplace can lead to a variety of health problems, like unnecessary muscular pain and work related problems, such as lack of focus and decreased productivity. The Department of Labor has even recognized this problem, stating that 70 percent of the nation’s workforce is sitting in an office and the majority of that number are staring at a computer for multiple hours per day. As a result, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for 34 percent of all work-related injuries and can cost employees as much as $20 billion in workman’s compensation, medical expenses and decreased productivity.
The first step we take when designing a proper ergonomic workspace, is to select and adjust chairs and desks to follow ergonomic principles. Following these steps from Knoll will help achieve the best results. Another option that many offices have switched to, is the sit-to-stand workstation, as pictured above. A sit-to-stand workspace is a great alternative to a traditional sitting desk and can increase employee activity and decrease negative health effects that come with sitting in a chair all day.
Beyond office furniture design, employers can also think about external factors to employee health that help create an ergonomic workspace. Air quality, temperature and lighting are factors that many offices don’t think about, but which have an impact on everyday ergonomics. For example, better air quality and close proximity to windows has been shown to result in an eight to 11 percent increase in productivity!
Outfitting a comprehensive ergonomic solution is a budget consideration, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. As a facilities manager, your employees health and wellness should be a top priority and proper workspace design is a simple change that will give your employees better health and, in turn, allow them to be more productive day to day. Most importantly, an ergonomic workplace will benefit the relationship between employees and employers and create a mutually beneficial relationship with more engagement from both parties.
For more information about ergonomic office furniture design, read the full article here.
Work Design Magazine is a digital publishing group dedicated to exploring the evolution of workplace culture, research, and design.