Is An Ergonomic Setup Worth Considering?
Is it worth it considering that work from home is here to stay!
Ergonomics is the study of how humans interact with manmade objects. It can roughly be defined as the study of people in their working environment. According to an alternate definition, it is an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.
Basically, Ergonomics deals with the modification of the workplace and its amenities to fit the worker’s needs and comfort.
The goal is to eliminate stress and risk of injury due to work, strengthen the physical and mental health security of the employees, optimize the environment in order to yield productive results, and ensure the well-being of the workers.
Ergonomics has 5 aspects which are: Safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity/performance, and aesthetics.
For around two years, Covid-19 has affected nearly all known populations of the world and in order to prevent its spread, certain SOPs have been put into place upon World Health Organization’s recommendations. One of these and perhaps the most critical one is social distancing. Keeping that in mind, there has been a trend of the shift towards working from home, or remote jobs.
There have been subsequent waves of the disease following the initial one, so with the vaccination programs being on a very preliminary stage in most of the countries and with the uncertainty regarding the extent of prevention it will offer in the long run, it looks like the work-from-home trend is here to stay.
Many companies are considering it as a permanent option as it is not only cost-effective regarding fuel consumption, electricity usage, and resources that are spent in the workplace but also saves a lot of time for employees and employers. By the looks of it, it is high time we learn the principles of ergonomics, and apply them in the remote working setups to secure the workplace rights of the employees even while they are working remotely.
Now one may question that why is it important at all and is it worth the net amount of money spent in making these arrangements? Here are a few of the points that emphasize its significance.
It might seem to increase the cost initially but it is a onetime investment as it prevents future expenditures secondary to health issues and injuries.
Improved Quality of Work:
A favorable work environment ensures maximum output by the workers, as they can deliver their best when they are comfortable.
A safe and relaxed environment motivates the employees to perform effectively.
Reduction of Absentees/Leaves:
When the workplace is safe, unnecessary stress and injuries are prevented, which enables the workers to show up for work more regularly.
Prevention of Work-related Illnesses:
Improper work environment, defective equipment, and inadequate machinery has been found to be directly linked to certain health conditions among employees in the long run like Musculoskeletal disorders, Repetitive stress injuries, headaches, Eyestrain, Neck stiffness, Backbone problems etcetera which can cause compromised work, sick leaves, and medical bills. These issues can be rectified by investing in ergonomics in work-from-home set-ups.
So now the question is, how can we apply ergonomics in home offices?
- Practical organization of things that will be required to work. Frequently used items must be well in reach and accessible to save time and energy. Things that are less commonly needed should be stored in drawers and cabinets to avoid cluttering.
- The desk and chair should of an appropriate height and must be designed keeping the worker’s comfort in mind.
- Proper lighting
- The office should be roomy with enough space for the worker to walk around during brief breaks to improve his circulation.
- The workspace should be a designated place in the house rather than a common area so that it is quiet and secluded with minimum distractions so the worker can remain focused on his work during office hours.
- Internet connection.
- It should be aesthetically appealing. According to some psychology researches, it has a positive impact on the mood of the employees, which ultimately leads to better performance.
After implementing these simple yet effective steps, one can thrive in the work from home culture!