To ensure productivity, comfort, and empathy come into play in any workplace, it is important to incorporate ergonomics. Every worker comes in a different shape and size, meaning that their needs are going to fluctuate from person to person. Simply put, ergonomics is when a job is designed to make the worker feel as if they fit in the workplace, like a puzzle piece. When employees are comfortable and their needs are taken care of, their productivity will increase. There are many ergonomic pieces of furniture like ergonomic chairs that are designed to keep people healthy while sitting for a long period of time. Ergonomics is crucial in the workplace because it is a win-win situation for employers and employees.
Why Is Ergonomics Important?
For the employee, ergonomics is important from an empathetic standpoint. As human beings, we all deserve to be treated with care and respect. When we sit for long periods of time, our joints and muscles become stiff and numb. Having the option to stand while working helps to increase productivity by keeping our brains more alert. When we stand, our body is focused on balance and blood circulation, granting us higher levels of productivity. While one worker may feel most comfortable sitting at an adjustable desk, another may enjoy the option of being able to stand and stretch their limbs. And vice versa, workers who have to stand at cash registers, host stands, etc, should have access to sitting down.
Standing for long periods of time can cause pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and entire leg. Psychologically speaking, giving an individual the option to sit or stand may make them feel valued and appreciated. Knowing that management is concerned with their physical health may also increase their positivity in and out of the workplace. Having any sort of awkward posture from sitting or standing should be able to be eliminated by the employee.
Extreme temperatures can strongly affect any worker. Chefs and cooks in the kitchen at restaurants often work under hot heat lamps with little to no air circulation. Heat temperatures can lead to frustrations and small tempers. Everyone deserves to work in conditions that are appropriate and don’t make us too hot or cold. While we cannot control the weather outside, at least when we’re indoors, employees should not be forced to work in hot or cold conditions without proper clothing and breaks. Working in hot conditions leads to fatigue and eventually can lead to health issues. Ensuring that employees are going to a workplace that makes them feel comfortable and safe leads to an increase in productivity.
Benefits of Utilizing Ergonomics
Making sure to utilize ergonomics of course benefits the employee, but how can it benefit the employer too? Applying ergonomics can reduce the cost of spending for a company. For example, when there are fewer injuries at work, the company doesn’t have to suffer. Some studies have reported that almost 60% of musculoskeletal disorders are diminished when using ergonomics in the workplace. When a company acknowledges its worker’s needs, they feel valued, therefore increasing morale and productivity.
The feeling of being appreciated will be recognized by employers when they realize that employees have a positive outlook on their job. Oftentimes, employees feel that their employers either don’t care at all or care very little for their overall well-being and mental health. Employers and companies that offer ergonomics to their employees will find a boost in productivity and positivity.
Offering training and vocalizing the importance of workplace comfort and safety can go a long way in making employees feel valued and safe. Having a committed management team that is empathetic and understands the average worker’s needs is essential in today’s working world.
In terms of productivity, workers who are forced to work quicker than they can lead to frustrated and fatigued individuals. Also, employees who aren’t given an appropriate amount of time to complete a task can lead to faulty or damaged products. For example, a worker who has to build a product quicker than usual may end up damaging the product and feeling frustrated with the time constraints. Ensuring that employees are given enough time and care to work improves the quality of what you’re selling. Ergonomics isn’t just for the employee, but for the employer as well.
Simply put, ergonomics is a win-win situation for employees and employers. When an individual feels cared for by their company, they’re likely to raise morale and implement productivity in their work.
Some companies are not willing to improve the ergonomics in the workspace because it will cost them more money. For example, buying an ergonomic office chair can be expensive, especially if you have a lot of employees. However, the long-term benefits of good ergonomics will ultimately help the company generate more revenue. You don’t want to have employees taking days off due to back pain or injuries due to bad working environments. You want your staff members to work hard and be productive. This is why good ergonomics is so important. You may not see a good return on investment initially but you will see that in the long term, your employees are a lot happier and you will be more successful in running your business. There are other areas that you can save money from but you should invest in building a better working environment for your employees.
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