Ergonomics and Office Productivity
Ergonomics is a Greek word meaning ‘work science’; a science that enhances the work output of human beings through different factors and eliminates the unnecessary obstacles from their way. Ergonomics is of vital importance in every field of life. It deals with the methods and designs for the optimization of human well-being and overall system performance. It also tackles the understanding of interactions among humans and different systems. This field of science relies on researches carried out in scientific areas like engineering, physiology, and psychology. Another name for ergonomics is ‘human factors’ as it deals with everything concerning the welfare of human beings.
Ergonomists make sure that our life is free from an unnecessary difficulty caused by poorly designed tools and workstations. One way to achieve an increased work output is to prevent an occurrence of work-related injuries and stress. This will ultimately result in a reduction of worker’s compensation claims, employee turnover, insurance premium and health care costs for the company. Ergonomically designed equipment and workstations improve health, safety, performance and satisfaction. Good ergonomics encompasses some other factors like good posture, regular movement, work organization and software. It is also about creating an ambient environment where the temperature, lighting, space, noise, humidity, reflection and screen glare are appropriately managed to enhance the office productivity.
Ergonomics is not limited to the design of equipment. It also involves the development of the policies, strategies, management, working hours, communication, telework, etc. of a company. One of the issues hindering the work process is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Most of the companies are switching to ergonomic solutions for cost-saving and preventing MSDs among the employees. Experts’ consensus is that every ergonomic intervention will positively impact on productivity. Whenever there is an elimination of unnecessary exertion and awkward postures from the work environment, time to complete the required task shortens. Thus, profit and productivity spike up.
According to a recent research Global Burden of Disease Study, the world most common work-related disability is lower back pain. It arises due to long and continuous faulty sitting posture. Now companies are trying to incorporate ergonomics into their system to reduce the cost of work-related injuries and improve employees’ health. This will result in increased efficiency. When companies provide suitable work environments to their workforce, they will find it easier to work. Their engagement and willingness to increase their output thus, benefitting the company in the longer run. According to a study by researchers at the Upjohn Institute, the University of Texas, Liberty Mutual, Health and Work Outcomes, and Steelcase Corporation, people with ergonomics equipment work more efficiently and develop less pain over the course of their duty hours. This study reveals that ergonomics can increase production per unit of time worked. Studies also show that intervention to prevent MSDs, frequent rest breaks, better training, improvement in workstation equipment and multiple workplaces are some of the features that can directly affect productivity. An optimum solution to the several work-related issues requires a comprehensive ergonomic programme. Such a program must have elements like worker engagement, management commitment, training, sustainability and evaluation. All these work together to produce the desired result.
References https://ergoweb.com/relating-productivity-to-ergonomics/ http://www.iea.cc/whats/ http://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1139&context=empl_research http://www.workpace.com/ Ergonomics in Lagos and Abuja Nigeria