An uncomfortable work environment is detrimental to productivity. Investing in work ergonomics is an essential factor to consider if you want to have a highly engaged workforce. The last thing any business wants is an injured employee. Let’s explore how ergonomics affect work injuries.
How Does Ergonomics Affect Productivity?
Ergonomics at work allows one to have a conducive environment that is less prone to stress, injuries, and long-term conditions that may negatively impact an employees' well-being. In the absence of good physical ergonomics, the productivity of employees and the company's profitability are directly influenced by increased absenteeism and sick leaves.
For example, targets will not be met when an employee misses work for a period to seek medical attention due to back pain caused by poor work ergonomics. Ensuring ergonomic factors are considered in the workplace allows employees and employers to remodel the work environment into one that's conducive to everyone with little to no effect on productivity.
The High Cost of Injuries
It is vital to understand what ergonomics is to understand the effects of an ergonomic work environment on employees' productivity in a company. Ergonomics refers to how the work atmosphere and practices are transformed to prevent mental stress and physical injuries so that there's no effect of sick days or absenteeism on the company's profitability.
Organizations spend almost $300 billion each year to pay for costs associated with absenteeism and healthcare due to work-related stress. This figure doesn't take into account the costs incurred by the company due to lower productivity as a result of disengaged employees.
There is an increased risk of tension headaches, back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and eye problems since most employees spend a lot of time on a computer. Employers and employees can reduce these risks by considering specific physical ergonomics such as using anti-glare on their computer screens or pushing the computer screen more than 20 inches from bright light or the eyes.
Positive Impact of an Ergonomic Workplace
They can also impact productivity positively by reducing back problems with the use of chairs that offer better support. Employers should choose chairs that provide sufficient support for both the upper and lower back to create an ergonomic work environment that allows employees to be fully productive.
Employees experience reduced hip and lower body pain with sufficient cushioning on the seats. Employees should be advised to adopt postures such as typing with their arms at a 90-degree angle to prevent back problems and achieving a comfortable posture by raising or lowering their chairs.
Soft and soothing music helps employees reduce tension and relax, while loud sounds in the office can disrupt work. Employers can help keep employees calm and relaxed by playing classical music throughout the day and installing speakers in the walls. This can also help to keep employees engaged in their work and prevent fatigue.
Physical ergonomics combat the physiological and physical aspects of work that affect the body and how improvements are made to prevent injuries. Physical ergonomics involve aspects such as motions, keyboard design, sitting posture, and workplace safety.
Does Furniture Matter?
Work ergonomics or office ergonomics may involve matching furniture and work tools to the employees' environment. The landscape and the chairs should be considered for those who spend the whole day working in the office.
Employees' morale and how much work they do by the end of the day are significantly affected by the desk's color, shape, height, or depth. The office desk you choose for your employees should have enough space to fit their paperwork, keyboard, monitors, phones, and anything else they need to work.
The employees' productivity is significantly affected by the chair you choose. Chairs need to be comfortable enough to help them avoid neck and back pain and issues that can lead to long-term stress.
Are You On Board?
Most organizations have acknowledged the importance of ergonomics at work and consequently adopted measures to tackle the well-being and health of employees before absenteeism affects productivity.
Most people view the workplace as a simple office. However, this environment can be improved and made comfortable for each employee, from the interns to the highest-ranking officials. Ensuring proper work ergonomics can reduce the risk of injury and ultimately reduce employee sick days and the costs related to absenteeism.