Ergonomics applies to the design of anything thact involves people – workspaces, sports and leisure, health and safety. By now, you know that tools that adjust to the user, rather than the other way around, are crucial to good health in the workplace. But if you’re wondering how ergonomics actually impacts employee productivity, we’re here Ergonomics Impacts Office Productivity.
Acceptable Working Postures
It may seem intuitive, but we’re here to remind you: comfort is essential to productivity in the workplace. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) surveyed nearly 29,000 adults and found that roughly 53% had experienced discomfort. The study took this notion one step further and measured how discomfort contributes to lost time. It looked at absenteeism in the workplace–the times when workers are absent because they need to attend appointments or they’re away sick–and also at “presenteeism,” which refers to when employees are unable to work to their full capacity due to discomfort or injury. When an employee is uncomfortable at the workstation, he or she is likely to take longer to get started in the mornings, moves around more often and requires more frequent breaks and, if injured, takes more time off.
And the (financial) effects of having uncomfortable employees are significant and ongoing. The same study found that the economy loses around $61 billion each year because of reduced productivity due to discomfort. If ergonomic work tools—which, by design, make work more comfortable—are provided, employees are more likely to be able to work to the best of their ability and take fewer or shorter breaks. One study found that participants who did not alter their postures during the day took an average of 47% more breaks, and these breaks were 56% longer than those who moved around. (We’ll say it again: movement is key to health at work.)
For businesses, it helps to see ergonomic work tools as an investment, rather than as a cost. By reducing employee discomfort, employers can also help to limit absenteeism and presenteeism while significantly boosting productivity in the workplace. The benefits will be long lasting and employees will be happier, healthier and more comfortable. A real-life example perfectly demonstrates this idea: Blue Cross Blue Shield found that, after implementing ergonomic designs in their workplace, there was a 4.4% improvement in productivity. This means employees spent more time doing actual work because they were more comfortable—and we all know that time is money.
Here at OfficeScene we focus on employee satisfaction and productivity. A productive employee make a happy employee and in-turn increase sales.
Office Ergonomics are fundamental to correct posture and productive staff in the work place, view our Ergonomic office products to gain more insight on how you can improve your productivity for you and your staff.