This random, generic image, like many viewed online, represent today’s open workplaces. But, are they accurate portrayals for activity-based workplaces designed and furnished to optimal ergonomic specifications?
Specialized spaces visibly affect productivity and morale. They also impact workspace wellness in ways not readily apparent
Multiple activity-based work areas complicate facilities planning, design and management. They require more non-traditional, individualized ergonomic assessments and evaluations before and during implementation. Achieving open workspace wellness for all depends upon attention to activity and focus on people.
Who’s Not Right in this Picture?
Activity-based working gives employees choices about how, when and where to work. Furniture options multiply the number of sitting and standing postures, and hand, arm, head and shoulder positions relative to laptops, tablets, monitors and keyboards. Look again at the picture.
Are some individuals dropping their heads too low to view screens, which is more harmful to the spine than slouching? Are the tables and chairs accommodating each person’s adjustment needs based on body height? Whose laptop is at poor keyboard positioning for their wrists, arms and shoulders?
Looking the part isn’t enough anymore. Open space designs and furniture face increased scrutiny as to delivering promised wellness and productivity gains. How do companies create specialized workspaces for different job roles with attention to ergonomic details unique to each?
How to get the full picture?
The traditional ergonomic model does not extend to mobile or flexible workspaces. New guidelines must be created around a myriad of specialized working zone configurations. Creative approaches coupled with ergonomic principles will accomplish this.
Agile workplaces require agile ergonomics – workplace wellness products and services that combine skilled observation, advanced software solutions and instruction:
- Enhanced assessment and evaluation tools,
- Tailored programs that include training and education resources,
- Guidelines and specifications that facilitate furniture, equipment and facility management decisions,
- Knowledge, expertise and experience with a wide array of ergonomic components and products, and
- Certified specialist(s) who bring a big picture view and eye for detail to implementations and ongoing support.
What and who to look for?
A qualified ergonomic partner posses the knowledge, ability and ergonomic tools to address traditional and evolving mobile and flexible workspaces. The ideal partner is both expert and trusted advisor.
Every workplace is different and the requirements for each vary. An ideal partner defines a suitable range of company-wide and individual solutions. Third-party and/or internal ergonomics enter these in proprietary or licensed software tools like Ergo Squad’s Comfort Zone® to be used as standardized recommendations going forward.
Image or reality?
To truly enhance employee performance, productivity and workspace wellness, companies must offer more than different looks for different tasks. They must evaluate and furnish spaces for optimal ergonomic benefits.
Employees will like where they work. Employers will like what they see.
Put agile ergonomics to work for you and your employees. Contact Ergo Squad.