At a time when a large percentage of employees perform their duties sitting in front of a computer, office ergonomics is becoming increasingly important. After all, prolonged sedentary position in front of a monitor, inappropriate placement of the equipment, repetitive movements, and improper posture, which characterize an increasing number of people, can lead to various health ailments and reduced productivity, with negative consequences for the team or the company as a whole. Ensuring that employees are in the best possible conditions to carry out their assigned duties is therefore crucial to performance. Below we explain how a company should take care of office ergonomics.

Ergonomics of office work – what does it consist of?

Office ergonomics is the science that deals with the design of the work environment, which concerns adaptation to the individual needs of employees (in the physical area). Its goal is to minimize the risk of various types of injuries and health ailments with negative effects on productivity and employee comfort. It involves both the design of furniture and equipment, as well as the education of employees in correct attitudes and behavior.

Companies that take care of the right conditions for executing tasks invest in the health and well-being of their staff, which translates into benefits for both employees and the organization itself (e.g., in the area of a better image of the company in the eyes of employees and potential candidates or business partners).

What does office ergonomics include?

The first element is to adapt the workstation to each person. For this reason, the height of desks and chairs should be adjustable (companies should invest in this type of furnishings) to allow for proper body positioning. In addition, chairs should support the spine, providing proper back support. What’s also important is the proper position of the monitor, keyboard, and mouse to avoid improper head tilt, eye strain, or wrist strain. Other major factors include:

  • Adequate lighting and room acoustics – lighting prevents eye fatigue from prolonged sitting at a screen, while noise control in the office (e.g., through the use of sound-absorbing materials or spatial layout of workstations) contributes to employees’ focus and comfort,
  • Proper placement of necessary equipment, documents, and office accessories – the most frequently used items should be kept within easy reach to avoid excessive stretching and twisting of the body,
  • Educate employees on health and safety principles – employees should know proper postures, relaxation, and stretching techniques to minimize potential problems.

How to take care of the right conditions for performing work?

Why should a company pay attention to ergonomics at work? First and foremost, ensuring the right conditions for performing duties contributes to reducing work-related injuries and ailments. Back pain, neck stiffness, wrist problems, or muscle strain are just some of the common ailments that can occur due to improperly adjusted furniture and equipment, as well as little awareness of proper attitudes and behavior. If employees feel comfortable in their work environment (i.e., they experience less fatigue and pain), they can perform their tasks more effectively. Improving the conditions under which duties are carried out can therefore contribute to increased productivity at the company.

How to take care of the right conditions for performing work?

The employer can take several measures to take care of appropriate conditions for the performance of duties. The most important should concerns appropriate equipment (chairs, desks, monitors, keyboards, mice, and other necessary work tools) with the possibility of adjustment and customization (in terms of height, for example). Employees are also sure to positively perceive taking care of their health by implementing such benefits as physiotherapist support, access to a massage chair, or visits to the office by a masseuse. What’s more, the employer can also include ergonomics in the case of remote workers by educating them about it and monitoring the conditions for performing work at home.

Office ergonomics at work – summary

Back pain (from poor posture), carpal tunnel (from constant use of a mouse), and neck problems (due to poor position in front of a monitor or laptop screen) are just some of the health consequences that come with performing duties in a sedentary position for long periods. Such problems translate into an inability to properly fulfill one’s role as an employee – reducing efficiency and productivity, and increasingly forcing sick leave, which halts ongoing activities. For this reason, companies should therefore implement appropriate practices for the health and well-being of their employees, viewing ergonomics at work as an investment that contributes to the success and development of the organization.

Now, you konw why company should take care about office ergonomics. Read also: Furry friends at work. 3 essential pros and cons of a pet-friendly office

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.