As a small business owner, you’ll know just how important ergonomics are to your business. If you fail to look after your employees’ wellbeing and overall health, you’ll not only develop a bad reputation in your sector, but you’ll suffer from absenteeism and perhaps even claims against your business. Below, we’ve rounded up some simple tips to help you get started…
Encourage good posture
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to improve workplace ergonomics is to encourage staff to practice good posture. Sure, you can’t physically make them sit up straight or change their bad habits, but sending out emails and offering training is a good first step. Record a couple of videos or get staff to experiment with different ways of sitting at a desk to see what’s most comfortable for them – they’ll soon discover something that works for them and their bodies.
Focus on your eyes
Another common workplace problem is eye strain, especially for those who spend most of their day looking at a computer screen. Make sure monitors are at eye-level for those who are sitting straight in a chair, and if you have a window in your office, ensure monitors are angled to reduce glare. Old, flickering monitors should be upgraded to more modern ones with better screen resolutions; they’re relatively inexpensive and can make a big difference.
Let staff change up their routines
Repeating the same thing day in, day out can cause strains over time, so if it’s possible to do so, allow staff to alternate tasks. Job rotation could be a way to not only improve ergonomics and overall health but increase productivity and job satisfaction at the same time. Where this is not possible, for example, if only one member of staff is trained in using the equipment, you could incorporate rest breaks and encourage staff to do exercises when not working.
Invest in chairs
For office-based employees, ergonomic chairs are essential. Find an FM provider that can assist with workplace design and the sourcing of quality, ergonomically designed equipment, and you’ll save yourself time and money in the process. Generally speaking, if your feet cannot touch the floor when you’re sat in an office chair, you need a new one. Make sure that this is given priority; good chairs might be more expensive, but they’ll pay dividends.
Always lift with the knees
Finally, make sure that staff receive adequate training if they’re performing manual labour, even if it only forms a very small part of their overall role. For example, you should always lift with your knees; lifting with the muscles in your back is not only uncomfortable but could cause damage. Simple strategies like this one can have a real impact on office ergonomics.