Ergonomics: What you need to know

Rather than being an important consideration at the start of an office fitout or relocation project, ergonomics is often an afterthought or a ‘fixer’. It’s one of those things that when done well, you don’t notice, but if it’s not done well – can have a very serious impact on staff wellbeing.

A study by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the majority of sick days are lost due to musculoskeletal issues such as back, neck and muscular pain – problems that could have been averted by putting a little extra effort into the ergonomic design of the working environment.

But ergonomics is not just about workstations or chair heights; it’s about designing for people – and their interactions with products, systems or processes which makes it a key component of the initial planning phase of your office fitout or relocation. Implementing ergonomics during the early design phase empowers you to be more proactive at reducing injuries, helps improve productivity and can save you a lot of money in the long term.

Benefits of office ergonomics

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased work quality
  • Increased job satisfaction and morale
  • Improved employee retention, thus reducing training costs
  • Improved health and safety
  • Decreased down time at work
  • Decreased absenteeism

When it comes to designing tasks and work areas to maximise the efficiency and quality of work, ergonomics is your go-to buzzword. And remember, your focus should just not be on aesthetics but on selecting fittings and fixtures for work and health benefits.

Your initial ergonomics design plan should have three goals or targets:

1. Safety

2. Productivity

3. Operator satisfaction

Look at lighting and creating zones and separate areas for the variety of activities that need to be performed. Do you need a quiet, mellow workspace area? Adjustable standing desks for those who are office-bound all day? How about an area for brainstorming, with comfortable low couches for relaxing and stretching out? A cosier, people-friendly office environment can also be created through intelligent use of lighting and acoustic panellingErgonomic desks, seating and storage solutions all designed to aid human biomechanics can be incorporated into your initial design specifications at the outset.

McCormack is your first point of call when it comes to advice on ergonomic office design. The office fitout specialists at McCormack can talk you through a variety of ergonomic options and explore solutions for your own office fitout, relocation or renovation goals.

The aim of effective ergonomic office design is to ensure your staff are comfortable at work. Your people are the key to your business success, so making sure their health and comfort is top of your list is imperative. After all, we all know that prevention is much better than cure.