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4 Ideas to Create a More Productive Office Environment

By: Mike Kind.


Date Added : September 7, 2011 Views : 440
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The increase in office automation such as e-mail, desktop printers as well as computer usage has led us to remain seated for longer periods of time than in the past. A significant amount of recent research has been published that highlights the potential health hazards associated with a more sedentary workplace. For example, did you know -

• As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, common pain conditions are having an adverse impact on productivity. Researchers found that lost productive time due to back pain, headache, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal discomfort was costing US companies an estimated $61.2 billion per year.

• The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) now account for more than one-third of all occupational illnesses and injuries, and constitute the largest job-related illness and injury problem in the US today.

o Employers reported a total of 487,900 lost workdays in 2002 (need current info) due to work-related MSDs, representing nearly 50% of all lost work days.

o On top of these productivity costs, employers pay out approximately $20 billion annually.

Listed below are four areas of opportunity to help you mitigate this risk.

1) Workstation Design

Did you know - The standard 29”-30” high desk is designed for someone 6’1” – 6’5” tall? Office workers who were most likely to report pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were not the ones who spent the most time using a computer, but the workers who said their workstation design was poor.

A standard office desk should not be selected as a computer workstation. Adjustable sit to stand desks are considered the best alternative and have become more affordable due to recent price declines. There is a wide variety of options available that can be viewed at Jaymil Ergo and Office Solutions’ Sit to Stand Desk Solution Center.

Other solutions can be implemented to accommodate the individual that vary based on the employee’s physical characteristics and can be implemented by an ergonomic solutions specialist that can also deliver significant results.

2) Keyboards and Keyboard Trays

Did you know – Purchasing the right keyboard and keyboard tray is one of the greatest challenges when setting up a workstation?

There are a myriad of models and alternatives to choose from. Understanding which is the most appropriate for the individual can be a daunting and confusing task. Even more important, once the equipment is purchased and installed ensuring that it is being used properly is critical.

Work with a vendor that will consult with you to select the right equipment to accommodate the proper height, keyboard design, tilt, positioning and most importantly educate the individual in proper usage and adjustments based on their needs.

This will maximize your investment and more importantly significantly reduce the potential for soft tissue injuries.


3) Flat-Panel Monitors and Monitor Arms

Did you know – The amount of square footage allotted to each worker in the United States has diminished by as much as 17 percent since 1994 and that workstations designed for flat panel monitors can be between 10% and 20% smaller than comparable CRT-based workstations, while still allowing for the same functional work surface area. Furthermore, flat-panel monitors use approximately 60% less energy than the average CRT, resulting in a savings of $26.74 per monitor per year.

Affixing a flat screen monitor to the right monitor arm not only frees up workspace but allows the user to adjust the height, depth and tilt of the screen to reduce eye and neck strain with a slight fingertip motion. Proper positioning and setup is critical as individual needs vary based on height, visual acuity and even age.

4) Lighting

Did you know - People in their 60s require approximately 350% more contrast than do people in their 20s?

This creates a tremendous disparity between the lighting needs around an office. A single source system of overhead lighting is inadequate and causes a significant amount of waste in office environments.

Task lighting has been shown to have the benefit of increasing worker productivity, largely due to individuals being given control over their own lighting levels. Participants in a lighting study using task lights produced a 35% to 42% decrease in energy consumption.

Selecting the proper task light has a lot to do with style and personal tastes; however placing a task light in the proper position is the key to generating the cost saving benefits.

The key to designing a successful workspace is to fit the products to the person instead of the person to the product as one size does not fit all. Finding the right product to the individual is critical. A workplace ergonomics company can assist you in helping determine which product is right for each individual and provide the installation and training to ensure you get the greatest return on your investment by maximizing employee well being and productivity.



Mike Kind is a partner in Jaymil Ergo & Office Solutions. Jaymil is a national leader and industry pioneer in workspace ergonomics including custom solutions of workspace ergonomic products. They provide documented, value added benefits to a diverse client base by employing a hands on, customized approach in creating workplace environment solutions. He can be reached by e-mail – mkind@jaymil.com or by phone at 603-629-9995.

Article Source: 4 Ideas to Create a More Productive Office Environment

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