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What Is Workplace Ergonomics?
Jul 23, 2021
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I did not know the word ergonomics not until I was employed in one call center, the last employment I had. I was happy because the chairs were comfortable and the tables are just the perfect workspace to work on. I always looked forward to going to my office even though my schedule is night shift, around 2:00 a.m., the time when everybody was asleep, already dreaming and lying in bed comfortably.  

I was not envious about that because I was quite overwhelmed with how my office was designed, I mean the office layout where we had enough space for freer movements, a corner to use the Internet freely, and of course the best part for me was the pieces of ergonomic furniture that welcome us as we enter the work area.

The chairs were ergonomically designed such that they can swivel 360 degrees and it moves smoothly so that we could change places when our computers were not working efficiently. The chairs were fully padded and cushioned so they were so comfortable to sit on and could be titled for us to be able to recline and rest during break hours. I usually slept 30 minutes from the one-hour lunch break that we were privileged to have.

Of course, the chair was height adjustable so I had no problem adjusting it to fit my height which is, unfortunately, shorter than most of my co-workers. The armrests were also fully padded and soft so that I could relax my arms and hands after some calls. The nature of my job was really toxic because I had to answer inbound calls wherein I sometimes encountered irate customers that sometimes ruined my day.

Anyway, after a year, I was still fascinated with my ergonomic table and chair that sometimes I thought of owning when I separated from my work. But that was not possible. I always saw to it that when I came to the office, I still saw my chair still intact with my table. That usually made my day.

Regarding my ergonomic table, I liked it so much because the surface was so smooth and clean. It was also long enough to accommodate my two PC monitors, other computer peripherals, and my coffee mug. It is also huge enough to hold my snacks and plateful of meals when there were team meetings where we had to take our lunch in our workstations. The table height was also ideal for me and there were no cross-bars underneath giving my legs and feet more room and that made me more comfortable at work.

My table was also spacious enough to sleep on during breaks. Although it was not fully ergonomic because it was not height adjustable, I still appreciated having a big table where everything that I needed was within my reach. It was an ideal table for me.

Then after a year, I realized that I was lucky to have such a cozy office environment with a good layout and ergonomic office furniture procured for us that helped us that much to perform our job notwithstanding the problems we encountered with “toxic” callers.  

All of these features contributed to an ergonomic workplace.

An online article defined workplace ergonomics as “the science of designing the workplace, keeping in mind the capabilities and limitations of the worker" (https://ergo-plus.com/). The article also indicated that “A workplace ergonomics improvement process removes risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal injuries and allows for improved human performance and productivity.”

That being said, I was lucky that I had the privilege of working in an ergonomic workplace wherein everything from the layout to office furniture contributed much to our efficiency and productivity in the performance of our tasks. I had never felt pain and discomfort when I was working in that BPO company for a couple of years. In fact, it was where my health was fine except for the loss of some hours of sleep because I had to commute from my residence to my place of work.

There are other benefits of having an ergonomically designed workplace aside from my own experience. The same article discussed some of the benefits such as:

  1. Ergonomics reduces costs - “Systematically reducing ergonomic risk factors, you can prevent costly MSDs. With approximately $1 out of every $3 in workers compensation costs attributed to MSDs, this represents an opportunity for significant cost savings”
  2. Ergonomics improves productivity. “The best ergonomic solutions will often improve productivity. By designing a job to allow for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions, and better heights and reaches, the workstation becomes more efficient.”
  3. Ergonomics improves quality - Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work. When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained.”
  4. Ergonomics improves employee engagement- “Employees notice when the company is putting forth their best efforts to ensure their health and safety. If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement.”
  5. Ergonomics creates a better safety culture - “Ergonomics shows your company’s commitment to safety and health as a core value. Healthy employees are your most valuable asset; creating and fostering the safety & health culture at your company will lead to better human performance for your organization.”

Ergonomics can be applied at home by having ergonomic tables and chairs to make your day more productive especially if you are a teleworker or you are working from home. It is a good investment to have an ergonomic standing desk such as one from Flexispot.  

One highly recommendable product is the  Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series that has an awesome feature such as having an energy-efficient LED Display wherein the advanced keypad has three (3) programmable memory height presets and a programmable sit/stand reminder system. 

It also has a dual-motor lifting system that boosts its weight capacity up to 275 lbs. The dual-motor system is powerful enough to support stability even at the highest setting. Learn more about this exciting product from Flexispot.