All startups are looking for ways to optimize their business, as any tip or trick to streamline work and save on long-term costs can add to the success of your endeavour. Unfortunately, one thing that can be overlooked at the beginning as a nonessential element is the ergonomics of the office. Ergonomics takes into account the human element of an environment, so the idea is to customize your office to be as efficient and as healthy as possible for you and your employees.
1. Physical Ergonomics: Physical Work Environment
The first thing a new startup should take into account is the physical environment that they will be working in. Items like ergonomic desks, chairs, panasonic business phone systems from CCMN and other equipment that are placed cleverly (like in the graphic above) will ensure that you and your workers will maintain healthy and productive habits.
Physical ergonomic design reduces the body’s physical stress and slows down the general wear and tear of office life. What this means is that your workers will require less time off and will also be more productive than workers who develop aches and pains throughout the work week. This can reduce employee turnover, sick leave and the likelihood of workplace-related injuries for which you may be liable.
2. Physical Ergonomics: Health and Safety
As well as having the correct furniture and equipment, your workers need to know the correct way to use them and conduct themselves so that the tools you have provided are used effectively. Things that workers should be trained on are the correct ways to sit and move when handling/using equipment and correct lifting procedures. As for safety, it is essential that hazards are stored and monitored correctly, and that workers that are sedentary take short breaks often where they move from their desk.
3. Cognitive Ergonomics: Training and Workload
New businesses take a lot of time and energy, which can be very mentally draining and stressful.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to prevent mental burnout in you and your workers.
Firstly, you need to ensure that the workload everyone is assigned is manageable and realistic for the individual’s level of training and capabilities. When people are constantly working above their means, it leads to high levels of stress and this can cause physical illness as well as burnout.
Secondly, a person’s training needs to be adequate for the tasks they are completing.
Aside from the obvious problems that an under-qualified person may cause, if a person feels out of their depth in a position and is unable to improve, they can quickly become overwhelmed. If you or your workers do not feel up to the task, it is essential that someone more prepared is hired to do the job.
4. Organizational Ergonomics: Design of Working Times
Starting a business in 2017 has it’s advantages, one of which being the fact that technology is the most advanced it’s ever been! One thing that this means is that you can be flexible about where and when the work can be done. We know that everyone has different ‘peak times’ of wakefulness and productivity. Taking advantage of you and your workers’ different capabilities is as easy as having flexible working hours.
A way of doing this is by having a set amount of hours or tasks each person must complete each week for their wage, but not specifying the times at which this work must take place. Whilst this model takes trust and can only apply in certain kinds of business, it can help you take advantage of each person’s abilities whilst ensuring that your workers have a good incentive to get work completed efficiently.
5. Organizational Ergonomics: Good Management and Flexible Business Models
Finally, keeping your workers organized and on track is essential to a successful startup.
As long as everyone knows what is expected of them and management remains flexible, there is no reason that you shouldn’t succeed in your endeavours.
In business, your most important resources are you and your workers; keeping ergonomics in mind will always lead to the best human outcomes. When your workers are happy and comfortable, they will be productive and more prepared to make you money! Remember, you only get out what you put in and good luck with your next venture!
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