Head of WorkSpace IQ
Reflecting back on the past 12 months, it’s been great to see workplace wellness continuing to gain a higher profile in our business communities.
As well as this growth in awareness, I’ve also noticed a bit of a buzz starting to build around the term ‘ergonomics programmes’. Naturally this is a welcome topic of conversation for me, but it’s encouraging to hear that more organisations (maybe spurred on by the recent changes in Health & Safety legislation) are not only talking about well and accessible workplaces here in Christchurch, but we are starting to create them.
Creating opportunities; why it pays to have an ergonomics programme
More than a feel good, tick box exercise, studies undertaken indicate that there is a significant increase in productivity, staff satisfaction and retention when there is an ergonomics programme in place.
A research paper put out by Humantech in the States in 2014 clearly recommended the benefits and return on investment, citing that the ROI can exceed three times the investment and that use of the simple ROI formula allows managers to measure and demonstrate the value of a programme to tie in with their organisation’s bottom line.
Currently most of us do not have these figures readily available to allow us to calculate this, but implementation of a programme creates an opportunity and becomes a worthwhile investment.
A healthy investment with measurable benefits
Hearing the chatter is somewhat helpful, but what actually is an ergonomics programme? And why would your workplace even need one?
If you intend on implementing a programme, I recommend that you start by running through a quick checklist to give you a snapshot of your current position and a reference point from which you can measure the improvements your organisation makes as your programme progresses.
Remember every business is different, but regardless of the type of work you do, the check need not be complicated.
If your approach is proactive, you might involve new staff/induction training in workstation set up, safe work practices and healthy work habits. Perhaps you could also run occasional refresher courses, group training or train the trainer sessions. If fitness is important to you, you might organise a corporate exercise challenge, or offer workplace Pilates or Yoga classes.