Today we are in the digital age. Employees can now be highly skilled ‘free-agent’ knowledge workers. Instead of being always based in offices, people are based according to the information needed for the job at hand or centered around teams. This contemporary work frequently demands high cognitive abilities which often give rise to psychosocial strain in employees. Today in this digital knowledge era, more than ever, psychosocial factors such as job demand, locus of control, and levels of peer and supervisor support place a huge role in determining or attenuating job strain.
This influences the concept of the workplace. The workplace is now not fixed, binary or absolute. 64 million Americans hold jobs compatible with telework & 79% of the US workforce says they would like to work from home, at least part of the time. Post boomers especially are less comfortable with traditional office or cubes and prefer choice when it comes to workplace. Employers now need to consider the human factors of working away from an office. What supportive equipment do employers provide for an employee’s home or virtual office? Where would employees say they work- the office, their home, the subway, a car? How are employers servicing these environments? Trainings, risk assessments, interventions, and workstation design should especially be considered.
Part of the desire to telecommute is due to the fact that cognitively demanding jobs require the ability to moderate the work environment to reflect individuals’ needs. In office spaces, employers must offer supportive solutions for noise levels, lighting, temperature control, and the number of people in the office space. An important concept in workspaces now is adjustability. When adjustability is a standard, the fit between employees and their workspace improves and there is a reduction in the cost of ergonomic intervention and support. Self-adjustable solutions have been shown to improve employee engagement and health outcomes. A good fit reduces both mental and physical discomfort which then reduces errors, injury rates and costs of treatment. Providing a workspace that is comfortable is also proven to improve productivity.
In the future of workspaces, collaboration is key. To keep both employers and employees happy, it is important to fully integrate ergonomics into the workplace. Today there is an increased need for collaboration with designers and space planners for success in both disciplines.
Briotix has the capabilities to help you navigate the complexities of this new era. Contact us today to find out how we can improve your productivity, return on investment, and job satisfaction.