According to research published in the Digital Journal, workers’ interest in a hybrid job environment appears to be on a steady incline since the beginning of 2022. In the past three months alone, there has been an increase of 84 percent in online searches for “work from home jobs” and searching for “4-day week jobs has jumped by more than 1,000 percent in the same period.
As employers evaluate options for offering hybrid work weeks, one consideration that is presenting challenges is ensuring the two different worksites – one at home and one at the office – are ergonomically correct to reduce common repetitive strain injuries suffered by office workers.
When we all suddenly went home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, some were able to bring needed ergonomic equipment home while others were not. Some have home offices, while others are working from dining room tables. Now, more than two years after that initial shutdown, and with many companies evaluating permanent hybrid options, employers must work to ensure their employees are safe in the office and at home.
Ensuring worker safety may require an ergonomic restart.
Over the past several decades, our society has realized the necessity and value of ergonomics in refining workstations to keep employees comfortable and productive, while reducing repetitive strain injuries. But over the past few months, as work-from-home arrangements start to become permanent, many companies are shrinking office space and asking colleagues to share workstations since they are only in the office part-time. This shift requires a fresh look at ergonomics at the office worksite and a new look at how employees are set up at home.
This ergonomic reset does not have to be a daunting task for companies and most of what is needed to evaluate the current workstation set-up can be done virtually with the help of a trained ergonomist. Comprehensive virtual ergonomic assessments include:
- Improvements to an individual’s current workstation orientation (both in the office and at home)
- Education on proper ergonomic postures and opportunities for self-correction
- Identification of ergonomic risk factors and red flags
By conducting both in-office and at-home workstation evaluations, companies can find effective solutions that can often be achieved inexpensively. Investment in proper ergonomics has proven to pay dividends in improved employee morale and loss prevention.
To learn more about how our qualified team of ergonomic experts can assist your company in ensuring your workers have an ergonomically correct workstation, check out our onsite and virtual ergonomic assessment offerings.