When it comes to office ergonomics, you would probably agree that…
…it can be a painful subject! 🙁
All too often we spend too much time sitting in too poor conditions.
That on its own can result in any type of pain, including neck and lower back.
Fortunately it doesn’t have to be that way.
Fortunatelty there is a wide spectrum of things you could do.
In order to help you be more productive and pain-free (who doesn’t want that?!), we reached out to over 100 office ergonomics specialists (!!!) to ask for some tips from them directly.
What happened next?
We received A LOT of replies…
Almost all of that information is useful, applicable knowledge that You can start applying today! 😉
Scroll down to see all 105 office ergonomics tips or navigate to any of the following categories by clicking on them:
There is a growing interest in the study of office ergonomics.
This is likely because it has been shown severally that the well-being of the worker is directly proportional to the quality of the work done (that is assuming every other factor is in place).
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists:
Ergonomics is the science of matching the work to the worker.
Office ergonomics includes workstation design, job design and the work environment.
A poor fit between the worker and the environment causes physical and psychological stress, which can result in physical health problems and injuries to muscles, joints and nerves.
So, without further ado, please check out these office ergonomics tips right below.
#1: Use the Work Space...Properly
One of the key factors of office ergonomics comes into play the moment, an employee start to first interact with the space he/she has for working
Is it comfortable for them to work?
It is possible to improve it?
These are some important questions that need to be answered for the sake of employee’s well-being and effectiveness/efficiency.
Usability of workstation should therefore, be evaluated on a trial basis first so that employee has the opportunity to test it.
(Prof. Amit Bhattacharya, PhD, CPE, Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society)
#2: Make Necessary Arrangements
Arrange your workstation to suit your task.
Frequently used items should be kept in sight and within reach.
This way you are saving time and effort.
It’s also possible that employees would experience less pain from repetitive strain injuries or any other possible accidents.
#3: focus, Focus, FOCUS
Directly facing you should be what you focus on the most.
For most, it is the computer monitor.
For a few others, it could be a document stack or a drawing board.
If it is documents, place them on a document holder directly in front of you and your monitor slightly to the side.
This is only if you spend more time looking at the documents and not your monitor.
#4: Documents Place
When referencing documents, use a document holder.
Place the documents between the keyboard and monitor.
That way you would avoid straining your eyes and neck by looking up and down when typing.
#5: Don't Be the Cable Guy
Arrange your cables so they do not tangle and pull against your work.
Bundle your monitor and computer cables out of the way so they don’t tangle with your mouse and key board cable if the accessories you use are cabled.
Don’t be the tangled cable guy!
#6: Dock Your Laptop
If you work with a laptop, use a docking station so you can arrange your monitor, keyboard and mouse individually.
These simple arrangements can have a profound effect on your neck, shoulder and back pain – do it!
Docking station will also help to prevent laptop overheating (a real possibility during hot days), keeping its performance high and speedy…just like yours.
#7: Headset (so Cool!)
If your work requires that you make a lot of phone calls, then get a headset.
First of all, it will help you with muscle strain – you don’t need to hold your phone anymore.
Second of all, think noise-cancelling features!
Headsets do have this in place and getting one would very likely affect your conversations with people quite positively…or, at least, you would be able to hear them
#8: Wipe It Regularly
Clean your computer screen as well as other surfaces often.
When you arrive at your workplace or even at your home office, make it a habit to wipe your computer screen.
Not only it would help you clean the place clean and tidy, but it would also help you to get into the working mood…think of it as a work ritual.
Oh yeah, and regular wiping would help you keep all your instruments neat and tidy for the years to come.
#9: Dust Things Go Home
Reduce dust collecting items on your workstation.
These include papers and files.
Put away papers and other files that you don’t need in your daily tasks.
Place them in a box and label them accordingly, like dates and file names.
#10: Shut Up, Everyone!
You can’t really say it, but…
You can reduce disturbance from distracting noises with headphones, earplugs, quiet music or a small fan.
Like what was mentioned on tip #5, a reliable noise-cancelling headset is a must, when you spend a lot of time on the phone.
Keeping noisy things away from the office, keeping the noise down (even when you have a team meeting) is really necessary for the office environment to be good for everyone.
#11: Love the Ones Beside You
Be considerate of others in the office.
Keep chatter down to the barest minimum and take meetings to a different location.
Not only this will help others stay focused, but you will also benefit from a better environment, simply because you wouldn’t need to think about talking quietly…imagination would then flow!
#12: Show Your Emotions...It's Wonderful!
Personalize your workstation or office with personal items of sentimental value like pictures, artworks etc.
Being inspired at work is a great way to be always enthusiastic and efficient.
Besides that, a beautiful thing (like a portrait of your loved ones or a simple plant) would make you feel good…any moment in time.
#13: The Light That Shines (well)
Avoid harsh or extremely dim lighting.
Harsh or dim lighting can be a factor of poor performance.
This affects eyes even if a person has just worked on the computer for a short period of time.
The tricky thing is that you might not even notice it sometimes…just carried away by your work you later realize that it’s too dark/bright in the room.
Try to be more aware of lighting – it would work out.
#14: Please Turn ON The Light
Ensure your work space is well lit.
Prof. Jim McGlothlin, MPH, PhD, CPE, Professor Emiritus and Faculty Scholar of Purdue University and authoer pf “Occupational Ergonomics: Theory and Applications, Second Edition” says:
Preferably, use full spectrum bulbs as they fairly duplicate sunlight and are friendlier to the eyes.
Good lighting, especially task lighting is helpful when working between hard copy and the computer.
Professor knows his stuff…listen to him!
#15: Light It Up!
Natural light is the best lighting possible. It makes people happy! 🙂
Ensure that the lighting corresponds to the visual task in a given office.
When a person works on the computer doing all sorts of tasks (e.g. making floor plans, writing scripts or even just encoding and entering data), make sure that ample lighting is provided.
Once again, poor lighting (either too dim or too harsh) affects employees performance and strains their eyes, causing headaches and so on…
Light it up…seriously!
#16: Got CVS? (Computer Visual Syndrome)
Use appropriate lighting for each task.
Use task lighting to reduce symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) like fatigue, eyestrain and headaches.
They are particularly helpful in reducing eye dilation when you have to work between tasks like a computer and hard copy.
#17: NO to Overhead Projector!
As much as possibly, keep the brightest light to the side of your workstation.
Turn off very bright overhead lighting.
Making use of bright side lights is most beneficial to the eyes.
(Really, get those from IKEA and avoid these chandeliers).
#18: Right Desk for the Right Person
Choose a desk of the right height.
A simple way to know if your desk is the right height is this.
With your arms held at an angle of 90 degrees by your side, sit at your desk.
The desk is the right height if your arms held at 90 degrees rests comfortably on the desk.
#19: A Spacious Desk
Get a desk that has enough clearance for your thighs, knees and feet.
Make sure your knees can move easily underneath your desk.
Also, provide clearance with the measurement so that you can stretch your feet under your desk.
Basically, all you need is a spacious desk…just for yourself.
#20: Try to Sit...and Stand
Try a sit-stand desk.
With these kinds of desks, you can lower your desk to sit or increase it to stand.
This reduces the amount of time you spend seated.
Which can in turn help with neck and back pain.
However some people might not benefit from it, so it’s worth getting a trial session before actually getting one of these.
#21: AdJUstaBLe Chair
Ergonomic chairs are highly adjustable. Consider getting one for yourself.
If you work in the office for a prolonged amount of time (of which you spend sitting at the desk in front of documents and/or computer), then you need an adjustable ergonomic chair.
Yes, we all know that sitting is unhealthy but until they came up with a better solution you do need to sit in comfort, because, first, it helps you avoid any possible pain you might already have and, second, it really affects your productivity.
There is a huge difference when you sit on a normal chair and a chair that’s properly adjusted for you and nobody else!
#22: Get Some Support...from Your Chair
Get a chair with adequate back, neck and lumbar support.
Every ergonomic chair has its own specifications and just like people, they are unique.
So when choosing or buying your office chair, make sure to test it out before checking out the counter.
You can also check these 10 best office chairs to begin with.
Also have a “feel” of the chair…does it feel nice?
Remember that you will spend a lot of time in this chair – take your time when choosing it!
#23: Armrests Make a Difference
Get a chair with adjustable armrest.
Armrests are life-savers.
If you are going to sit on your office chair for a long time, armrests will ensure that your shoulders and arm limbs can relax at some point.
There are many different armrests that come with ergonomic chairs…
They can be adjustable in different dimensions (e.g. 4D is the ultimate adjustability control), which is good for finding a perfect fit for yourself.
#24: Lumbar Support Makes a Difference
Get a chair with adjustable lumbar support.
This is a major consideration when choosing an office chair.
You got to choose one that has an adjustable lumbar support.
However you can also choose add-on lumbar support, which is possible to attach on any office task chair.
The tricky part is whether it would fit (once again, try before you buy!).
#25: Backrest...and Extra Comfort
Get a chair with an ideal backrest.
This should be 12 to 19 inches wide and if its separate from the chair, it should have an adjustable height and angle.
Backrest, ideally in combination with lumbar support, is important for when you sit and decide to…relax (and it would happen quite soon).
You need to know that there are chairs with short backrests and high backrests.
Remember about that, when choosing a perfect ergonomic office chair for yourself.
#26: Up & Down...Height Adjustable Chair
Get a chair with adjustable height.
The ideal chair should have a height range of 16 to 21 inches off the floor.
Prof. Jim McGlothlin adds that:
Adjustable height chairs are key for most people to enable a comfortable work position.
If petite, invest in a good foot rest.
We also recommend viewing other people’s reviews to see if the chair you are getting wouldn’t break in a month.
Also remember about possible weight restrictions, if applicable.
#27: Deep Deep Chair
Get a chair with the right depth for you.
A chair that is too deep will reduce blood circulation.
The chair with the right depth is one in which when you are fully seated, you can insert your fist between the edge of the seat and your calf.
Proper depth is also necessary for lumbar support and, as a result, neck position.
Improper seat depth can easily cause back pain and poor work performance as a result.
#28: Take Responsibility - Make Adjustments!
Improper sitting depth will affect your sitting posture in a negative way. Pay attention to it.
Modify your chair’s seat and depth.
If you have a chair that is too deep and can’t readily change it, correct it by either adjusting the back rest forward or placing a pillow or cushion on your lower back.
You know when you sit on a chair if you are comfortable or not.
However sometimes, yeah, you do need a new chair.
Talk to your boss about it?
#29: Get a Wide (enough) Chair
Get a chair with enough width which should ideally be 17-20 inches wide.
Make sure that the chair’s width suits you well.
Nobody likes to sit on a chair for 8 long hours and feeling all cramped up.
Some chairs come in different sizes to accommodate different size people.
You might also check with different materials – office chairs made of leather can be more comfortable in that regard, than mesh back chairs.
However they would also be more sweaty during summer days.
#30: Padding for Comfort (oh, yeaah!)
Choose a chair with enough padding on the back and seat to provide comfortable sitting.
A breathable material is also preferable.
You can also ‘padalize’ your armrests for extra comfort.
I recommend you do that, if you find your elbows in discomfort all too often.
By the way, padding IS a personal thing – some people love it; others – don’t.
#31: Swivel Chair (baby!)
Get a swivel chair so you can move around with ease.
If you haven’t noticed yet, sitting in a chair that swivels somewhat like takes away an ounce of stress from you.
It relaxes your muscles and your brain, thus making you more productive at work.
I also recommend you get somebody else give you a chair ride…it’s fun to move around like that!
Sitting and Posture
#32: Simple. Knees = Hips
Your ideal sitting position should have you knees level with your hips.
Comfort in sitting is very important.
If your feet are hanging down and don’t touch the floor, it can strain your leg muscles and easily discourage proper blood flow.
This is especially important for people that have circulation health issues and possible leg pain.
#33: Mooove Clooooser
Sit as close as possible to your desk.
Typing so far away from your desk and keyboard makes your arms and hands wear out easily.
It also doesn’t add to your back and neck muscles strain…
Move as close as possible and reduce that strain immediately.
#34: Footrest Helps Your Miniature Self
Use a footrest when your feet cannot rest flat on the floor.
This helps your feet and legs be in a relaxed state and promotes blood circulation, which it itself helps to relieve muscle strain.
It can also reduce tension in your feet, especially if you take the shoes off.
Slight elevation of your feet can also put you into a more ergonomic position, which can immediately reduce muscle strain and soreness.
Try the footrest, if you are tiny…and even if you are not!
#35: How to Relax Shoulders When Typing?
Having zero elbow support is exactly what causes shoulder strain.
This is exactly why we recommended a chair with adjustable armrests in point #23 above…
However you can also use your table, provided that your chair-to-desk ratio allows you to sit straight at with your elbows on it.
If you need to reach forward, then your shoulders would cry for help very soon.
This would then trigger neck pain, headaches and, eventually, it would hit the back.
See if your elbows are on either chair armrests or table surface.
#36: Back Hurts? Adjust Back Support!
Ensure the lumbar support of the chair is adjusted so it supports the curve in your lower back.
You also need to know that science showed that sitting at a 135-degree level is better for your spine.
This is when tilt option almost any ergonomic chair has becomes very useful.
Also remember that, even if your chair has back support, it might not be appropriate for your body type and size.
We recommend that you get a chair with height adjustable lumbar support and adjustable seat depth.
This can take your back ache control onto next level.
#37: Actually HAVE Back Support
Always sit with back support.
Do not sit forward or on the edge of the chair.
Many office workers consciously try to sit straight, but the reality is that…
it doesn’t work this way.
Our spine’s stabilizing muscles can work non-stop, given that sitting on a chair is not what we were made for.
Therefore having an office chair with full body support is all you really need.
#38: Watch Your Ears
While sitting, make sure that your ears are in line with your shoulder with chin in.
This helps maintain the normal “S” shape of the spinal curve.
Besides that, always remember about resting your arms on chair armrests or on the table (as you can see this picture doesn’t show that – learn from these mistakes!)
#39: Be Like a Boxer
Always sit with chin in.
Do not sit with chin jutting out as this puts a strain on the neck and shoulders.
Sitting with chin out would shorten neck extensor muscles and lengthen neck flexor muscles.
These two cause forward head posture and affect spine health (e.g. disc degeneration etc).
Yes, it’s that serious.
#40: Make Yourself Parallel
Always sit with your forearms along your body.
When using a mouse or keyboard, your elbows should be at about 90 degrees.
Elbows resting on the table or right on the chair’s armrests are ideal for when you try to stay productive and avoid neck/shoulder muscle strain.
It really is that simple.
#41: Rest Your Arms
As much as possible, use the arm rest.
When working, it would be better if you relax your arms once in a while and that’s what armrests are for – to give you relaxation.
You can also use a armrest that can be attached to your office desk.
It offers a nice support for your elbow, when you use computer mouse (very often dominant arm is more affected by muscle-strain, than non-dominant arm).
#42: Micromove Around...While Sitting
Change your sitting position often.
After sitting upright for a while, try reclining for a while.
You can also do all kinds of movements during sitting – every little thing would help.
That’s not even exercising yet…try it!
#43: Move Away...Further!
Do not place your monitor closer than an arm’s reach away.
Having your screen very near to your eyes makes them tired easily and the bright light display of your screen can hurt your eyes.
That’s especially true if the lighting conditions in the room are not ideal.
#44: Keep It Straight
Always locate your monitor directly in front of you and not to the side.
Placing the monitor in the center or directly in front of you is a must, if you don’t want to strain your neck, shoulders, hands, and eyes as well.
#45: Let the Sun Shine (not in the monitor though)
Control glares from your monitor.
This is one single thing you can do on a sunny day to significantly reduce muscle strain and fatigue.
In order to do that, sit beside the window (or a source of light) in such a way, that it’s located to the side of the monitor.
You can also use laptops with anti-glare surface on their screens – they do make a difference.
#46: (Under)Cover Yourself
Where you cannot have the window to one side, use a window shade or an anti-glare cover.
If tip #45 is not possible, use any window shade that controls the extra bright light that comes from behind you and causes a destructive glare to your monitor.
Shades are inexpensive and can be quite a stylish addition to any office.
#47: Don't Let the Monitor Rise On You
Do not allow the height of your monitor exceed your eye level.
You will then not need to look up or down when viewing the monitor, reducing stress on your neck and shoulders.
#48: Make It Stand Out
To minimize eyestrain, turn up the monitor’s contrast.
Control your monitor’s brightness by adjusting its contrast.
Monitor or screen brightness that is not calibrated well makes your eyes tired and won’t make you work for a longer time.
This can also effect your vision in future.
#49: Glasses & Monitor Work Together?
If you wear glasses, confirm that your prescription is suitable for staring continually into a monitor.
Do not just buy or wear any eye glasses that’s not fit for your eye grade.
Doing this promotes more eye strain and things like headaches can occur.
#50: The Bigger, The Better
The bigger the better. Talking about monitors of course.
As far as monitors are concerned, the bigger the better.
Invest in bigger flat screen monitors of higher quality.
An expert in Biomedical Engineering, Prof. Amit Bhattacharya, PhD, CPE, Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society adds:
Display screen size should be large enough to accommodate the age of the user.
Depending upon the job task requirements some employees would benefit in having more than one display screen.
Employer must involve employees’ suggestions in the selection of computer workstation.
So, yeah, when it comes to the monitor, size matters!
#51: Font Size...Play With It!
If you appear to strain your eyes a bit when reading from your monitor screen, consider increasing the font size.
Small fonts when you have an eyesight concern strains your eyes more.
Adjust font size to the size that you are most comfortable.
Also, if possible, you can try adjusting the actual font you work with.
Some fonts are naturally easier to read.
#52: Multi-Tasking? Then Multi-Monitor!
Depending on the kind of task you perform, you may consider switching to a multiple monitor system.
If you are into having multiple screens in front of you, you may do so.
Having multiple screens allows you to navigate more of your work, all at the same time.
Besides it makes you look even cooler!
#53: Tilt the Monitor...NOW!
Tilt your monitor back 10 to 20 degrees.
It’s important to keep your focal length the same as your eyes look from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top of your screen.
In other words, no part of the monitor should be closer to your eyes, than its another part.
By the way, if you wear bifocals, tilt to about 30 to 40 degrees.
#54: Get Scared of Blue Light
Staring at a bright screen for hours is very unhealthy for the eye.
Install Apps (e.g. f.lux) that help regulate the brightness of the screen to match the time of the day.
Avoiding blue light after the sun has gone down, will also help you fall asleep easier at night.
Try f.lux – it’s really good.
#55: Arm Your Monitor
Invest in a monitor arm.
This will give you the ability to adjust your monitor anytime as needed.
You can also control its tilt and turn it around to avoid screen glares, if necessary.
The Keyboard and Mouse
#56: Type Like a Boss
Invest in good quality ergonomic keyboards.
These include tent-structured keyboards that reduce wrist flexion, contoured keyboards that reduce wrist extension and expandable keyboards that are adjustable to the user’s shoulder width.
Ergonomic keyboards do make typing a breeze…
#57: Keyboard & Mouse Love Each Other
Always place the keyboard and mouse close to each other and at the same level.
By doing this, you avoid muscle strain of your arms and hands, because you don’t need to reach far for them.
If you use a keyboard tray, ensure the mouse is also on the tray.
One way or another, keeping things organized and tidy, keep your mind that way too.
#58: It's All About the 'B:'
The best position for your keyboard is directly in front of the monitor and not to either side.
Keeping it that way would prevent repetitive stress that could arise from having to look sideways at the screen repeatedly.
So, ensure that the “B” letter is directly in front of you.
It’s all about the ‘B’.
#59: Elbows & Keyboards Have a Thing...
Ensure that your keyboard is at the same height as your elbows.
It’s the 90-degree angle that’s the key to this tip.
Always practice this magic number for utmost comfort.
Keep it 90!
#60: Incline Your Keyboard
Some keyboards have a better ergonomic design that others. Make sure you find the one for yourself.
Tilt your keyboard back a bit so as to keep your wrists flat.
Slight recline of the keyboard will help to reduce forehand muscle strain and help your typing speed.
It’s quite surprising how effective this small adjustment is.
By the way, you can try to tilt your keyboard backwards and forwards every once in a while, so that you actually use different muscles while typing.
#61: Switch Hands, Punk!
Try mouse clicking with your non-dominant hand from time to time.
Though this might not be doable all the time because, as we say, our other hand is non-dominant but this tip works great!
Yes, first 10-15 minutes are uncomfortable, because this is the time you need to take in order to get used to the new mouse position, but after that it feels much better.
By the way, you can practice this non-dominance even when brushing your teeth – just switch your arm.
#62: Use the Force, But Not Too Much
Use minimum force while striking the keys.
Do not bang your keyboard so hard, because it hurts…the keyboard. 🙂
It also makes your wrist and fingers hurt eventually.
This is especially true for those who experience degenerative diseases like hand arthritis.
And, yeah, the keyboard can also suffer and fall apart.
Oh, and it’s also annoying for your office mates to hear that noise.
#63: Don't Just Put It On!
Dress for the task.
Your level of comfort with your dressing both physically and psychologically while executing a task will affect the outcome of that task.
Good clothes can easily boost your confidence.
Yes, we shouldn’t depend on clothes, but this kind of ego-booster does work.
#64: Nor Freeze, Nor Sweat
Dress for your environment.
Feeling cold or hot while at work will not help your efficiency.
You should also dress appropriately for whatever job you do.
You wouldn’t go to a building site in a doctors outfit, would you?
#65: They Look At Your Clothes (really)
Smart comfortable dressing is perfect for office environment.
Dress smart, dress to impress.
Your appearance affects how you are received and your confidence level.
There is this view that people shouldn’t be treated, based on what they wear, but…they are.
If you dress smart, you look smart and your behavior changes.
It’s that simple.
#66: Dress Like Them
Think of the people your job requires you to interact with while dressing.
Your dressing can make it easier of more difficult for you to interact easily with them.
Sales people often use this technique and dress just like their potential clients, so to have more similarities with them.
#67: High Heels. Maybe No?
High heels are certainly fashionable.
However, they affect your body’s center of gravity and in turn adversely affect your posture, support and balance.
High heels do affect your lower back as well.
In fact, they have a negative effect on the feet’s ability to dorsiflex, which also causes some these muscles strain more, resulting in feet getting tired.
Wear supportive footwear more often and even go barefeet – there is a lot of options on the market.
#68: Ergonomics...Means a Lot
Provide ergonomic furniture.
This sums up for all the quality ergonomic chairs and desks needed for utmost comfort and productivity in the office.
Ergonomic furniture does make employees life more comfortable and enjoyable.
This directly affects how productive they are.
Getting ergonomic furniture is then an investment, not an expense.
#69: Temperature Perfect for You
Keep office temperature comfortable.
Keep office temperature just right, not so cold and not too warm.
Depending on the time of the year and people’s preferences, ideal temperature for office is between 71F and 77F (21C and 25C).
This is the temperature people feel most productive at.
#70: Love the Sun You Should
Create an environment that provides exposure to sunlight.
Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight improves the mood.
And better mood means increased employee satisfaction and productivity.
Sun makes people happy…why not make them happy?
#71: Open Your Eyes & Look Around
Studies have suggested that viewing outdoors or nature while working improves memory and focus.
Where this is not possible, provide images of nature around the office.
Yes, even images of nature and green forests help to reduce stress and make them feel better almost immediately.
#72: Vacuum Clean the Air
But the point is to reduce airborne particles like mold, pollen and dust with a portable air cleaner.
Invest in a portable air cleaner or a vacuum to help tidy up the office’s nooks and crannies.
There are many different models on the market, depending on their power and efficiency.
You can also consider humidifier, if that would really benefit your health (this is mainly climate and season-dependent; humidifiers can help with pollen allergies, but not necessarily with indoor allergies)
#73: Be Smart, Use S.M.A.R.T.
Set realistic goals for your staff to reduce unnecessary stress.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals and make them happen.
More than that, try to focus on the process, rather than the end results.
Creating processes that create results is invaluable for any business.
More than that, creating a process that people enjoy would keep them motivated and content with what they do.
This is how goals just achieve themselves automatically.
#74: Balance...Balance Is What Matters
Arrange work load in such a way that busy and not so busy times are evened out.
Planning office activities per week, per month and annually is such an important thing to remember.
This will help spread out activities and thus balances the work load all throughout the month or year.
And remember this…
A woodsman was once asked, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.” Let us take a few minutes to sharpen our perspective.
#75: Rotate Tasks Like Shirts
Encourage varying of task from time to time.
Sometimes, messages could be delivered in person rather than by phone or email.
Not only this promotes extra movement at the work space, but encourages human interaction, which is kind of on the low these days with all these gadgets available to us.
So many friends on Facebook, so few real life experiences. :\
(Sorry, just kind of melancholic now).
#76: Time to Optimize It, Boss
Ensure that general equipment and supplies are arranged for optimal efficiency each day.
Have the right office floor plan for proper placement of office equipment and supplies.
By doing this, office staff can work more productively and effectively.
Tidy space -> tidy head.
#77: Care For Employees, Boss
Use privacy filters and partitions to improve privacy.
Office cubicles are very helpful in concentration.
This does not only create a more private atmosphere but also keeps your good ideas coming in.
Caring for employees privacy is not only great for how they feel, but will also backfire on their imagination and overall happiness.
Care for your employees, boss!
(Being a super boss is a nice job).
#78: Get Them Up & Have a Break
Encourage short breaks to re-energize.
Lunch break naps and coffee breaks in between office hours should be encouraged in almost all offices.
Just a 15-minute coffee break or just ‘a breather’ of fresh air outside the office re-energizes office workers.
When they come back, get ready for creative ideas!
#79: Greenalize Your Office
Make plants part of your office decor.
We need live things inside the office and plants are always a great idea.
Some offices go as far as bringing pets inside.
Having a dog onsite is a really cool experience not just for the workers, but for the dog itself (it won’t stay alone at home).
#80: Health. Think About Food.
If you provide snacks for certain occasions, ensure they are healthy snacks.
Healthy snacks like fruits or oatmeal cookies and nuts are some of your options when snacking in the office.
However still watch out, because even healthy things have caloric load.
For example, nuts, even though extremely healthy, are very calorie-dense.
#81: No Fizzy Food Please
Encourage healthy eating.
If you have a vending machine, replace with a healthy micro market.
Besides that there is quite a lot of snack offering businesses that are focused on providing healthy foods for offices.
#82: Let Them Chillax & Help That Happen
Have relaxation lounges where employees can relax and unwind from time to time.
Unwinding in between office hours provide a much-need “perk-up” to employees.
Areas where they can relax, do some yoga and even meditate are of great value for employees.
You can also take responsibility and organize something like that on the regular basis.
#83: Move, Move, Move!
Encourage physical activity.
Remind your employees that they should sometimes use the stairs rather than the elevator.
Seriously, even taking one staircase can balance sugar level and help you feel energized.
It happens, because blood starts flowing faster and your body is now in the active mode, which means it’s more alert to external stimuli.
Take the stairs – feel good!
#84: Help Them Become Better Beings
Encourage personal development by subsidizing developmental books or creating an office library.
Book sharing is another practice you can start following in your office.
People can take any book, provided they put something back in the ‘library’.
It can be a very cool thing, given the digitalization of everything around.
Old-school is nice, right?
#85: No - Quo
Don’t be stuck on status quo.
Depending on the kind of work you do, try flexible hours.
Let your focus be the quality of work done and not the routine of coming in by 9am and leaving by 5pm.
At least try!
That doesn’t hurt.
#86: Away From Work, Work Better?
Building on the previous point…
Try a one day a week remote work day.
On this day you allow employees work from home or any remote place of their choice.
No commutes to work for that day for the employee(s).
So, pick a day and make it happen!
#87: Control It, Boss
Provide, share and monitor the implementation of ergonomic tips around the office.
We also encourage you to actively support your employees.
Encouragement and support can only result in a positive outcome.
Being nice to others also feels good.
#88: Encourage Imagination
Be like Google.
Try the 20% rule.
One day a week, allow employees to work on any project of their choice so long as it advances the course of the company.
Google did this and from it, Gmail and AdSense were born.
#89: Walk...Seriously - Walk
According to research, walking is said to make people more creative.
When having some office meetings or brainstorming sessions, think of making it a walking meeting.
After all, you all are likely to have been sitting all day and a nice walk would be of pleasure.
#90: Get the Blood Flowing
Before starting meetings, do little warm up exercises.
It is sure to increase circulation and break any “official” ice, resulting in a more productive and fun meeting.
By no means should you get really into it, so that you start sweating…no!
All you really need is a few reps of anything.
#91: 80% of Human Body is Water
Encourage water drinking.
Place water dispensers within easy reach.
Also make sure that the water you get is of high quality.
Even though most water is OK to drink from the tap, it still contains quite a lot of unhealthy things inside it (e.g. fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceutical drugs and so on).
#92: Believe in Them & Up the Gratefulness
Improve the positive spirit in the office by issuing a gratefulness challenge.
For a period (Maybe a week, or even a month), let each employee record a specific number of things they are grateful for.
This simple awareness exercise can simply remind many people that what they are and what they have is truly amazing.
#93: Constant Improvement
Carry out frequent work site analysis to identify areas that can be ergonomically improved.
That does require some awareness and knowledge, but it can be done…especially if it’s a habbit.
Alternatively you can bring in some external experts or get some advice from outside.
Prof. Kermit G. Davis, III, PhD, CPE also adds:
…to make sure the workstation has been set up to fit you, the OSHA website has a great checklist to ensure the worker fits the work station.
#94: A-a-a, I work out!
Engage in regular physical fitness activities.
It is important that you stay fit, flexible and have the strength and endurance needed for work.
Even though physical activity is important, what’s more important is mobility.
Especially when people get older.
Mobility is one thing that really degrades with years, if left unattended (i.e. many pains and aches originate from mobility issues).
#95: Go Away From Work
Have a break. Have a…whatever. Every 30-40 minutes is a good place to begin with.
Take regular work breaks.
This will help prevent injuries arising from repetitive strain.
A 5 to 15 minutes work break is highly recommended for anyone doing continuous computer work.
Walk around and stretch.
This time will give the body time to stretch and change positions while also allowing the eyes to rest.
#96: Different Tasks - Different Muscles (& Less Strain)
Alternate your tasks as often as you can.
This will break boredom and also allow you use different muscle groups, avoiding overuse.
Of course, there should be balance in it, because doing too many tasks at once is not likely give any positive result in the long-run.
What can work better is building a system that promotes bounded multitasking, so that it’s not too much, but, at the same time, you get a lot different movements thus avoiding overuse issues.
#97: The 20/20/20 Technique
Adopt the 20/20/20 rule.
Look away from your monitor every 20 minutes and focus on a spot 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
This helps avoid eye strain and refocus your focus.
The 20/20/20 rule…use it!
While working in front of your computer, blink often as this keeps the eyes moistened.
Also learn to rest your eyes often by covering them with your palms, keeping them in darkness for about a minute each time.
This contrast will help your eyes to regroup and relax.
Remember that eye strain can cause headaches.
#99: Don't Get Comfortable With Uncomfortable
If it gets uncomfortable, do something about it.
Do not let the situation degenerate into a more serious health condition.
So, if your back is uncomfortable in that chair, adjust the chair properly or even change it.
Is your hand hurting, when you use that mouse?
Don’t try getting used to it, try adjusting its position or, again, change the mouse for an ergonomic one.
There is no need to sit under the rain and pretend it’s sunny. 😉
#100: Hold the Phone...Don't Jam It
While taking on the phone, hold it properly.
Do not keep the phone jammed between your neck and shoulder.
Keeping it jammed is a recipe to almost immediate muscle spasms, because not only they occur from repetitive activity, but are also fueled by work stress.
If you find yourself using a phone frequently, think of getting a headset or a simple pair of in-ear plugs that also have a microphone in them.
#101: Relax...Arms & Wrists Included
Keep your arms and wrists relaxed by using a wrist rest.
Wrist wrest can help with degenrative hand issues like arthritis, but they do have their limits, because…
…is not advisable to type with your wrist resting on a wrist rest.
We know it’s weird, but that the reality – they can affect the blood flow and make matters worse.
#102: Rubber Mat...Underneath Yourself
If your work requires that you stand a lot, you can improve your comfort by placing a rubber mat on the floor where you stand.
There is this notion that sitting is bad, but…so can be standing.
Especially if you have a lot of tension in your legs and some types of pain (e.g. hip, knee etc).
Standing however can be of benefit if done in a smart way.
And the rubber mat can reduce pressure on your legs and feet.
#103: Be Careful With Sharp Edges
Do not rest your arms, elbows or wrists on hard or sharp surfaces.
Edges of some table can be quite sharp and potentially dangerous.
Glass tables are among those, so watch out when you use one.
Also, make sure there are no sharp objects on the table, so that you accidentally don’t poke yourself with it.
#104: Test Your Eyes & See If They See
Get regular eye examinations.
You may just discover that you require corrective lenses.
This is especially important if you find yourself working long hours in front of computer.
Also make sure to check if your glasses are OK to use with computer monitor and with reading – people tend to need different types of glasses for different occasions.
#105: Hear Yourself; Hear Your Body
Listen to your body.
Jim McGlothlin, Professor Emeritus and Faculty Scholar Purdue University, says:
Mindfulnness is important when performing office work – listen to your body and stretch upper and lower body in the morning, midday and before going home.
Mental stress leads to physical stress.
Take a walk, stand in the sunlight (especially during the winter months), close your eyes, breath deep and visualize being at a beautiful beach during a sunrise or sunset.
Awww…what a scene!
An ergonomic office setting is not just for the benefit of the worker.
It benefits all.
Office ergonomics is all about the office staff being comfortable in everything, from the desk’s height to the monitor’s brightness down to the details of each equipment used while working.”
When the well-being of the employee is improved, productivity automatically improves.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it contains enough tips to drastically improve the working conditions in any office.
These tips are also applicable to home offices.
And, as Adrian K. Watson (an expert in Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety Consultant in the UK) puts it:
Comfort is key.
So, improve your work environment and you will have happy employees.
Happy employees improve productivity and reduce employee turnover.