Wednesday , December 13 2017
Home / Research Papers / HR / Workplace Ergonomics

Workplace Ergonomics

INTRODUCTION TO ERGONOMICS

The term ergonomics was coined from the Greek words ergon (meaning “work”) and nomos (meaning “rules). So the literal meaning is “the rules of work,” Ergonomics is the science of fitting the work-place conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population. The goal of ergonomics is to make the work place more comfortable and to improve both health and productivity. To meet these goals, the capabilities and limitations of workers and their tools, equipment and furniture are considered in conjunction with how they relate to particular tasks. Ergonomics is the application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and environment for human use. Ergonomics comes into everything which involves people. Work systems, sports and leisure, health and safety should all embody ergonomics principles if well designed.

Workplace Ergonomics

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about “ergonomics”. Ergonomics is the study of the relationship between people and their work environments, which is very important to both health and safety. Good ergonomics adapt the job to fit the person rather than forcing the person to fit the job. In an ergonomic workplace, tasks and tools are designed to fit individual capabilities and limitations so people can do their jobs without being injured.

Ergonomics has emerged as a hot issue because it shows the link between certain types of injuries and the ways in which people perform their jobs. We now realize that the human body can only stay in awkward or unnatural positions for so long without paying a price.

The study of ergonomics, both in general and in terms of specific tasks and motions, has helped to identify what types of positions and movements can cause physical pain and injury, as well as ways to prevent these problems.

Office ergonomics is a way to effectively improve worker productivity. But the ergonomics we are talking about are much more than you might be thinking. Ergonomics isn’t all about the right chair of keyboard after all.

With an ergonomic perspective we can increase workplace productivity while at the same time improving worker morale and welfare. And who wouldn’t want happy and healthy employees, since that leads to more productive employees. That kind of synergistic, co-dependent improvement cycle is a hallmark of good and effective ergonomics.

Workplace Ergonomics Literature Review

Leblebici (2012) analyzed the dimensions of workplace environment in terms of behavioral as well as physical components. This paper presents the analysis of working environment of a foreign private bank in Turkey which has 300 employees and examines the relationship between the workplace physical conditions and employee’s productivity. The results of the study show that although the employees were not happy with the workplace physical conditions, they were highly satisfied with the behavioral conditions of the workplace. So according to the results it is proved that employee performance is affected by workplace environment but behavioral conditions has greater effect on employee performance. (1)

Garbie (2011-Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Computers & Industrial Engineering) investigated the effects of assembly of a product on operator performance. A fully adjustable ergonomically designed assembly work station (smart work station) was used for the analysis. For this purpose ten college students (five boys group and five girls group) randomly assigned into three experimental conditions (table adjustable, chair adjustable, and gender) performed the assembly task. Performances of the participants assembling a product are: operator production rate representing in how many assembly products per unit time (units/hour). The regression model to measure the operator performance was built based on the experimental work using Minitab Statistical Software package. The results shows that female are more productive than male and the fully adjustable ergonomically designed smart assembly work station was preferred by the operators. (2)

Parveen, Sohail, Naeem, Azhar and Khan (2012-Asian Journal of Empirical Research, 2(4): 96-117) studied the impact of office facilities and workplace social environment on performance of the employees in University of Sargodha. A sample of 150 respondents consisting of both male and females of both teaching and non-teaching staff was taken. Chi square and Gamma test were used to interpret the findings of the study. The results show that the office facilities and infrastructure at workplace had no significant impact on employee’s performance. The incentives given to employees at workplace had a positive and significant impact on employee’s performance. (3)

Saleem, Shah, Zaman, Arif, Shahzad and Ehsan Ullah (2012) empirically investigated the impact of indoor physical environment on academician’s productivity in different higher education institutes of Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KPK) province of Pakistan. The study was based on primary data collected from 144 educationists of various institutes in Pakistan. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The data was analyzed using the techniques of rank correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis. All the findings were tested at 0.01 and 0.05 level of significance. The finding of this study shows that office design is very important in terms of increasing employee’s productivity. The study stated that comfortable and contented office design motivates and energized the employees to increase their performance. (4)

Hameed (2009) studied the relationship between office design and productivity. For this purpose 31 bank branches of 13 banks were contacted and studied. Primary data and a questionnaire were used to carry out the research. The findings of this study show that office design is very vital in terms of increasing employee’s productivity. Comfortable and ergonomic office design motivates the employees and increases their performance substantially. (5)

Tjambolang (2003) studied some elements like noise, lighting, office furniture and equipment, color and air quality of office environment that can affect employee’s productivity. For better understanding on the topic, a real life office situation is evaluated based on the theory. Four factors of the office environment under which it has impact on employee productivity that are: lighting, noise, color, and air quality. All of these factors cannot be treated separately, as they connect with each other. The office environment plays a very important role if the organization would like to maintain better productivity as many employees spend most of their time on generating activities in the office. In addition, in order to maintain employee’s productivity administrative office managers are recommended to organize the office environment based-on an ergonomically sound office in which all of the office environment aspects can be appropriate for employees. (6)

Goggins, Spielholz, and Nothstein (2008) performed cost-benefit analysis to justify an investment in ergonomics interventions. Through literature reviews and internet searches, 250 case studies that reported the benefits of ergonomics programs and control measures were collected and summarized. Commonly reported benefits included reductions in the number of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) or their incidence rate, as well as related lost workdays, restricted workdays, and worker’s compensation costs. Additional benefits reported were related to productivity, quality, turnover and absenteeism. The benefits reported were largely positive, and payback periods for ergonomics interventions were typically less than one year. (7)

Hedge (1999) tested the effects of using ergonomics work pacing software (Ergonomic Management System) on typing (accuracy and amount of keying), and mouse work (frequency and duration of mouse use). The performance of  21 executive, administrative, customer service, underwriter and accounting personnel was monitored for five weeks, to establish a baseline. Then the software was fully activated for 10 people (test group), and all personnel were monitored for an additional five-week period. There was a statistically significant 13% improvement in work accuracy for the test group, representing a 1% increase in their total productivity during in the five-week period. There was a 20% increase in mouse use for the test group, but because of inter-subject variability, this just failed statistical significance. There was no difference in total keystrokes between test and control groups. Results show that alerting users to take more short rest and break periods did not impair their overall keystroke and mouse use, but did improve their work accuracy. Economic analysis shows that the performance benefits alone that may accrue from using ergonomic work pacing software indicate a return on investment of around 3 months. (8)

Al-Harthi (2008-Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department-College of Engineering-Sultan Qaboos University ) evaluated and investigated the current office setup in an Oil Refinery Company in the Sultanate of Oman with respect to computer furniture, work habit, and working environments based on ergonomic principles ,data ,and guidelines. The existing workstations setups were studied to identify ergonomics problems related to human behavior, health condition, and equipment supplied. The company has supplied ergonomically designed tools and equipment which were used for the study, 20 ergonomically designed chairs and tables, 20 ergonomically designed computers, 20 keyboards and mouse pad, 20 back rests, 20 footrest, 20 wrists rest, 20 glare reflectors, 20 cushion chair lumber, and 20 cushion seats, computer filters. A yearlong study was conducted on a sample group of 40 employees representing the whole company in term of workstation, work, and environment in relation with proper use of ergonomics facilities and methods. The investigation showed that improvement in the work environment is possible through the application of ergonomics principles and data. The enhanced worker performance and satisfaction along with ergonomically designed computer workstation with proper arrangement and the right work environment and training can also improve occupational health and safety problems. (9)

DeRango (2003) examined the health and economic consequences of two ergonomic interventions. The data utilized was based on surveys of individuals and based on individual characteristics such as income and wages etc. The results from the study showed that ergonomic interventions can lead to lower pain levels and increased productivity among office workers. (10)

Ajala (2012) analyzed the influence of workplace environment on worker’s welfare and productivity in government parastatals ( government owned organizations) of Ondo State, Nigeria. Two research questions were  raised to assist the research. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design. The random sampling technique was used to select 350 respondents. A structured questionnaire with three sub-sections was used to collect data that were analyzed with mean values and simple percentages. The results showed that workplace features and good communication network at workplace have effect on worker’s welfare, health, morale, efficiency, and productivity. It was recommended that industrial social workers should  advocate with management to create a conducive workplace  environment and good communication  network that will attract, keep, and motivate its workforce for healthy living and improved productivity and guarantee energetic employees, enthusiastic employers and sustenance of the organization. (11)

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

Ergonomics and productivity of employees is directly related. Productive employees are highly efficient and effective in doing their job. However this can be possible only when employees have no distractions and are fully committed to company objectives and goals. Large number of employees blame problematic and faulty workplace for their unproductivity and dissatisfaction. The solution to this problem  is effective workplace ergonomic intervention. The objective of this study is to analyze the role and impact of workplace ergonomics on employee productivity.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

This research dissertation explores the problem statement that workplace ergonomics impacts the employee productivity.

METHODOLOGY

For this study exploratory research at general level has been carried out by using qualitative and secondary data. There are number of sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and oil refineries that are analyzed for this study. But this research primarily focuses on the impact of ergonomics on employee productivity in services sector such as banking and educational institutions in Pakistan. In this research results and findings of related studies are analyzed.

LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH

The following are few limitations of the study:-

  • The data used is qualitative and secondary
  • A specific organization or sector is not studied
  • Analysis is based on already existing literature
  • This is a generalized research

 

ERGONOMIC FACTORS AFFECTING EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY

When it comes to work there are a few factors that have a major impact on worker productivity. And since productivity is what translates to profit for a company the employer has a vital interest in it. From a worker’s point of view you should be concerned about productivity as well, since it is a key component of your continued employment and how much you enjoy your job, that all important morale.

These ergonomic factors for the office worker directly impact their productivity, morale and welfare. If you get them right things will be good. If you get them wrong things can go terribly awry. The really good news is that most of this can be implemented with very little cost.

  • APTITUDE

Ergonomics is known for fitting the work to the worker. This is usually accomplished through specialized tools or efficient systems. Perhaps more important than that, to overall productivity, is aptitude, or fitting the mental work to the worker.

What are you good at doing? What do you like doing? What do you like to do that you are good at? That’s probably what you will be most efficient at and eventually have the highest skill at. Matching a worker’s aptitudes to their job duties can make a huge impact to productivity and morale.

It is also a concept that is gaining more traction in the management, ergonomics and industrial engineering fields. Instead of finding an employee who has the skills and degrees you are looking for, find one who can do the job and wants to do it. They will be easier to train, more likely to stay at the job for the long haul, and more productive at it too boot.

  • Skill Level

The skill level of the employee should be matched to the expected work output. Asking to much of an employee and overwhelming them is a sure fire way to lower there productivity, increase errors, heighten their stress and shatter their peace of mind. Under-utilizing an employees skill can undercut the employers productivity.

Assigning an employee work just because they have skill in it is not a good thing. Skill and aptitude should both be considered. People are much more productive doing things they are good at and like as opposed to doing things they are good at and don’t like, or worse, detest. Sometimes the employer does need something done that nobody likes to do and an employee just needs to suck it up and do it. But for overall morale and welfare this should be done as a limited engagement with a known ending point so everyone can get through the tough work time knowing that greener pastures are ahead.

  • Environment

An ergonomic office environment takes into account not only the human-environment interfaces, those things you actually come into contact with, but also the psychological impact of the environment.

The more direct physical elements that can distract the office worker or make you uncomfortable are the lighting, temperature, and furniture. We’ll get into furniture in more detail elsewhere. Maintaining a comfortable temperature has been shown to have a 10-15% effect on productivity. For lighting the light levels, direction of light, color and type of light source all have an impact on your eyes and can causes or relieve eye strain.

Bad odors or odors that are strong or artificial can be a hindrance. An often overlooked ergonomic office element is noise. It can keep you from getting anything done. To a lesser extent the textures of the floor and wall material can have a positive or negative effect. So can the general layout of the traffic through the office, placement of windows and door openings. In general anything that affects your senses needs to be considered.

At the same time your office mates and co-workers in your cubicle bullpen can have a dramatic impact on your well being, especially if the office drama carries on out of the break room. A clash of personalities can destroy productivity, morale and welfare all in one fell swoop.

  • Furniture

Furniture, especially when discussing office ergonomics, is the merging of tools and environment. For desk dwellers, it is your landscape, and your chair your sturdy steed for your daylong ride of data entry.

The desk is the center piece. The height, depth, shape, and even color can have a profound effect on how much you get done in a day and how you feel about it when it is over. It needs to have enough real estate to hold all of your essential ergonomic office tools, like your keyboard, monitor and phone, and still have sufficient space for paperwork to be completed and piled up, I mean “temporarily stored”.

As a cubicle warrior you exercise your posterior muscles more than probably anything else. So your chair becomes a well worn companion. Having an adjustable and agreeable ergonomic desk chair is the foundation for any computer or desk setup. It is also the base for your welfare and health. And that is the base for your productivity and morale. So make sure your chair works for you and not against you. (12)

  • Ergonomic Office Tools

The traditional core of ergonomics is all about the right tool for the job. You try to fit the work to the worker, at least the physical aspect of the work.

First you run a task analysis. When you analyze the task you find out what the human-machine interfaces are, what tools are needed and what operations are required from the human. What all this boils down to is you get to see what kind of things can help get the job done easier, faster and with less strain on the worker.

For modern office workers the common tools of the job are the computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse. So computer ergonomics is important along with a good ergonomic computer setup. But not to be forgotten are other things you might use for extended periods of time like the telephone, adding-machine are even the copy machine.

How well these tools fit natural body-mechanics as well as how they are setup on the phone are important to how efficiently you use them and how much they take a toll on your body.

  • Body Mechanics

Body mechanics can be a complicated element when figuring out your office ergonomics. Every activity has specific movements that are comfortable and natural, and as such should be the easiest to repeat without developing repetitive stress injuries. The problem is you do the same thing so many times at a desk that you’ll probably get a repetitive stress injury no matter what and if you don’t get the right tools you’ll get it faster.

The most common body mechanics are those of sitting, typing, using the mouse and using the telephone. Sitting should be avoided as much as possible. There are no ifs ands or buts about that. Sitting for long durations is just bad for you so make sure to maintain a good sitting posture. As for the others, careful pacing, frequent breaks and supportive ergonomic tools and setups can make those activities safe so your well fare will not suffer and your productivity will stay high.

  • Compensation

Compensation isn’t directly an ergonomic factor, but it plays into the psychological aspect of self worth and the value of the work being performed. If someone doesn’t feel there work is valuable or they aren’t appreciated their productivity, welfare, and most dramatically, morale will suffer. How you feel about yourself may be the most important aspect to personal productivity and compensation, whether it is time off, extra pay or cupcakes on Friday in the break room, plays an important role in that. After all people always feel better after a raise. (13)

 

Ergonomics in Workplace

Analyzing ergonomics in the workplace is an imperative practice for every type of business. The longer the issue is ignored, the more detrimental the injury will become. We can identify issues before they cause lost productivity.

Ergonomics considers the relationship between the worker, the actions or tasks inherent to that activity (job, school, play), and the environment in which the work is performed. When there is a mismatch between the physical requirements of the job and the physical capacity of the worker, musculoskeletal disorders may result.

Ergonomics is the practice of designing equipment and work tasks to conform to the capacity of the worker. It provides a means of adjusting the work environment and work practices to prevent injuries before they occur.

The goal of ergonomics is to provide a safe and efficiently designed environment that maximizes productivity and minimizes injury potential. If the workers have temporary disability due to repetitive stress injuries or poor ergonomic environment, good ergonomics can put them on the path for an early Return To Work.

Assessments: Stop working in Pain!

Certified Ergonomic Specialists evaluate work environment and perform the following:

  • Suggest options for solving ergonomic safety issues
  • Assist in establishing or improving work-site injury and illness prevention programs
  • Help employers identify hazards in the workplace
  • Work with employers to identify and develop health and training for employees
  • Provide employers with written reports to summarize findings

Whether computer terminal, assembly line, construction site, retail stores or someplace else, your employees do not have to work in pain.

Engineering and Design: Optimize The Resources; The Results!

In order for the  products to be produced and the employees to work at optimal efficiency, there has to be a good relationship between:

  • Design and layout
  • Tools and equipment
  • Motions performed biomechanically
  • The entire flow process throughout an operation

Environmental: The Impact of Surroundings

Environmental factors can often be accommodated to a client’s temporary or long-term limitations. The ergonomic assessment may help remediation or prevention of further injury. Positive ergonomic engineers are available to act as representative to develop a scope of work, contract documentation, obtain bids and act as project manager to see all work is satisfactory to our specifications. (16)

 

More Information about Ergonomics

The Origin of Ergonomics

Historically, ergonomics was another word for Human Factors. Today, Ergonomics commonly refers to designing work environments for maximizing safety and efficiency. Biometrics and Anthropometrics play a key role in this use of the word Ergonomics. Engineering Psychology often has a specialty dealing with Workplace or Occupational Ergonomics.

Companies once thought that there was a bottom-line tradeoff   between   safety and efficiency. Now they embrace ergonomics because they have learned that designing a safe work environment can also result in greater efficiency and productivity. Recently, U.S. laws requiring a safe work environment have stimulated great interest in Workplace Ergonomics – from ergonomic furniture to ergonomic training; however, it is in the design of the workplace as a whole where the greatest impact can be seen for both safety and efficiency.

The easier it is to do a job, the more likely it is to see gains in productivity due to greater efficiency. Analogously, the safer it is to do a job, the more likely it is to see gains in productivity due to reduced time off for injury. Workplace Ergonomics can address both of these issues concurrently by maximizing the workspace and equipment needed to do a job. (19)

The Ergonomic Dilemma

Employers are always faced with the tradeoff between efficiency and productivity vs. employee safety and comfort. The good news is that they do not have to be a tradeoff. Rather, good ergonomic assessment and remedial design can also result in improved efficiency and productivity.

Employees’ time away from work due to injury reduces productivity, awkward equipment and procedures reduces efficiency, and violation of “compliance” requirements can certainly affect the bottom line. Creating an ergonomically effective workplace results in employee safety while increasing efficiency and productivity.

The “Application”

Positive Consulting can assist your company with ergonomic assessment, workplace design improvements, and staff training. It can make your workplace safe, efficient, and in compliance. Ergonomics Engineers apply a rigorous and systematic technique to ensure a hazard-free and worker-safe environment.

Ergonomic experts use quantitative methods to evaluate the workplace and determine those areas that will most benefit from design and placement changes. Once the critical ergonomic hot spots have been identified and evaluated, they can re-design the problem areas to maximize the ergonomic impact. Finally, they can train the staff to self-monitor and regulate their ergonomic environment. The objective is to meet compliance requirements while increasing safety, efficiency, and productivity. (20)

Evaluating Ergonomics Effectively:

If one wants to save the office world from musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort, one has to know a lot more than ergonomics. He should know how to get things done. These questions are an excellent topic for safety managers, supervisors, and human resources departments. Divide ‘em up, do the research (don’t just assume you know the answers), and discuss.

  1. Who are the players?

Who currently pays attention to ergonomics? You probably are one of those people. Supervisors? The people who “do the work?” Facilities people?

The people or  groups  that  are  identified  here are potential ergonomics committee members and collaborators.

  1. Who currently implements ergonomics?

This may be the facilities or design departments, an ergonomics committee, training departments, individual department managers, or others. Sometimes, only the affected people (and perhaps their private-side insurers) make ergonomic changes.The people or groups identified by this question should be in the audiences of presentations and training sessions.

  1. Who has historically implemented things that result in bad ergonomics? Who has obstructed ergonomics?

These people are among those you should wish to influence. They may be facilities people or people who “design” jobs, or someone else.

  1. Who has to notice when there are ergonomic problems?

Usually, medical and human resources people know about more serious cases. Supervisors and peers may be the ones who notice both “official cases” and cases of discomfort or complaint. And, of course, the people who are experiencing problems notice … or do they?

These people may be able to assist you in estimating the extent and kind of ergonomic problems at your site.

  1. Who has to pay for ergonomic health problems?

Most likely, this is anyone having to do with occupational health payments (medical expenditures, insurance premiums, and disability payments, for example, plus payments for any staff who do administration or treatment).

Ironically, the people identified by this question often have little to do with ergonomics itself.

  1. Who might get upset about others doing or measuring ergonomic work?

Does anyone feel they “own” ergonomic activity and might want to protect their turf? Does anyone have ergonomics as a responsibility, yet are inactive and therefore sensitive about it?

The people or groups identified in this question need special attention and communication.

  1. Who must approve or support ergonomics or ergonomics budgets?

Typically, this is one or more senior management role, usually in conjunction with a group or person doing organizational strategy and other big-picture activities.

These players need plenty of information, especially information about how their support pays off.

  1. Why are “the players” doing ergonomics?

This question often has more than one answer. Possibilities are: An OSHA citation in the past; the possibility of being investigated or cited by OSHA or some other regulatory body; high worker’s compensation, insurance, turnover, absenteeism, or disability costs that are perceived as ergonomics-related; production or quality problems (errors, delays, etc) that are perceived as fatigue- or ergonomics-related; the belief that ergonomics affects recruitment and retention of certain employees; the belief that ergonomics influences customer perceptions of the company; the belief that being responsible for ergonomics enhances personal or departmental image or resources; because employee health, comfort, and satisfaction are valued.

The answers are the organizational hot buttons. Be sure you know whether ergonomics affects the things on the answer list. And accept the fact that it may not be possible to persuade people to value anything different.

  1. How does communication happen among “the players” regarding ergonomics?

Do people concerned about ergonomics have a way to get regular information to anyone else? Possibilities include human resources reviews at board meetings, ergonomics or safety committee meetings, bulletin board postings, and employee newsletters. The answers tell  whether you need to add new communication methods to your existing situation.

  1. On a larger scale than ergonomics, what’s important to the company and key players?

How much does the company value, in all its decision areas: the bottom line, stockholder opinion, tradition, appearances, acting like an organizational family, employee recruitment or retention, employee performance, employee morale, spiritual values, etc. On your first pass you may think the organization values them all. Work on understanding the hierarchy.

  1. Are there any conflicts about values or recent shifts in values?

These conflicts are often the symptoms of new ways of making decisions conflicting with old ways. Try to keep up with evolution.

  1. Are there any current sources of ergonomic-related data?

Consider: Who tracks health and health costs? Does anyone measure productivity in any way? Does anyone measure employee attitudes in any way? Are there records of ergonomics training or workstation changes? Are any data collected repeatedly? Are there any sources of comparisons for any of these kinds of data (for example, for others in the same industry, or other clients of the same insurer)?

Quantitative data regarding situations and results are extremely powerful tools, in terms of being effective (choosing to do the best actions) and getting resources (persuading others that you deserve support). If there are existing data sources, you may be able to leverage them rather than start from scratch.

  1. How are spending decisions made?

For example, some businesses rely on the experience and wisdom of key people, while others require detailed proposals containing certain kinds of data and analyses. Learning the local way to influence decisions saves a lot of wasted energy. Don’t expect decision makers to easily adapt to YOUR version of decision support. (19)

Analysis and Discussion

The analysis of the data collected from 31branches of 13 banks in Abbottabad revealed that the design of office has a significant impact on the productivity of employees. According to the study lighting element at the workplace affects the productivity of most employees. Female employees are more concerned about their surroundings. The overall response, according to gender, showed differences amongst the responses for different elements in the workplace. Male respondents’ results show that they are more concerned about the lighting in their offices, followed by the spatial arrangement. There is a direct relationship between office design and productivity. The relationship between Office design and Productivity was determined by using the Pearson’s Correlation in SPSS. A strong correlation exists between elements of office design and productivity of office design. The regression analysis of the data shows that the coefficient of determination R. square = 0.576, so, it can be concluded that 58 percent of the variability in employee’s productivity is due to the different workplace factors.

The study conducted in the University revealed that:

  • 7% of the respondents are agreed that good office temperature is helpful in increasing the productivity
  • 3% employees said that effective communication in the workplace improves productivity
  • 7% employees said that too much workload creates stress that results in declined performance
  • The case of female harassment at workplace is rejected by the employees

The study conducted in different higher education institutes in KPK province found that the office design has substantial impact on employee performance. The study revealed that the overall noise and temperature in the office badly affects employees productivity. According to this study lighting and office furniture has no impact on employees productivity. Flexible furniture increases the level of energy rather than performance.

Conclusion

In Pakistan the knowledge about ergonomics is in its early stage. Both employers and employees are ignorant of this concept. But the future of workplace ergonomics seems quite bright as several organizations are keen to establish ergonomically effective infrastructure in the workplaces. So that the desired objectives can be achieved and long term success can be accomplished by improving employee’s performance through ergonomics.

After analyzing the different studies, it can be concluded that different factors in workplace ergonomics can impact the employee productivity in a positive way. The results can vary from company to company depending on their core operations and different surroundings at workplaces. Some environmental factors are appeared to be more significant such as temperature, noise, communication and lighting in enhancing the employee productivity. And some physical factors such as flexible furniture, sitting position and the way one look at the computer are less important in doing so.

Recommendations

These are the few recommendations for successful ergonomic intervention in the organization:-

  • Obtain management support to get the much needed financial, human and other important resources for performance improvements.
  • Conduct an efficient assessment about the company’s most significant concerns and their most effective solutions.
  • Educate and train the employees and provide them necessary road maps for solving ergonomic problems.
  • Improve the workplace by implementing administrative controls such as limiting over-time and redistributing job responsibilities.
  • Primary focus should be on physically and environmentally modifying the workplace by using adjustable furniture and task lighting to supplement existing lighting.
References:
  • Leblebici, , 2012. Impact of workplace quality on employee’s productivity: case study of a bank in Turkey. Journal of Business, Economics and Finance ISSN : 2146-7943.
  • Garbie, H.I., 2011. An experimental study on assembly workstation considering ergonomically issues. Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Computers & Industrial Engineering.
  • Parveen, S., Sohail, M.M., Naeem, F., Azhar, Z. and Khan, H.S., 2012. Impact of office facilities and workplace milieu on employee’s performance: a case study of Sargodha University. Asian Journal of Empirical Research, 2(4): 96-117).
  • Saleem, A., Shah, A., Zaman, K., Arif, M., Shahzad, K., and Ehsanullah., 2012. Impact of internal physical environment on academician’s productivity in Pakistan: Higher education institutes perspective. European Journal of Business and Management ISSN 2222-1905 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2839 (Online) Vol 4, No.2, 2012.
  • Hameed, A., 2009. Impact of Office Design on Employees’ Productivity: A Case study of Banking Organizations of Abbottabad, Pakistan. Journal of public affairs, administration and management, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2009.
  • Tjambolang, A., 2003. The impact of the office environment on employee productivity.
  • Goggins, W., Spielholz, P., and Nothstein, L., 2008. Estimating the effectiveness of ergonomics interventions through case studies: Implications for predictive cost-benefit analysis. Journal of Safety Research 39 (2008) 339–344.
  • Hedge, A., 1999. Effects of Ergonomic Management Software on Employee Performance. Cornell Human Factors Laboratory Technical Report /RP9991 Cornell University.
  • Al-Harthi, A., 2008. Office Ergonomics : An Intervention Study With an Oil Refinery Company. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department-College of Engineering-Sultan Qaboos University.
  • Derango, k., 2003. Office Workers’ Productivity Enhanced by Ergonomics. Employment Research Newsletter, Vol-10.
  • Ajala, M., 2012. The Influence of Workplace Environment on Workers’ Welfare, Performance and Productivity. The African Symposium: An online journal of the African Educational Research Network Volume 12, No. 1, June 2012.
  • http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/225/ergonomics-workplace
  • http://ergonomics.about.com/od/office/tp/Office-Ergonomics.htm
  • http://www.benefitspro.com/2013/01/18/workplace-ergonomics-improves-productivity-among-o
  • http://www.corewerks.com/office-ergonomics-and-its-economical-impact/
  • http://www.ergo-plus.com/healthandsafetyblog/ergonomics/workplace-ergonomics-benefits/
  • http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=federal_register&p_id=16305
  • http://www.ergoexpo.com/sessions.html
  • http://www.ergoworld.com/
  • http://www.usernomics.com/ergonomics.html
  • http://etd.uum.edu.my/2659/
  • http://www.ebsco.com/index.asp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *