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Why and How Tech Employers Can Improve Workplace Ergonomics

Large companies in the booming tech industry have a tradition of showering their employees with perks. In Silicon Valley, tech workers can look forward to vegan juice bars, Nap Pods, and even basketball courts. But the most important perk of all is an ergonomic workstation. Even smaller tech companies and start-ups can benefit from focusing on this crucial area of preventive wellness. When ergonomics is a priority, employers can look forward to fewer work-related injuries and, subsequently, fewer workers’ compensation cases in San Jose.

Importance of Workplace Ergonomics

Successful tech companies know that treating their employees well is a smart business decision. Happy and healthy employees are highly productive, creative employees. Workplace ergonomics is a crucial component of this formula. Poorly designed office spaces contribute to higher incidences of work-related injuries. These include repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and tenosynovitis. It’s difficult for an employee to use a computer mouse, type, or even concentrate on work when he or she experiences pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion in the hand and wrist. With better workplace ergonomics, tech employers can boost worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, and prevent many workers’ compensation claims.

Modification of Workstations

Employees vary in height, so it’s best to provide adjustable office furniture. A tech worker’s computer screen should be just below eye level and the keyboard should be low enough to keep the forearms parallel to the floor with the shoulders relaxed. The chair height should allow the feet to remain flat on the floor with the knees at a 90-degree angle. Office chairs should be comfortable, yet supportive—especially in the lumbar area.

Replacement of Workstations

For some tech employers, workstation modification isn’t sufficient. It may be appropriate to replace the entire setup. Employees can benefit from hybrid desks that can convert from a sitting to a standing workstation. Some employers even provide treadmill or cycling desks. Maintaining any one position for too long isn’t desirable. Even if employees make good use of standing desks, they should always have the option to move to a seated position.

Improve workplace ergonomics by Scher, Bassett & Hames