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How to Encourage Proper Ergonomics for Remote Workers

Aug 05, 2016

The Business Journal
May 10, 2016

Employee wellness and workspace ergonomics have become increasingly popular topics, since poor ergonomics have been found to lead to musculoskeletal issues, including bursitis and muscle strain.

While many workplaces offer in-house employees workspace evaluations along with wrist supports, adjustable monitor stands, stand-up desks and other tools to help combat the risks of sedentary jobs, many businesses haven’t been as proactive about encouraging ergonomic best practices for their remote workers.

Ergonomics, or fitting a job to a person, can help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce the number and severity of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and related risks, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Common ergonomic best practices for desk jobs include positioning your keyboard and monitor to the proper height and distance, adjusting your chair and lumbar support to the optimal position for your body, and reducing glare due to lamps or overhead lights.

Similar to workplace safety and we​llness programs, many employers implement effective ergonomics programs by involving both management and employees to make certain everyone is trained and encouraged to participate. According to a study from EMPLOYERS, nearly three out of five (58 percent) of small business owners provide the necessary tools for proper ergonomics in the office, such as monitor stands to improve the posture and comfort of employees who primarily work on computers.

However, as more employers move to offer flexible benefits like the option to work remotely, they should ensure employees have the tools they need to follow ergonomic best practices when telecommuting.

Many employees working from home use their kitchen table or couch as their workstation, which can make adhering to the above best practices more difficult. Remote workers who are traveling for business or working outside of an office environment, such as in a car or coffee shop, may also overlook the importance of ergonomics.

Consider providing the same ergonomic recommendations and resources to support your home-based remote employees that you provide to employees domiciled at your corporate offices.

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