In today’s time, an employee is a company’s most valuable asset and thus an employee’s health is of utmost importance not only for an individual but for the progress of the organisation as well. Dealing with work pressures, managing deadlines and sitting in-front of the computer on daily basis is a visually and physically demanding job which has a negative impact on our health. This is where workplace design and arrangement of furniture play a vital role in creating a healthier working space by improving and sustaining the ergonomics as office experience at workplace is an important factor for employees to work.
Ergonomics is an applied science which is concerned with designing and arranging furniture in a way which enables its users to interact with it in an efficient and safe manner. There are many design elements and principles which goes in improving ergonomics of a workplace as it is not just a mere space but it is a place where people work as a unit and the ergonomics of the space needs to stimulate the employee to spend their most productive hours.
STATUS QUO IN INDIA
India’s economy has been constantly flourishing, partially owing it to the setting up of MNC’s and the gradual budding of start ups and home grown companies in different regions across the country. Adding to it there is a burgeoning population of well-educated workers, forcing business of all stripes to rethink their strategies and create a healthy employee experience.
According to Alastair Stubbs, Country Manage India, Humanscale, India is starting to embrace ergonomics as companies are now trying to design healthier workspaces for their staff, but they are still influenced by brands and marketing, which is still leading to a lot of mistakes and so there is a long way to go in creating healthier environments that positively impact the human experience in the workplace.
On further sharing his understanding on the ‘Office Ergonomics’ industry in India since last 9 years Stubbs said, “When I first arrived in India, I would say that there was an awareness of ergonomics in the workplace, but it was either not understood, or was viewed as an expensive luxury. Unfortunately, the word ‘ergonomic’ is used to describe virtually every product out there. This has somewhat diluted the word and its true meaning. As a result, there is little guarantee that you are purchasing a product that will enhance ergonomic at your workplace, even though the marketing implied that it would.”
Nidhi Aggarwal, Executive Director, Indo Innovations feels that for several years the Indian industry has thrived on the idea that ‘Customer is the King’. Speaking of her own experience she said, “Owners of business houses as well as corporates and MNC’s are realising the equal importance of employees. And as employee well-being takes a centre-stage, demand for ergonomic furniture is on rise.”
Ergonomics as a discipline is still unfolding itself in India as there are few institutions that offer an advanced course in ergonomics. The ergonomics programme in India needs to be understood through a holistic approach and should be embraced as something that will boost the health and productivity of staff and ultimately, positively affect the bottom line.
Thoughtful workplace design can act as a gear for accelerating employee performance. Designing of a space is to carried in such a way that it meets the future vision of the company as well as provide a safe and productive environment to the employees which has assumed to be an important part.
Technology is the key to the changes being observed in the workplace design, followed by various other factors. With easy access to technology, we are now contactable 24/7 due to which the division between professional and personal life is disappearing. Hence, there is a need for more teamwork and collective areas by shifting from a traditional interior design for office to a workplace with more creative areas, quiet zones and playrooms.
Stubbs states that millennials feeding into the working population is changing the dimension of workforce. Explaining in more detail he adds, “The needs of and demands of millennials are different from old guard. As a result, companies are finding that they are now needing to provide a modern, more casual environment that is more collaborative by design, with high quality and better performing products as social initiatives are equally important and help in maintaining staff satisfaction level.”
Good workplace design plays a very important role as it has the ability to create a harmonious environment through better lighting and providing task chairs and workstations which increases productivity and reducing health problems at the same time.
FURNITURE CREAT ING A COMPELLING WORK ENVIRONMENT
There are several factors that together make an office but furniture makes a statement in any work environment as it gives a personality to that space which can’t be ignored. There are companies that understand it’s significance therefore much importance is put on choosing the correct furniture to create the desired environment. A compelling work environment can both attract and retain staff, so it’s important to get it right.
A well-designed office furniture not only presents an organisation but it make the users feeling healthy, and more importantly, preserve their spines and joints from unnecessary injury. Ergonomic office furnitures also gives a more presentable look to your office and makes it look attractive at the same time as keeping up with appearances is important in the business world and inspiring new hires.
DRIVEN BY HUMAN FACTORS
Workplace ergonomics is purely driven by the human factors, as it designed to better the interaction of human beings with their work environment and ensuring best possible comfort. Before designing and arranging furniture for workplace it is important to understand the nature of the job and the organisation. Individuals have a wide range of abilities and limitations. A Human Factors approach focuses on how to make the best use of these capabilities by designing place which are fit for people. This not only improves their health and safety but often ensures a better managed, more effective organisation.
With changing time the way work gets done through ergonomics is futuristic and tech-integrated. As the commercial spaces are increasing there lies a vast potential and need for ergonomics, creating an unparalleled experience.