Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin May 2018

May 11, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/05/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

NEW WEBSITE

HP-HT-HW-header2018-05I am delighted to be able to say (finally!) that our new web site at ergonomics.co.uk is live. It is now much more representative of our various business activities and we hope you find it informative and easy to navigate. As well as enhancing the presentation of our products and services, we have been able to bring various other web sites under the single umbrella of our principal domain. This means that our Posture Guidance, Stretching Exercises, blogs and various other online resources can all be accessed from a single point.

MENTAL HEALTH ABSENCE & RETURN TO WORK

mental_health2Recognition of mental health issues and support for openness continue to grow. However, it is difficult to ensure effective management of  the return to work process after mental health absence. Few employers do it well. A team of researchers at Kingston University, Loughborough University and Affinity Health at Work have developed a toolkit to provide a clear Six Step guide for both employers and employees. The guide is free and available here.

NATIONAL ROADSHOW

roadshow_trainingWith three venues completed, we are now half way through our current roadshow plans. You can see some early feedback about the Products Showcase here and the training sessions here. Details of the remaining events at Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow can be found here. Visitors to the Roadshow have found it a particularly valuable opportunity to see and handle new products alongside ones they already know. The training provides practical assistance to anyone involved in the DSE assessment process.

DSE ASSESSOR TRAINING

Corporate Seminar Conference Team Collaboration ConceptWe are also starting to schedule more of our One Day DSE Assessor Courses. The first is in Bristol on Wednesday June 13, 2018, kindly hosted by Burges Salmon LLP. The venue is in central Bristol, only a few minutes’ walk from Temple Meads Station. This course is approved by the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management and accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors. Course details, times, costs and registration can be found here.

THE QEHS EXPO

CoventryEventWe are also participating in a new event in Coventry in June. The Quality, Environment, Health & Safety Expo includes a broad range of speakers alongside a substantial one day exhibition involving a series of co-located themes. It takes place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry CV6 6AQ. We shall be on Stand K10 and I hope to be delivering a short presentation but we are still awaiting confirmation from the organisers. Further information will follow in next month’s eBulletin.

NAME CHANGE FOR BIFM

bifmThe British Institute of Facilities Management has announced plans to change its name to the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management as part of its Manifesto for Change. This also includes plans to seek chartered body status in due course. The addition of Workplace to the name reflects a wider range of key functions and recognises ‘the joint responsibility of FM, IT and HR to achieving optimal performance between people, technology and workplace’. The final decision will be made at the Institute’s AGM on July 5, 2018.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES

new_technologiesAt both the CIEHF and ThinkFM Conferences, there was a lot about ways in which technology is continuing to change our lives at a rapid pace. Amongst other issues, the CIEHF event looked at the Human Factors issues of autonomous vehicles and it seems to me they would already work reliably if only we could remove the unreliable and unpredictable behaviour of traditional vehicle drivers! Meanwhile, FMs are looking at all sorts of opportunities arising from smart sensors and devices. Potentially one of the most cost-effective opportunities is Condition Based Maintenance whereby constant monitoring allows maintenance to take place when needed rather than on a time/use schedule.

GDPR

gdpr2The fact you have received this newsletter means you are a new subscriber or have taken the trouble to resubscribe. In either case, many thanks! On the broader topic of the General Data Protection Regulation, we are in the process of finalising our procedures, policies and documentation to ensure full compliance by May 25th, 2018. We have deliberately waited as long as practicable to ensure we accommodate all our client and supplier demands within a consistent structure. Once finalised, details will be available here.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin April 2018

April 13, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/04/2018. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.

BRAND EXTENSION

HP-HT-HW-header2018-04The new look to this, our 101st monthly eBulletin, celebrates our brand extension to reflect the broader plans for the growth of the business. This builds on our established reputation, celebrates some of our less well-known activities and gives more emphasis to the knowledge sharing that has always been central to our ethos. Our core DNA is unchanged and we shall always focus on the outcome, not the sale. We have used the original two colours of our (unchanged) logo to reflect the two product-based elements of the business. The ‘purple’ (Healthy People) business is what we are best known for, namely the specialist ergonomics products for individuals. Purple discussions usually arise from an individual workstation assessment. Our rapidly growing ‘blue’ (Healthy Workplace) business addresses project requirements where the outcome will still be key but we shall be using our existing knowledge and methodology to address more diverse objectives. Our new web site (see below) will include recent blue case studies, videos and endorsements. The ‘green’ (Healthy Thinking) strand links the other two with knowledge sharing, training and thought leadership. As you can see, in this new eBulletin format, each article below is flagged so that you can quickly identify the items applicable to your own professional experience and interests. We are also in the process of rebranding all our literature. You can see what this looks like here.

UPDATE – ERGONOMICS.CO.UK

web_site_2018Although we had planned for the website to be ready by now, we have identified some further improvements that will make the user experience even more pleasurable. This has therefore created a short delay to the launch. When it does go live, we shall be offering a broad selection of products from the ‘purple’ and ‘blue’ ranges (see explanation above) together with lots of ‘green’ knowledge sharing, including both chargeable and free resources. Navigation will be easier, shopping more intuitive and background information and support readily available.

TRAINING & PRODUCTS ROADSHOW

roadshow2By the time you read this, our national roadshow will have started. We now have six dates and locations around the country – Leicester, Southampton, London, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow. The Product Showcase at each venue will show all our latest products alongside our established best sellers. This is free of charge whether or not you attend any of the training the next day. The two half-day training sessions provide an excellent insight into products and applications to address musculo-skeletal and posture issues. The workshop elements of the training will also provide hands-on opportunities with the Showcase products.

MORE APRIL EVENTS

april_@eventsIt is conference season again. Let me know if you want to catch up at Ergonomics & Human Factors 2018, the CIEHF conference in Birmingham, which I shall be attending as a delegate. We shall also be exhibiting at the Physio First Conference the same week! At this event, we shall be talking about our new half-day ‘So you want to be an assessor’ training, aimed specifically at physios and others considering DSE assessments as a livelihood. Bookings for the Physio First conference have now closed but you might still be able to register if you call or email and mention my name!

CLERKENWELL DESIGN WEEK

cdw2018This year, CDW is on May 22-24. Several members of our team will be attending and I shall be there for all three days. At the time of writing, the CDW Diary has not yet been published but I have already booked into some events. My three top tips so far are Paige HodsmanOffice Acoustics for Agile Workspaces and Oliver Heath, Biophilic Design, both at Edge Design, and Gerard Taylor discussing his latest research and insights, entitled That’s not a Stick, it’s a Log, at Orangebox. Let me know if you want to meet up.


Happy April 1st!

April 1, 2018

Sound required!

 


WDM Newsletter – March 2018

March 19, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 15/03/2018. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.

HEALTHY PEOPLE – HEALTHY THINKING – HEALTHY WORKPLACE
An updated approach reflecting disruptive times

WDMheader2018-03Within a week of writing this month’s newsletter, I shall have attended the Agile Working Event 2018 and the HSE Musculo-Skeletal Disorders Summit. Whilst these two London events may sound very different, they both address issues facing organisations and individuals in today’s rapidly changing workplace. What are the trends and challenges faced by support professionals to maintain an effective workforce and how can they be addressed?  We see a common thread that requires a three-pronged approach to mental and physical wellbeing. We call it Healthy People – Healthy Thinking – Healthy Workplace. To reflect this updated approach, a lot will happen between now and our next newsletter

  • We shall be launching a new (and dramatically different) web site
  • We shall be launching a brand extension to reflect these three strands
  • We shall also be updating our general web presence and literature
  • We shall be merging our two monthly newsletters
  • We shall be revising our newsletter design to colour-code the different features

Watch this space!


STANDING NOT SO GOOD FOR YOU AFTER ALL?
Sit-stand desks are not the panacea promised by many

sit_stand_no_panaceaRecent statements in the press quote new research from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. This research outlines short-term cognitive and musculoskeletal deterioration from ‘prolonged’ use of standing desks. In our sound-bite society (which coined the phrase ‘Sitting is the new smoking’), few readers look beyond the headlines to discover there was only a small sample (20 people) and a single session. We have never advocated two hours of uninterrupted standing and have always stressed the importance of movement. By coincidence, my blog with all the key points to avoid this deterioration preceded the research!

IMPULSE NPR
Extremely adjustable seat depth suits most users

impulse_nprWith multi-national, multi-cultural offices so widespread, the demand for ‘tall person chairs’ continues to grow. Every week, we are introduced to workers of 6’6” (2m) and taller who are unable to get comfortable in the standard office chair provided for them. The NPR is designed to meet the demanding Dutch NPR1813 dimensional standard and, uniquely, also fits much shorter people. This makes it a viable option for hot desking and multi-user environments. With a 10cm seat slide, larger base, wider ranging seat slide and 4D+ armrests, the Impulse NPR accommodates a surprisingly large proportion of the working population. For more details, please contact the Customer Service team.

TRAINING SERVICES
Another accreditation and more services

training_servicesThe first of our brochures to be updated with the new brand extension is the one showing our full training portfolio. As well as gaining accreditations from both the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors, we have strengthened our portfolio with a number of expert partners. In addition to our published list of open course topics, we have a broader selection of mental and physical wellbeing tools and sessions so we shall be delighted to explore your in-house needs.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin March 2018

March 16, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/03/2018. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


100 ISSUES: SAME TIME, SAME DAY FOR 100 MONTHS!

HeaderImage03-2018An enormous amount has happened in the world of workplace ergonomics since we published our first monthly eBulletin in December 2009. We thought this, our 100th newsletter, would be an ideal opportunity to reflect on some of the key products and events in the last 8+ years, and indeed for a little nostalgia further back in time. We finish with an Oldest Product competition. After this month’s reminiscences, next month’s eBulletin will be looking to the future with a new look, an overview of our new brand extension and some pointers for our new web site (due for completion at the beginning of April).


NATIONAL TRAINING & PRODUCT SHOWCASE TOUR

national_tourBefore the nostalgia, please take a peak into the future with details of our national roadshow, bringing our Product Showcase and new training opportunities to venues near you. Leicester, Southampton and London are already in the diary for April and May. Details of dates and locations in Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds will follow shortly. This unique format enables you to compare the latest products with best-sellers and/or update your knowledge about DSE-related processes and products. Download the Roadshow brochure here or check the diary (and book) at ergonomics.events.


LAPTOP STANDS – EVOLUTION

LaptopStands03-2018Do you remember the first laptop stands? They were bulky, acrylic, fragile and not really portable! Since that time, we have seen a variety of products  (such as FlexTop and ErgoQ) made of the aluminium laminate, Hylite®. As global volumes increase, a growing number are manufactured from injection-moulded plastic. No doubt 3D-printing will bring opportunities for more bespoke or intricate designs in the near future. We have also just finished assessing a new range of adjustable stands for use with Apple and other laptops where the screens do not open right back. More information soon (or contact us for a preview).


THE TAILOURED MOUSE

contour_mouse_rangeIt became clear early on that standard computer mice encouraged bad habits and postures. We were early resellers of the Contour range of mice which were originally available in three left-handed and four right-handed sizes. The XL model was more like a rat than a mouse! The majority of today’s ‘ergo’ mouse products evolved from those original designs. Contour then shifted its focus to the RollerMouse concept and we were the UK’s first retailer of the original model. As the RollerMouse went through various incarnations, little happened with the renamed Perfit mouse family until the recent announcement of the Unimouse. A left-handed model is on the way.


SIT-STAND DESKS

sit-stand-oldAlthough we have been selling these (and using them in our own offices) for nearly twenty years, they have only become ‘big news’ since 2014 when the ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ slogan first appeared. Since that time, I have been shouting about the misunderstandings and misrepresentation that comes from grabbing soundbite headlines without reading or understanding the underlying research. My last blog (rant!) on this topic was written just before the most recent research news suggesting standing is not the panacea some represent it to be. There’s a surprise! However, many are also applying the same sort of soundbite misunderstanding to these new headlines, making my blog (written before the research publication) even more apposite!


OUR FIRST PRODUCT

organiserWe recently encountered a client still using an example of this Organiser – our first ever product! It was a Mk II version so probably 17-18 years old. Can you match that? Or maybe you have something even older. We are looking for the oldest ergonomics product purchased from us and still in daily use. The oldest verified item we can find will win a £150 Red Letter Day voucher. Don’t worry about paperwork: we are not looking for a 20 year old invoice! Just tell us about the product and we can probably verify the details. To take part, send a product photo to me with details of when you think it was purchased.


WDM Newsletter – February 2018

February 20, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 15/02/2018. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.

A WORKPLACE LEADERSHIP MANIFESTO
A panoptic approach

WDMheader2018-02I have mentioned  Ian Ellison of 3edges previously in this newsletter. As you may already be aware, he has been working with his colleague James Pinder, and Neil Usher of Workessence on A Workplace Leadership Manifesto. It was first published piecemeal through social media from the beginning of 2018 and is now available as a single document. This is a classic example of the ‘less is more’ principle, condensing some deep and wide-ranging thought into a handful of thought-provoking statements and explanations. The more we understand the nature of work, workplace and performance, the more we can achieve. This document provides a foundation for that thinking.

FACING THE CHALLENGE
Throwing down the gauntlet

facing_the_challengeHot on the heels of the Leadership Manifesto publication comes an article from Mark Eltringham entitled Luther, Marx, Engels and a nailed-on manifesto for workplace change. I have also mentioned Mark before and I enjoy his writing. He frequently challenges the status quo and often points to where we should be looking. This article references the Leadership Manifesto and, in my simplistic terms, says ‘Come on FM industry (and others), what are you going to do about it?’. As always, there are threats and opportunities. Those who embrace this challenge have an outstanding opportunity. Be assured, however: this is absolutely not a time to sit back and see what happens!

SIT-STAND DESKS
Truth or sales pitch?

Businessman drawing Myths or Facts on blackboardOn a rather more mundane note, we continue to be asked all sorts of questions about sit-stand desks in particular and the ‘less sitting’ issue in general. Many people find the information available to be rather bewildering and the majority of the office furniture industry does not seem to be particularly well informed. We are concerned that there is still very little training being provided for users and, as a result, some of those who choose to stand more are starting to manifest other health issues. There is also the comparatively common matter of sit-stand desks being purchased but hardly used. As usual, this sort of widespread confusion prompts me to start writing and you can find my response –a sort of combined history lesson and ‘how to’ guide – in this blog.

ALTO BENCH
Multi-purpose high table

alto_benchHigh tables and benches of all sorts are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace. One of the reasons is their obvious versatility. They can be used as individual desks, work benches, collaboration tables, canteen surfaces and general touchdown areas in many environments. Users can also stand or sit on a high seat or bar stool. Alto addresses all these applications and incorporates a modern look with multiple finish options. The standard depth and height are 1200mm and 1050mm respectively with widths from 2200 to 2800mm. Complementary smaller benches are available with surface areas from 1400mm x 900mm upwards. For further information, please contact the Customer Service team.

RESUBSCRIBE
Please!

subscribeI expect, like me, you are tired of hearing about GDPR. My apologies for raising it yet again but we still have lots of people who have not resubscribed. I know we shall lose some recipients but I hope you will not be one of them! It will only take a couple of minutes to register here and, as an extra inducement, we shall be holding a prize draw for all registrants on April 30th with a 128Gb iPad 9.7 as the prize. There will also be a monthly prize of a Contour Unimouse. (Last month’s Unimouse winner was Vicky Henderson of Grimsby). Don’t worry if you have already resubscribed: you will still be in the draws! The reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin February 2018

February 19, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/02/2018. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.

HEALTH & WELLBEING 2018

HeaderImage02-2018We shall be exhibiting again at the NEC in March. We have changed location this year since we found our position by the entrance was easy to locate but too much of a thoroughfare. Find us at our new location on Stand 75. As well as key new products, we shall be discussing our latest IIRSM-approved training offers and free regional roadshows. We shall also have our new brand extension to discuss and how that fits with our plans for the future.

REGIONAL TRAINING & PRODUCT SHOWCASE ROADSHOW

roadshow_mapThe first three dates and locations – Leicester, Southampton and London (Barbican) – are now in the diary. More will follow in due course. All venues are close to train/motorway connections. On the first day at each venue, we shall be offering a free Product Showcase. This will give visitors the opportunity to handle and compare the latest innovations alongside established best-sellers. To accommodate as many people as possible in each region, the Showcase will be available from 2pm until 8pm. On the second day in each region, we shall provide two half day training sessions. The training will include practical workshop sessions. Discounts are also available for members of various professional bodies. Full details at ergonomics.events.

SIT-STAND DESKS – TRUTH OR SALES PITCH?

sit-standMany of you will know that I am both an advocate of sit-stand desks (with proper training) and a critic of some of the publicity surrounding them. Our friends at Cardinus asked me to write an article about this for the Winter/Spring edition of their Connect magazine. This gave me the opportunity to explore the history of the current interest in sit-stand and suggest ways employers can help to improve wellbeing with or without them. The article is now available as a blog.

WEB REDESIGN & OUR BRAND

rebrand250pxThe design of our new website will be central to our future marketing. The development has been a long and demanding process because it has included a strategic review of the current business and our future direction. As a result, we shall be announcing a further extension of our brand over the coming weeks. This is an exciting development for us, encapsulating what we have always done, focussing what we have already started to do and creating a platform for what we plan to do. If you are not attending Health & Wellbeing, expect full details in the next eBulletin – our 100th issue!

RESUBSCRIBE

subscribe250pxI expect, like me, you are tired of hearing about GDPR. My apologies for raising it yet again but we still have lots of people who have not resubscribed. I know we shall lose some recipients but I hope you will not be one of them! It will only take a couple of minutes to register here and, as an extra inducement, we shall be holding a prize draw for all registrants on April 30th with a 128Gb iPad 9.7 as the prize. There will also be a monthly prize of a Contour Unimouse. (Last month’s Unimouse winner was SP of North London). Don’t worry if you have already resubscribed: you will still be in the draws! The reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it.


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