Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin January 2022

January 12, 2022

This article was originally emailed as issue 146 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/01/2022. You can register here to receive them monthly.

Share,Knowledge,Word,Abstract,In,Vintage,Letterpress,Wood,Type,With

KNOWLEDGE SHARING

Happy New Year! January is a time of reflection for many. One conversation topic with my colleagues has been about just how much knowledge we have accumulated between us and what more we could do with it. The average length of service in the company is just under 10 years (not including me) and that’s a lot of knowledge! We already share plenty of information and resources but 2022 will be the year when we do even more. We have exciting plans for an abundance of new content and methods to share what we know. This monthly eBulletin is the regular place to keep abreast of developments and you can see more links to other resources right here.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Hilversum,,Netherlands,-,Februari,06,,2017:,Social,Media,Are,Trending

The other place to find us is on social media. Love them or hate them, the major platforms provide the obvious locations to share knowledge in easily digestible form. Our immediate plans are to wind down our Twitter activity and focus on LinkedIn and Facebook as our two principal channels. We shall supplement this with Instagram for image- and video-friendly content and also provide some limited product-specific image sharing on Pinterest.

STOCK & PRICING

Container,Vessel,Ship

We all saw significant price increases in 2021 and that is set to continue this year. After years of low single-digit price growth, some of our manufacturing partners are introducing 15-20% increases for 2022! Alongside this, the product and raw material shortages continue. With the Chinese New Year disruption now beginning, we are being quoted 5-8 week lead times on some products. Obviously, we maintain a flexible supply chain and hold stock or offer alternatives where appropriate but a growing number of larger employers are rolling out significant homeworking programmes resulting in demand surges. The best way to cope with these demands is, as always, to involve us early in your project planning.

NEW FORMAT

eBulletin-update

As you will have noticed last month, we have just completed 12 years of consistent monthly eBulletin delivery and it is time to update the appearance. We retain very high levels of engagement (for which I thank you!) so the new look will not be radical. We shall simply be creating a cleaner layout to make it easier on the eye. Watch this space (quite literally)!

PRODUCT RADAR

Digital,Blue,Realistic,Radar,With,Targets,On,Monitor,In,Searching.

Product Radar is our comparatively new medium for sharing product information. Quite simply, it introduces you to new products which may not already be ‘on your radar’. It also includes occasional legacy products that have been very successful but you may have forgotten about. It doesn’t have a set publishing schedule – we just send it out whenever we have something to share. We already have a handful of new products to announce in January and we know there are some exciting developments in the pipeline. Click here to register or see the archive.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin December 2021

December 13, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 145 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/12/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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TWELVE YEARS OF NEWSLETTERS

Welcome to our 12th Anniversary edition of the eBulletin. Arriving consistently at the same time and on the same day each month, we have covered the changing role of workers and the workplace since 2009. Whilst there has been steady, progressive change (flat screens, sit-stand desks, mini keyboards, laptop stands, etc.) in the past, it is no exaggeration to say that the pace of change is now faster than ever before. We continue to monitor and participate in the key discussions so that we bring you the latest insights and resources from around the world.

WEB PORTAL

osmondgroup_portal

You may be unaware – or have forgotten! – that we have had osmondgroup.co.uk as our resource portal for many years. We have not promoted it actively for quite some time but it has just been updated to provide a single point of access to our key online resources and all our social media. You can get to these through our principal website at ergonomics.co.uk but, when you are not looking for products, the portal provides a quick and easy alternative route.

TRAINING

training_virtual

Our virtual DSE Assessor courses are still proving very popular and we already have bookings through until March 2022. In addition, we shall be offering face-to-face training for client in-house courses from the New Year (barring any new Covid restrictions). Obviously, we need larger training rooms (or smaller groups) than we did pre-pandemic but the in-person experience is hard to beat. Find out more about the courses we offer here.

NEW HSE HOMEWORKER GUIDANCE

HSE

As you probably know, I have been ranting recently about the way many employers have been neglecting their homeworkers and the fact that, even the more contentious organisations, are often doing a less than comprehensive job. The HSE have just updated their guidance and, whilst the graphics have still not really caught up with the 21st century, the text information is sound. It is also useful to see the HSE making more noise about homeworker needs, including the specific reference to the requirement for assessment. You can see the latest information and video here. (Remember: when you watch the video, focus on the text not the 1980s graphics!).

NEW FIRA HOMEWORKER GUIDANCE

FIRA

The Furniture Industry Research Association has published two guides, one for employers and one for homeworkers. The former refers to the various stages since the first lockdown (and also references the need for assessments). The latter is particularly useful and provides valuable information about workstation setup as well as the overall working environment, movement and behaviours. Every homeworker should have access to this guide so that they can see what their employer should be doing for them. Feel free to share!

YEAR END SHUTDOWN

Closed,Sign,Hang,On,Mirror,Door,Front,Of,Office,Room.Our eBulletin anniversary also means we are approaching the year-end so it is time to let you know when we are closed. This year, we finish at 12:30pm on Friday 24.12.21 and reopen at 8:30am on Tuesday 04.01.22. The order cut-off time for guaranteed despatch of stock items before Christmas is noon on Tuesday 21.12.21. We are all looking forward to a proper chance to switch off after a very demanding year and we hope you have a fabulous break as well.

DRAW WINNER

PrizeAs I mentioned back in October, we have been actively seeking feedback over the last couple of months and we are most grateful to the many customers who have responded, either via Trustpilot or through our own, more comprehensive survey. We especially appreciate those who take the time to complete the survey and, by way of thanks, award a £180 gift voucher every two months. Our first voucher winner is MD of Peterborough. The next draw will be at the end of January.


Product Radar – FlexDesk 630

November 16, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 16/11/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

FlexDesk 630

 

Introduction

 

FlexDesk 630-1The FlexDesk 630 is ideal for individuals who use paperwork during the day. Positioning documents to the side of you can cause musculoskeletal problems. Although it may not be noticeable straight away, tension and pain can build up in your neck, shoulders, and back as you turn your head to view the documents. The FlexDesk 630 features two lockable positions; push it away from you to use as a document holder or, pull it towards you to use as a writing slope. What’s more, by having the documents in front of you, you’re maximising your workspace which can boost productivity.

 

BLACK FRIDAY OFFER
WAS £114.95 plus VAT, NOW ONLY £99 INCLUDING VAT!

 

Features & Benefits 

  • Increases central desk space creating a more organised work area.
  • Multifunctional – Can be used as a document holder or as a writing slope.
  • Reduces the risk of eye, neck and back strain to improve your physical wellbeing.
  • Lockable in two positions to provide stability.
  • Includes pen tray to create a tidy workspace.

More Information

 

 


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin November 2021

November 10, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 144 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/11/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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HOMEWORKING – WHAT IS EVERYBODY ELSE DOING NOW?

Back in May, I presented a webinar that addressed the question What is everybody else doing? It was in response to a question we were being asked constantly.

Six months later, it is worth asking the same question about homeworking because the short answer, in most cases, is nothing like enough. Many employers now focus on preparing the workplace for January 2022, rather than September/October 2021 as most had originally planned. In the meantime, we are seeing countless homeworking setups that are simply inadequate. Take into account the fact that most of the homes we see are where employers have, at least, provided a chair and you will understand that the poor settings we encounter are probably amongst the better setups. However, we can only do what we are asked and we see lots of locations where no assessment has been completed, or it has been done virtually and issues have been missed, or the review has been done from a constrained perspective (e.g. we will just give them a better chair). [more]

ER60 NOM – SAME NUMBER – NEW VAN!

ER60NOM

We have just replaced our largest van, complete with the updated message to reflect the changing nature of workplace design and workforce activity. What has not changed is the registration number: ER60NOM. The new graphics were added a week after the van was delivered so Martin Webb, one of our very experienced installation drivers, was White Van Man for a week.

Interestingly, he observed that more customers commented on the registration number on the unmarked van than had ever done on his previous vinyl-wrapped vehicles!

SOUTHAMPTON BUSINESS EXPO

southampton_expo

It is a very long time since we participated in a face-to-face exhibition so we are making quite a low profile return! Rather than one of the big London or NEC events, your next chance to talk to us in person is at the Southampton Business Expo on November 25th.

We have adapted and extended our services considerably since Covid began and the workplace is a very different environment. If you are in the area, come and visit Stand 46 to find out more about what we offer from my colleague, Neil Hurst. Exhibition details and free registration can be found here.

POSTURE GUIDANCE ON YOUR MOBILE

mobile_posture

It is also some time since I have drawn specific attention to this so here is a reminder that one of our key resources works really well on your mobile telephone. It is therefore very useful for assessors, trainers and others needing an instant, portable (and free!) tool to demonstrate workstation setup.

Just go to ergoergo.info on your mobile and it will redirect you to the animated Posture Guidance on our main website. From here, you can choose a  variety of animations with explanatory text. We update and evolve the design as equipment changes and quite a lot has happened since we launched the original site in 2004.

STRETCHING GUIDE PROVING POPULAR

stretching

We have been running a successful campaign on LinkedIn and Facebook to promote our free Stretching Exercises. This has been driven by two key considerations. First, we recognise that the ergonomics, posture and wellbeing issues that we take for granted are not at all obvious to many other organisations and individuals.

Secondly, we know that there are thousands (maybe millions) of people struggling with inadequate homeworking arrangements. This simple resource is an easy way to spread the word and help those who are struggling. Find out more and feel free to share the information here.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin October 2021

October 14, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 143 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/10/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

Lion,In,London,Zoo

WE TREAT ANIMALS BETTER THAN OFFICE WORKERS

This title is rather an oversimplification of Nigel Oseland’s new book but it’s a great way to start an animated discussion! Covid has prompted widespread conversations about what we need to provide for our personnel to thrive but, despite the earnest debate and the invention of new terminology like hybrid and blended working, I see signs of many organisations reverting to the pre-pandemic status quo. In ‘Beyond the Workplace Zoo: Humanising the Office’, Nigel had created a really thought-provoking review of what’s wrong with much Corporate Real Estate thinking and what could be done to put it right. Despite its demanding, research-based origins, it’s an easy, stimulating read and Nigel distils complex thinking into simple, comprehensible language. Find out more about the book and check out the comments from several industry thought leaders on Amazon.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

Customer,Experience,Concept,,Best,Excellent,Services,For,Satisfaction,Present,By

Over the last few weeks, we have introduced a number of initiatives to make it easier for customers to indicate their experience when dealing with us. This has resulted in a flurry of feedback and it is great to see customer comments both through our own in-house survey and through Trustpilot.

It is especially gratifying when clients mention individual staff by name for going above and beyond to provide great service. You will start to see some of these quotes on our main website and in our social media, as well as directly on Trustpilot.

DSE ASSESSOR TRAINING

dseassessment4

Following my recent observations about the backlog of workstation assessments, many employers will be finding that they need to train new or refresh existing assessors.

As mentioned previously, our one-day virtual DSE Assessor training course gets excellent reviews and we have now set the diary into the New Year. Find out more here and take advantage of Early Bird prices.

WORKSPACE DESIGN SHOW

workspace_design

A brand new workplace interiors event comes to London next month. The Workspace Design Show takes place on November 4th – 5th at the Business Design Centre.

Showcasing the latest products from over 70 manufacturers, it is the UK’s new exhibition focussed purely on Workspace Design and includes thought leadership presentations from the UK’s top architects, designers and corporates. Find out more and register here.

SUPPLIES & PRICING

Retail,Warehouse,Full,Of,Shelves,With,Goods,In,Cardboard,Boxes,

In your personal life, you will have already experienced shortages and price rises. In the commercial market, we are being squeezed on all sides by raw material price rises, long-distance container shipping costs, local logistics and transport issues and personnel shortages.

Against this backdrop, we are seeing growing numbers of large employers preparing for large-scale roll-outs of homeworker chairs, desks and accessories. If you are now reviewing your homeworker plans, I would urge you to start the supplier conversation immediately because I believe the situation will get worse before it gets better. Delivery lead times are already being extended by most manufacturers and component supplies will also impact availability sooner rather than later.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin September 2021

September 15, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 142 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/09/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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MONITOR ARMS FOR HOMEWORKERS

Although we have been talking about it for months, it finally seems that employers are formalising their hybrid working plans, even if it is still on a ‘suck it and see’ basis for the foreseeable future. I have already talked and written at length about the big issues so, this month, I thought I would highlight one of those simple ‘I never thought of that’ topics.

Whilst many employers have provided an additional monitor for their home laptop users, far fewer have considered a monitor arm on which to mount it. This cost-effective accessory provides adjustability (height, depth, angle) to improve ergonomics and posture but one of its greatest benefits in a domestic environment is that it creates space. As a commodity, space is usually in short supply for most homeworkers so cantilevering your monitor frees desktop real estate. If you are not using a monitor arm, just look at your screen and think about how much less cluttered your desk would be if the screen stand was not sitting on it!

Don’t forget that they can be retro-fitted too. (Just make sure your monitor has a VESA mount). Our web page shows a handful of straightforward choices or contact us to discuss numerous other options including multi-screen, landscape/portrait or alternative mounting choices.

4Cs WEBINAR

4CsMy most recent ‘big issues’ webinar addressed the four work types: Communication, Collaboration, Contemplation and Concentration. For some reason, attendance was unusually low so perhaps we just didn’t advertise it enough. Feedback from attendees was very favourable and the (40 minute) video is available here immediately or from our Webinars on Demand page within the next couple of days. If you were unable to attend or just hadn’t heard about it, here is an ideal opportunity to see and hear my take on what workplace designers need to be thinking about. As always, I have taken a pragmatic approach to try and take a topic which can be very complicated and explain it as simply as possible. If you have any questions after viewing or want to discuss it further, just get in touch.

CONFERENCE: A NEW WORLD OF WORK

new_wt_imageAs regular readers will know, I am a great fan of the Workplace Trends events and have already mentioned their October conference in the past. With the full speaker list now confirmed, there has been a slight repositioning and, as you may have noticed, a new title. The programme includes a diverse mix of speakers from organisations like Google, Vodafone, Gensler and Tetra Pak. The one thing they have in common is that they are all at the top of their game. You can attend virtually or in person in Central London on Wednesday October 13th. More details and registration here.

CIEHF PUBLICATIONS & EVENTS

CIEHF-logo-square-hi-resWe are proud to be a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors. Their output, especially since the outbreak of Covid, has been prodigious and shows no sign of losing pace. For many people, ergonomics has long been associated only with office chairs and car dashboards. To challenge this, a key element of the CIEHF’s current programme is to raise awareness of the countless fields where ergonomics and human factors make key contributions to design, safety, comfort and wellbeing. You can scroll through their free white papers here and find upcoming events here. Better still, follow them on LinkedIn to keep abreast of everything that is happening!

NATIONAL FITNESS DAY

nationalfitnessdayWednesday September 22nd is UK National Fitness Day. Find out more here or search #fitnessday on your favourite social media channel for ideas and inspiration. If you are a gym member, you will probably know about this already but it is also a great opportunity to kick start your fitness campaign if you have been less active. There are events and opportunities all over the country and there is bound to be something to suit your current level of fitness (or unfitness!).

COMING SOON – PRODUCT REVIEW OPPORTUNITES

coming_soonAre you an existing customer? Interested in entering our monthly prize draw by writing a product review? We are finalising our plans for this ongoing campaign. Full details next month, so watch this space!


Product Radar – Xenium Basic Hugger Back

August 17, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 17/08/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

Xenium Basic Hugger Back

 

Introduction

 

Grahl-Xenium-Hugger-1The Xenium Hugger Back chair utilises the highly regarded DuoBack® back rest which reduces direct pressure on the spine by up to 50%. Each back pad is individually mounted on a flexible yet robust bracket which enables them to flex and move with the user, to ensure their back is fully supported throughout the day. The back rest height can be adjusted independently and, when it is raised in height, travels backwards to help accommodate taller users.

Featuring a contoured seat cushion, choice of armrests, seat depth adjustment plus a range of extra optional add-ons, this chair can be configured for a wide range of users and needs.

Features & Benefits 

  • Seat Height & Depth Adjustment 
  • Independently Height Adjustable Back Rest 
  • Multi-Lock Synchronous Action with Weight Tension Adjustment 
  • Two symmetrical backrest pads to reduce pressure on the spine by up to 50%
  • Choice of armrests
  • Seat Tilt and Advanced Knee Tilt are available as options

More Information

 

 


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin August 2021

August 11, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 141 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/08/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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TIME FOR THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF THE DSE ASSESSMENT

In 2019, there was a lot of debate about the relevance (or otherwise) of the DSE Assessment process. It was reasoned that the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations, last updated in 2002, had been overtaken by agile working patterns and technology, so were no longer fit for purpose. Along with many others, I argued that this was not the case. [more]

HEALTHY WORKPLACE – LATEST PRODUCTS

HW_latest_productsIn last month’s eBulletin, I mentioned how furniture manufacturers have been particularly busy creating new designs and concepts over the last year. To reflect this, we have updated the Workplace section of our website to include a Latest Products page. As employers explore new ways to facilitate interactions in the office, there are many products to consider. We shall be adding stylish and innovative ideas to this list frequently so it is worth checking regularly to see what is new.

CLERKENWELL OPEN

clerkenwell_openThere is a new competitor to the Clerkenwell Design Week event series. Clerkenwell Open takes place on September 9th and 10th. The event offers a specifically curated showroom trail for visitors to attend workshops, seminars and view a variety of furniture showrooms in the Clerkenwell area. I shall be there both days so let me know if you would like to meet up.

CIEHF – CHILDREN’S ERGONOMICS

childrens_ergonomicsHealthy and Happy Home Learning, one of the latest titles from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors, is a really useful guide for every parent with school-age children. Whilst it may have been inspired by the issues identified in home schooling, it goes much further and addresses the physical, mental and social health of children from a range of perspectives. Topics include posture, movement, mental wellbeing and environmental factors with simple suggestions and valuable links to lots of other publications. Download your own free copy here.

WORKPLACE INSIGHT PODCASTS

workplace_insightIn the age of TikTok, Teams and Zoom, it seems so retro to be listening to a broadcast that is ‘sound only’! However, I have recently rediscovered my love of the podcast, especially now that I am starting to do some driving for work once again. Largely responsible for this renewed enthusiasm is the Workplace Insight series which uses an exquisitely simple format: really knowledgeable, interesting people talking about what they know! New instalments are not added that often but they all stand the test of time. Listen to the pre-Covid ones for some insightful observations as well as the latest recordings about wellbeing and workplace transformation.


Product Radar – Toleo

July 21, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 21/07/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

Toleo chair

Introduction

Mesh-Front-Face

Introducing the Toleo chair by Viasit. This chair aims to increase your natural movement as much as possible whilst sitting. This is achieved by including mobility to the left and right as well as the classic synchronous movement so the chair can fully move and adapt to the users every move.

This promotes mobile sitting, activating the body making users more relaxed and boosting concentration. The contoured backrest and optional headrest enhance the comfort further.

Features & Benefits 

  • Torsion movement for improved dynamic 3D sitting.
  • Full synchronous mechanism with free-flow recline and 4-position lock for extra comfort.
  • Integrated forward tilt, seat depth adjustment and height adjustable backrest to adapt to the user
  • Mesh backrest available for additional ventilation instead of the upholstered back.

More Information

 

 


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin July 2021

July 14, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 140 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/07/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

HeaderImage07-2021

AIRCHARGE+ DESK BOOKING

Most organisations are looking at ways to provide an easy desk booking system in a hybrid working environment. Even those who had agile working programmes pre-pandemic are reviewing all their processes to ensure minimum friction. One of my personal highlights of CDW Unlocked (see below) was the discovery of the new Aircharge+, the ‘smart, safe digital marker for today’s workplace’. Combining an online booking page with desk markers, inductive phone (and tablet) charging and a number of additional benefits, this is exceptionally easy to implement and outstanding value. The beneficial pricing makes it suitable for organisations of any size and the exceptional value is because the technology has already been fully developed and tested for a global hospitality chain so the development and support costs have been very low. See the explanatory video here or contact us for further information.

NEW ON ERGONOMICS.CO.UK

web_updateWe have been tracking user behaviour on our primary website since we changed platform last year and we have now made some changes to reflect what we have learned. In addition, our site at homeworker.uk.com has been merged into the primary ergonomics site, creating a ‘Homeworker powered by Osmond Ergonomics’ section. The topline menu still gives a dropdown route to most sections but the new links now provide better direct routes to product groups. Take a look here.

 

CDW UNLOCKED

cdw_unlockedBoth figuratively and actually, this event was, unfortunately, a washout. Attendance was very low. Whether this was because of a lack of marketing, the weather, the pandemic or two Euro semi-final football matches in the same week, we shall probably never know. Suffice to say, I was the only visitor present during half my showroom visits. On the positive side, this meant I could attend showrooms for which I had not pre-booked and, once inside, showroom personnel had plenty of time to talk. It is very clear that the manufacturing industry has been exceptionally busy over the last several months and there are lots of new products and ideas. Whether your post-pandemic office plan is all-in, all-out or hybrid, there is plenty to discuss about how workplace design can support culture, engagement, wellbeing and productivity. For a face-to-face or virtual chat, get in touch or check in to my 4Cs webinar below.

NEW WEBINAR SUBJECTS

Capture (1)We have added three new topics to our forthcoming free webinar programme. Following the success of our Posture Awareness for Homeworkers (which will return later in the year and is still available for in-house commercial delivery), we have added two further Posture Awareness sessions about Laboratory work and Vehicles. In addition, I shall be delivering a variant of the session I did in Clerkenwell at CDW Unlocked: Communication, Collaboration, Concentration & Contemplation – the where and how of Hybrid Working. Find out more and book any or all of these here.

LINKEDIN PROFILE

linkedinIf you are a regular user, you may already know that it is now possible to add a half minute cover story video to your LinkedIn profile page. I have been experimenting with this and my first video (or second, or third, depending when you look!) is now live. I am interested to find out how people respond to this new facility so, if you can spare 30 seconds to watch the video and about the same again to respond to the poll here, I shall be most grateful. Please feel free to comment too!


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