The Ergonomics Tsunami

April 22, 2015

TsunamiLately, we have been working with a few dynamic organisations who are taking a serious look at the trajectory of workplace ergonomics and the nature of work itself. As I have said elsewhere (and everyone knows), the work environment is changing very fast and, significantly, there are multiple influences.

  • For all knowledge workers (and many others), ‘workplace’ is now an IP address rather than a physical location.
  • Almost-universal Wi-Fi means that we can access information and communicate anywhere
  • Increasingly portable devices, with ever-extending battery life, further support our mobility
  • Simultaneously, employers are downsizing their real estate and reducing the number of desks on site. Hot desking, hoteling, co-worker hubs and home / smart / agile working are becoming widespread.

The list goes on.

One further impact, and perhaps the most dramatic, is the influx of Millennial (or Generation Y) personnel to the workplace. Their attitudes to entitlement, work-life balance, use of technology, privacy and many more of the concepts that older people take for granted are, at least, different and often radical. They have also been using technology of all types, in all sorts of locations and postures, almost since birth.

So why have I called the influx of millennials ‘The Ergonomics Tsunami’?

Because it’s coming, it’s enormous, it’s unstoppable and it’s potentially overwhelming.

I shall be writing more about this in due course but, in the meantime, here are some further resources:

If you read this before the event, you can attend the ErgoExpo webinar featuring Nigel Heaton of Human Applications, Ryan Pavey of Cardinus and myself. It will also be available subsequently as an on-demand video. This takes a primarily musculo-skeletal approach to some of the issues.

For a more psycho-social approach, you can start by looking here at some insight into the work done by Jim Taylour and Dr Patrick Jordan for Orangebox.

What do home workers and online poker players have in common?

April 7, 2015

online_poker_keyboard_blogAre there any similarities between how an online poker player operates and the way many computer users work at home? As it turns out, the answer is ‘Yes, quite a lot’.

I was asked recently to write a ‘Top Ten Ergonomics Tips’ for online poker players. Initially, I saw this as a stand-alone project but, as I researched the process of online poker, it became clear that there are many similarities. Here are a few:

  1. Online poker players (OPPs) operate unsupervised for long periods, often without interruption.
  2. Workstation layout, posture and comfort are critical.
  3. OPPs often use two or more monitors.
  4. OPPs need to maintain concentration to optimise their performance.
  5. Exercise and hydration are very important.

To see the full list of tips and draw your own conclusions about the similarities, view the whole Online Poker Ergonomics article here.

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