This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/04/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.
HYBRID WORKING – WHAT IS EVERYBODY ELSE DOING?
As the dependence on homeworking starts to diminish, every employer is reviewing policies and practices concerning their knowledge workers. Hybrid working, agile working, blended working: whatever you choose to call it, you will need a clearly defined strategy that takes a holistic approach. We know that some people love home working and some hate it. Some employers want everyone back in the office and some organisations are offering a perpetual homeworking opportunity. What works best for your organisation will be dependent on your culture, activities, technology, location and demographics. We don’t pretend to know all the answers – or even all the questions (yet) – but one question that keeps cropping up is ‘What is everybody else doing?’. I have therefore scheduled a short webinar to outline all that I have learned from conversations with clients and prospects, webinars, conferences, social media and the press over the last twelve months. For a mixture of insights, tips and observations, please join me at lunchtime on Wednesday May 19th, 2021.
DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
Last year, a research study of 2,000 UK adults found that their average screen time was over 13 hours per day! We hear widespread stories of people spending more time at their computer when homeworking so this duration is no surprise when you also factor in smartphone and tablet use, together with TV in the evening. Equally unsurprising is the fact that we are encountering growing numbers of people reporting symptoms of eye strain. Whilst more than one in five people have reported a deterioration in their eyesight, the connection is not always obvious to the layman because the symptoms may be headaches, neck strain and other musculoskeletal issues caused by vision-related poor posture. The College of Optometrists have coined the term ‘Coronavision’.
We are exploring additional services to address this problem so I would love to hear from you about your own (personal or professional) experience. Email me your own thoughts or comment directly on my LinkedIn posting here.
CONTOUR ROLLERMOUSE MOBILE
Since we introduced the separate Product Radar emails back in September 2020, I don’t often profile new products in this eBulletin. However, like the last one I mentioned, the RollerMouse Mobile is one I am really excited about. Having launched the RollerMouse concept in the UK nearly twenty years ago, it is fair to say that the mobile version has been quite a long time coming! However, it has been worth the wait.
With roller technology akin to the RollerMouse Re:d, combined with wired, dongle or Bluetooth connectivity, this really does ‘tick all the boxes’. It’s beautifully made and one of the highest scoring products we have ever put through our WoW Factor review. Our first stock is due in May.
As you may have discovered in March, we are now closed until 10:00am on the third Monday of each month. This gives us the opportunity to bring the whole team together (still virtually at the moment) for our ‘Monthly Outlook’ when I provide an update about the business trading activities. We discuss what is happening in the business and beyond, general trends, our plans and expectations plus everyone’s contribution. It’s a great forum and, as an experiment for the next few months, we have added a further dimension:
Many people say that virtual meetings miss out on those chats we all have, before and after, when we are getting coffee, finding a seat or just catching up with friends and colleagues. To address this, people are dropped into a virtual room on arrival. Each room contain 3-4 people who then get 10 minutes to chat about whatever they want (preferably not work-related). We do the same for 10 minutes at the end of the meeting. I will report on how this goes in due course!
GROWTH OF MUSCULOSKELETAL
There is no doubt that musculoskeletal (MSK) problems are on the rise. Prolonged periods of homeworking without proper assessment, adequate training or appropriate equipment are taking their toll. Many employers have simply not addressed these issues adequately and employees are now paying the price. We know that mental and physical health are interconnected and, whilst there has been a lot of publicity (rightly) about the mental health issues, attention to physical health matters has been lower profile.
Worryingly, we are also hearing anecdotal evidence that employees are failing to flag their own discomfort at a time of uncertainty and potential job insecurity. Ergonomics and health professionals have been warning of this for some time but it is clear the message is often not getting through. We are trying to help with our free webinars and we are offering some great deals on training courses.