Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin October 2018

October 12, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/10/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

SOUND ERGONOMICS

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Look at many modern workplaces and the three most common components are glass, concrete and steel. Remove the suspended ceiling, expose the HVAC and cabling, add hard flooring, create an open plan work environment and guess what you have created – an acoustic nightmare! This should really come as no shock. In much the same way we seem surprised to find that houses built on flood plains are liable to flooding, employers now look at the hard, sound-reflecting surfaces they have created and wonder where it all went wrong! Of course, the ‘perfect storm’ ingredient is the move to agile working. As personnel adapt (more or less successfully) to new ways of working, the workplace must support and encourage those changes. Commonly, too much (or the wrong sort of) noise is at the root of productivity and performance issues. Worse still, we are seeing growing problems relating to stress and mental health as a result of workplace noise and distraction. Please contact us to explore how we can help with your noise problems.

ACOUSTIC ANSWERS – PODS

orangebox_podIronically, the factors described above have created the need for cellular rooms in which to meet or concentrate! Whilst a well-managed agile working programme will provide a mix of work environments, the loss of meeting rooms, individual offices or quiet zones in general can impact productivity. A self-contained unit is therefore an effective, flexible approach to the problem. Levels of sophistication vary enormously and most manufacturers provide a range of options to suit the situation and use. Significantly, they can be reconfigured or relocated in the future to meet changing demands.

ACOUSTIC ANSWERS – SEATING

elite-office-furniture-gallery-retreat-01In only a few years, the individual chairs used in breakout and collaboration areas have been widely complemented by booth designs. By offering high back and fully enclosed bench seating, manufacturers combine function, comfort, practicality and acoustics. There is also a psychological benefit to the sense of enclosure that these products engender. Technology such as integrated screens, USB or inductive charging, lighting and Bluetooth connections further enhance the productivity potential. In a variety of shapes and styles, booth seating is widely available in modular form to meet operational and budget needs.

ACOUSTIC ANSWERS – VERTICAL & HORIZONTAL

acoustics_horiz_vertThis is ‘old school’ acoustics! Before the products described above had even been invented, it was possible to hang sound-absorbing panels on the walls to reduce noise. In recent years, these hangings have increased in effectiveness, sophistication and appearance. They can now be manufactured with high resolution images, corporate branding and logos, cover the whole wall or even look like concrete! Similarly, panels suspended from high ceilings can be in any shape and size and the dizzying array of fabrics available can be used to blend them into the background or create vibrant displays. An acoustic survey will identify the issues and the best combination of approaches to the problems encountered. Contact us to find out more.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

mentalhealthatworkWe find more and more of the problems we see in the workplace are related to stress and mental health. This can relate as much to musculo-skeletal issues as it does to acoustics and noise. Back in May, I mentioned the Return to Work site providing a free toolkit to support the process after mental health absence. More excellent (and extensive) support is available from Mental Health at Work. This site, curated by Mind and supported by The Royal Foundation, contains even more toolkits, case studies and resources, all of which can be accessed anonymously.

GLOBAL ERGONOMICS MONTH

global_ergonomics_monthYou may not have realised that October is Global Ergonomics Month. Or at least, I think it is! I had an email about it from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors but there is nothing about it on their web site home page or, indeed on the home page of the International Ergonomics Association. So hurrah for global awareness!! From Google searches, I know it was in 2016 and 2017 so, just in case it is again (or we can restart it between us), please consider sharing these documents: User Centred Design: a guide for Teachers  Human Factors for Health & Social Care; White Paper  Human Connection II: ergonomics & human factors making life better. And don’t forget the book that includes my first (and only) formally published work!.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin September 2018

September 14, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/09/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

ERGOEXPO CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 2018 – A PERSONAL VIEW

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Last year, ErgoExpo moved from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to the Paris Hotel across the street. It also moved from November to August. This year, the August scheduling meant outside temperatures reaching 43°C and nowhere to escape from the perpetual ‘daylight’ and air-conditioned cocoon of the Paris Hotel and its conference facilities! Of course, the hotels in Las Vegas never want us to see the light of day but, for me, there is always a constant, overwhelming desire to get outside at any opportunity. [more]

BIG GREEN EXPO

big_green_expo

On October 2nd, we are participating in the Big Green Expo, an event that brings together exhibitors and visitors with a shared interest in sustainability. We shall be showcasing some of our best cradle-to-cradle products on our principal stand as well as participating in the ‘Office of Tomorrow Today’ feature in the centre of the hall. This regional event provides a wide cross-section of products and services for organisations looking to improve their environmental impact. It is an ideal opportunity for us to showcase some of our most innovative merchandise. Admission is free.

NATIONAL PRODUCT SHOWCASE

showcaseOur national ‘mobile showroom’ tour has just two more dates on this year’s calendar. Come and see the latest and best products from our portfolio alongside our long standing best-sellers. Get ‘hands on’ with all types of accessories and input devices and get ‘bottoms on’ with chairs from more than 8 manufacturers. Try free-standing sit-stand desks alongside desktop adaptors. Do this in Bristol at the end of this month or in Glasgow in October. Both events are completely free but registration will help us anticipate numbers.

AGILE WORKING POSTURE GUIDANCE

agile_working_guideWe have revised our old ‘Handheld Devices’ guidance and recreated it as an Agile Working guide. This covers the wide variety of posture issues commonly encountered by users of PEDs (Personal Electronic Devices) wherever they are. In our experience, even the most dynamic organisations are not very good at advising users about posture issues ‘out and about’. Even when there are comprehensive training programmes to support individuals beyond the office and communications amongst dispersed teams, it seems that posture is often completely overlooked.

HANDS-ON TRAINING FOR DSE ASSESSORS

hands_on_trainingAs part of our national training tour, we shall also be in Bristol and Glasgow with our half-day training workshops designed to enhance the skills of established DSE assessors, accelerate the knowledge of those who are recently appointed and provide context for those involved in specifying products. The morning course (Workplace Postures and Seating) at each location looks at seating posture and products and the afternoon session (Options for Reasonable Adjustments) considers other options such as sit-stand furniture and accessories. The two courses are available independently but lunch is included if you book both!

AMBLE TASK LIGHT

amble_lampThe desk lamp that ‘balances on tip-toe’! For those needing a task lamp that is both elegant and functional, Amble fits the bill. Offering a 3500K light temperature (not too yellow, not too blue), this is the ideal white light for those who are not close to a natural light source. Its three balancing positions provide options from focussed reading lamp to ambient light source and its one moving part provides a functional simplicity to match its clean lines.

FACULTY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSING

fohn_logoRecently, we have been providing some back-office training and technical support for the newly-formed Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing. The FOHN launches officially on October 1st, 2018 with the vision of promoting excellence in the education, research and evidence based practice of all occupational health nurses for the benefit of the working population. The Executive Committee is a highly qualified and experienced group of Occupational Health professionals and I am confident this will be a very influential organisation in the future..


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin August 2018

August 10, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/08/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

TREADMILL DESKS: I’VE CHANGED MY MIND

Lifespan‘Active Desk’ is the term generally attributed to office desks integrated with either a treadmill unit or some sort of cycle device. In the past, I have been quite disparaging about these products and described them as a Step Too Far!

When they first appeared I thought the sales approach was too gimmicky with no clear message. It was also apparent that quality was inconsistent and that many manufacturers, especially from China, seemed to be jumping on the ‘sit less’ bandwagon. There was little concern about how the products would be used or what benefits they might offer.

Whilst I continue to be unimpressed about the cycle devices, I have recently made an about turn in my thinking about treadmill units linked to desks, but such a radical piece of rethinking clearly needs further explanation. [more]

WEB SITE FEEDBACK

web_site2We are making changes and enhancements to ergonomics.co.uk on a daily basis. Feedback has been good about the new design but we are really interested in ideas to make it easier to use or more informative. Last month we asked you to take just a few minutes to complete our feedback questionnaire. We really value your time so all contributors have the chance to win a £200 Red Letter Day voucher. If you have not already done so, please participate here.

ROADSHOW

roadshow6We are now in the final stages of this year’s roadshow with only Bristol and Glasgow remaining. Each two day event starts with a free Product Showcase on the first day. This is effectively a mobile showroom with all the latest products alongside established bestsellers. On the second day, we run two half day training courses which provide valuable knowledge and hands-on experience, principally for Health & Safety Managers, Occupational Health personnel and DSE assessors. View the diary here or contact the Customer Service team to see if you are eligible for a discount – or even a free session!

ERGOEXPO

ergoexpo2I shall be back in Las Vegas this month for my eleventh visit to the National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo. Although I have no empathy with the city – or many of its ‘attractions’ – it is a great conference and a fascinating opportunity to compare and contrast North American thinking with the European approach. There are also some fabulous restaurants! If you are attending, please let me know by email or through LinkedIn if you want to meet up. Of course, I shall be reflecting on the experience when I return and a blog will follow in the comparatively near future.

PREGNANCY PACK

pregnantMany customers ask us for advice to address the needs of pregnant workers. Apart from help with legislative obligations, they also need to know about products to assist with posture and comfort issues. Over the years, we have identified a shortlist of proven solutions to address individual needs. Our established Pregnancy Pack has existed for several years and has just been refreshed. We have checked and updated the guidance alongside a review and amendments to the product suggestions. You can download your free copy here.

SUMMER PLAYLIST

summer_playlistAnd finally, a little summer fun. We asked our team to select their favourite summer tunes to enjoy in this sweltering heat. I had to remove a few choices because the vocabulary did not seem appropriate and, to be honest, I stole the idea from a local car dealership email but we hope you enjoy the finished selection! For convenience, we have created this playlist on Spotify. If you are not already a Spotify subscriber, the link will invite you to register for a free account.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin July 2018

July 13, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/07/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

60 DAYS & COUNTING! TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

HP-HT-HW-header2018-07Our new web site at ergonomics.co.uk has now been active for over two months and we continue to make enhancements. Whether you are a longstanding client or new to our products and services, we really want to know what you think of the site. We already have a rolling development programme with more new features planned for introduction in due course. However, we also have capacity to include new ideas or alter the emphasis of the changes  – so what you want is the most important design driver. Please help us by completing the anonymous short survey here. We value your time so all contributors will be transfered to a separate draw page with an opportunity to win a £200 Red Letter Day voucher.

VELA TANGO 510E

vela_tango_510eOur new web design allows us to introduce new products which we have not considered previously. The Vela Tango 510E is just such a product. Since we are no longer involved in the Access to Work programme, we used to think that the design might be too bespoke for our day-to-day requirements. However, we have reviewed this thinking recently, put it through our WoW Factor process and added it to the portfolio. It has many possible applications – both at work and at home – for users who cannot stand for long periods or live with a range of disabilities. Its unique design includes many clever features and the range of options makes it easy to specify a configuration to meet an individual’s needs.

ROADSHOW

roadshow_trainingOur National Roadshow & Training tour continues on July 31st – August 1st in Leeds. As before, the format consists of a free Product Showcase in the afternoon and evening of the Tuesday and two (low cost) half day training sessions on the Wednesday. The two complementary training workshops, Workstation Postures & Seating and Options for Reasonable Adjustments, combine lots of practical advice with hands-on product experience. For those attending both training sessions, lunch is also provided. DSE assessors, occupational health, health & safety and disability assessment personnel will all benefit from this programme

DSE ASSESSOR TRAINING

DSE_assessment_lawOur next one day DSE Assessor training is scheduled in Exeter on July 17th. Due to some last minute cancellations, we still have places so please follow this link if you want to attend this double-accredited (IIRSM and CIEHF) session. We have also been asked to organise a course local to us in Dorset and we need a few more delegates to reach critical mass. If this is of interest, please contact our Training Manager about possible dates.

INSTAGRAM

instagramOK, an admission: here is some social media that I have not yet fully mastered! I am trying to get past my perception that Instagram is just a bunch of selfies so we have set up our own company account. I am assured it will give us a great platform to post products, activities and what is happening in the business. We have only just loaded the first few images but we would love you to follow us if you’re an Instagram user – and watch us learn! Find us here.

MOTUS IN WHITE

motus_whiteDemand for our Motus sit-stand desks continues to grow. A recent project required all-white product so we are now stocking the Motus 3000 range with both silver and white frames. With a choice of seven standard top colours and seven sizes, this is a quality product at a competitive price for almost every application. With a  four-memory controller as standard and a full range of associated cable management, monitor arm and CPU holder products, this offers  an outstanding value product, whether it is for a home setup or a whole commercial office.


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.


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.


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