Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin April 2021

April 14, 2021

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/04/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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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

Young,Woman,Seated,At,Workplace,Take,Break,Distracted,From,WorkLast 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

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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.

MONTHLY OUTLOOK

monthly_outlookAs 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

MSK_issuesThere 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.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin March 2021

March 10, 2021

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/03/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM – TIME TO PLAN?

With a return to school, the immediate opportunity for limited outside interaction and the prospect of further easing soon, many of us now feel that we are starting to ‘get our lives back’. Alongside these personal feelings of cautious optimism, businesses are reviewing future plans. Organisations large and small are reassessing their homeworker arrangements, thinking about how the office space will be used and taking a long, hard look at their real estate.

Many employees have adapted well to homeworking whilst others have struggled. Undoubtedly, the end of home schooling has dramatically reduced pressure for some households but there are many with inadequate space, insufficient support from their employer and mental or physical health issues that need prompt attention. Your organisation may not knowingly be employing L.O.S.E.R.S. (Laptop On Sofa, Employment Rights Suspended) but now is undoubtedly the time to be checking and responding to the issues that come to light. We can help with these issues in both proactive and reactive ways.

Once again, we are also having conversations with employers about how to use their office space in both the short and long term. The reality is that none of us fully understands how our needs will evolve so flexibility is the key. It is probably safe to say that we shall ‘need fewer desks’ but, beyond that, the key is to think about your organisational culture and how your people work, think and interact. We have talked about the 4Cs approach for several years and it is as relevant now as it ever was. Contact us if you would like to discuss these topics further. For another perspective on this complex topic, my colleague, Alice, has also written a blog of her own thinking about a partial return to the office.

COMPACT HOMEWORKER DESKS

compact_homeworkerOne of the many things we have learned from our extensive homeworker experience is that space is nearly always an issue! We have been looking at this problem for some time and, finally, I am pleased to say that we have both fixed height and sit-stand solutions. We have decided on 900mm x 650mm as a compact worktop size that can offer reasonable ergonomics if well managed and, especially, if combined with a monitor arm and/or laptop stand.

By using a single leg frame, our Motus Monorise sit-stand desk is also very competitively priced. Our Goal Post fixed frame desk is well made in the UK and very easy to assemble. Click here for our brochure (which links directly to the relevant product pages on our website).

VIRTUAL DSE ASSESSOR TRAINING

Focused,African,Student,Wear,Headphones,Studying,On-line,Do,Exercise,UsingAs well as our Open House events which have been so well received, we are now rolling out our virtual DSE Assessor training to our corporate clients with equal success. As you’ve probably heard me say before, the IIRSM rated this one of the best courses the reviewer had ever seen when we received our Approved Training status from them and the course has now also been accredited by the CIEHF.

We are offering our Open House courses monthly with a few Supersaver tickets available at £20 or £70 each over the next quarter. Check here to see what is available or contact Stuart Entwistle, our Training Manager, for corporate enquiries.

HEALTH & WELLBEING CONFERENCE

healthwellbeinglogoAt this time of year, we would normally be meeting many of our industry and professional contacts and friends at the NEC for the annual conference and exhibition. Indeed, you may remember bumping elbows with us on our stand or in the aisles last year, only days before the first lockdown.

For obvious reasons it is a virtual event for 2021 so we shall not be exhibiting. However, I shall be attending as a delegate so let me know if you will also be online and perhaps we can arrange a virtual coffee (I can always send you a Zoom invitation)!

TRUST PILOT

TrustpilotWe get lots of excellent feedback from customers and, when we occasionally screw up, we are quick to address our mistakes and do everything possible to put matters right. Most of the feedback we receive comes direct to us by email, phone calls or LiveChat and we have an internal awards system to recognise our team members when they provide great customer service.

We have never particularly promoted Trustpilot in the past but our Marketing Coordinator tells me that good feedback from one of the established platforms helps our social media presence and search engine optimisation so I am doing so now! If you have a few minutes to comment on your experience of dealing with us, either on an ongoing basis or for a specific transaction, please do so here. Many thanks.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin February 2021

February 10, 2021

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/02/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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THE PROTEAN PROJECT

As you are probably aware, we have been very busy behind the scenes since the first UK appearance of COVID-19. Once we had arranged for all but the Logistics team to become homeworkers (within a couple of days), we set about a rolling programme of change and evolution. Key stepping stones have been the transfer of our website to a new platform and the creation of an additional consumer website for homeworkers. We redecorated our main office, complete with a fabulous biophilic image along the whole of the end wall. We have revised all our training to be suitable for in-person or virtual delivery. We have extended our product portfolio and logistics capability to meet the needs of homeworkers, especially the demand for prompt delivery, and we have extended our Partnership Services to meet the changing workplace landscape. We have created a small, full-time marketing team and supported all our homeworkers with appropriate furniture and equipment (as you would expect!), together with a new wellbeing programme.

Now comes the big challenge! Named The Protean Project (after Proteus, the mythological Greek sea god), we have embarked on a full cloud-based integration of all our software systems to streamline our processes, enhance our communications, improve response times and extend transparency. We fully recognise the scale of this endeavour and have arranged for Steve Gilday, our Logistics Manager, to step out of his day-to-day role so that he can focus entirely on the management of this project. It will be some months before the first benefits of this new platform become evident but we look forward to keeping you posted!

CIEHF CONFERENCE

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The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors was one of the first organisations to hold a very successful virtual conference in 2020. Since that time, its reputation and relevance have been significantly enhanced with papers, research, guidance and events that directly relate to the dramatic and unprecedented changes in our daily lives, whether at work, at home or at the (often blurred) interface between the two.

The 2021 conference on April 19th – 21st provides three days of varied and stimulating content with a global array of speakers addressing many of those changes, including a complete stream entitled ‘Perspectives on the Pandemic: shaping the way ahead’. Find out more and register here.

PRODUCT & COMPONENT SUPPLY & PRICING ISSUES

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I want to make you aware that the pandemic is beginning to impact our supply chain and matters are further compounded by Brexit-related import confusion. Manufacturers are now experiencing disruption due to high levels of absenteeism (as high as 20%) as a result of sickness and self-isolation. This is increasing lead times. With regard to Brexit, documentation errors that used to be easily corrected are now being rejected outright and some of our suppliers are having goods turned back. An example of how this can happen was a recent delivery which was delayed when the lorry broke down. A replacement vehicle was sourced promptly but it took 24 hours just to update the documents with the registration number of the alternative vehicle! These issues and more admin are also increasing shipping costs. Some of these rises are significant.

None of the problems are of our making and we are doing everything possible, including adjusting stock levels, to minimise the impact. If you have any particular concerns, our Customer Service team or your account manager will be happy to advise about specific issues.

IIRSM RISK EXCELLENCE AWARDS

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As part of our ongoing relationship with IIRSM, we are pleased to encourage nominations for their 2021 Awards, celebrating risk excellence – protecting people, reputation and profits.

Open to members and non-members alike, the awards recognise innovative individuals, teams and organisations who are responsible for implementing best practice in managing risks and opportunities. They are independent and free to enter. Information about the awards, categories and application process can be found here. The application deadline is February 19th, 2021.

RECONNECTION DAY

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If you tried to contact us on Monday February 8th, I apologise for the delayed response but we had a really good reason! (We did provide advanced notice in my last eBulletin, through social media and on our web site). We had closed the business for the whole day to reconnect the team and it proved a very worthwhile exercise. You may know of my obsession with retaining our DNA – what makes us different from our competitors – and I am determined to ensure this does not become diluted. Prolonged homeworking was bound to have had some impact and we also have a number of staff who have joined us since the first lockdown.

We took this opportunity to get everyone together, give them a chance to meet and chat (albeit virtually), split them up into various small groups and let them explore personality traits and human interactions. This was all facilitated by our friends at The Colour Works to great effect. If you would like to know more about what we did and what we plan to do to maintain our DNA, I would be happy to chat.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin January 2021

January 13, 2021

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/01/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As UK citizens stay at home in Lockdown 3, you may find it hard to feel as positive as this image suggests! However, our team continues to offer a cheerful, willing service and a full range of products. We have been here for you throughout the pandemic and will continue to source the best solutions and offer outstanding Customer Service beyond the coronavirus threat. We constantly review and enhance our procedures to meet client needs, maintaining our own efficient homeworking arrangements and using an array of technologies and robust practices to deliver our expertise. As growing numbers of homeworkers display mental and physical health problems, it is more important than ever to consider their needs and take action.

IIRSM APPROVAL

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Our 2021 training courses, including virtual options, have just been approved by the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management and the institute’s reviewer described our programme as ‘one of the best I have seen and reviewed’.

Stuart Entwistle, our Training Manager, has been very imaginative in converting our (usually very hands on) courses into a viable virtual format so we are delighted to have received this recognition.

FREE DSE ASSESSOR TRAINING COURSE

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To celebrate the new recognition, we have decided to offer a limited number of FREE places on our IIRSM-approved one day DSE Assessor Course on Tuesday February 2nd, 2021.

After this, the cost will be £220 + VAT per delegate. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so don’t delay if you want to book! Full information and registration can be found here.

RECONNECTION DAY

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It is our proud boast that we have continued to trade without interruption since the start of the Covid pandemic. To celebrate this, we are going to close the business for a day! You may know that I am very proud of our company ‘DNA’ and I know that this can be jeopardised by a prolonged lack of spontaneous and serendipitous events and conversations.

To put this right, our friends at The Colour Works are facilitating a full day of team events and games on Monday February 8th, 2021. We shall therefore be unavailable on that day only.

CIEFH CORPORATE MEMBER

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We are delighted to announce that we have become a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors. CIEHF has raised its profile dramatically in the last twelve months, contributing valuable research, expertise and numerous publications to assist the global community in addressing the demands of Covid.

Whilst we have been ‘a friend of the Institute’ for a couple of decades, we are delighted to make this more conspicuous commitment at this time.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin December 2020

December 9, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/12/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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LOCKDOWN v2.0 – THE SEQUEL

Whilst plenty of research is readily available, you only have to compare lockdowns with friends or family to realise that many who found the first one comparatively easy have struggled with the second. Obviously, we now have colder, wetter weather and this makes it harder to find motivation to go outside and take exercise when you wake up and finish your working day in darkness. There is also the cumulative impact of months and months of dealing with the pandemic, worrying about family plans for Christmas, reduced work team interactions, Brexit and a host of other personal and employment issues. [more]

ANOTHER YEAR OF EBULLETINS

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It is exactly 11 years since we published our first eBulletin. Over that period, we have discussed, explored and, on occasions, even predicted changes to how and where we work. 2020 has obviously seen more rapid and dramatic changes than ever before and, with a vaccine imminent, we can start to think about the hybrid workplace that many of us will experience in the future.

You can see our Webinar plans for early 2021 here.

YEAR END SHUTDOWN

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This year, we close at 12:30pm on Thursday December 24th, 2020 and reopen at 8:30am on Monday January 4th, 2021. The last order date for pre-Christmas despatch of stock items is Monday December 21st.

Courier capacities are likely to be more stretched this year than ever before so we would strongly recommend ordering the previous week for pre-Christmas delivery of bulkier items such as chairs and desks.

HOMEFIT SUCCESS

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On the subject of chairs and desks, the HomeFit ‘sit-stand desk in a cupboard’ is fulfilling its promise as a clever concept that is very well executed. Initial UK stocks sold out immediately so we have secured the only remaining UK stock available before the year end.

We are also offering an extra £25 off our already-discounted price. Just use code HF-ERGO at checkout on our website or contact the Customer Service team and quote this eBulletin. This offer will only be valid for 2020 orders.

BREXIT

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Yes, I know we had all nearly forgotten about this amidst the pandemic mayhem. Like the pandemic, it is quite hard to predict what will happen next. At the time of writing, no deal seems the likely outcome and, on that assumption, we have made all the provisions we can to ensure continued product supply.

If you have any upcoming projects or expect changes in your usual buying patterns in the near future, please let us know promptly.

PARTNERSHIP SERVICES

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It has always been our belief that we can only be excellent at a limited number of activities and, for everything else, we simply find and collaborate with partners who are at the peak of their profession.

This enables us to offer a more holistic service and gives our clients quick and easy access to proven specialists to meet all their workplace (including homeworking) needs. In the past, this has been a rather ad hoc process but you can now find our key Partnership Services on this page.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin November 2020

November 11, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/11/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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NEW WEBSITE

It has taken us just three months to create our new ergonomics.co.uk on a brand new platform and we hope you will be impressed with the outcome. The most obvious feature is the greater emphasis on homeworker products but you will also find more and more new features appearing as you find your way around the site. For buyers, there is a clearer presentation of each product and its variations, improved communications through the purchase process and immediate access to purchase history. We are also making all orders carriage-free until the end of the year.

For those who use the site more as a research tool, there is more information, more videos and enhanced navigation – and there is much more to come! Please let me know what you think, good or bad. This is an perpetual work-in-progress and all comments and criticisms help us to improve it further.

HOMEFIT – THE SIT-STAND DESK IN A CUPBOARD

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Whilst many manufacturers make game-changing claims for their products, it is very rare to encounter something that is genuinely innovative. The most successful products are those you look at and think ‘Why didn’t somebody think of that before?’. HomeFit is just such a product. We have already had significant interest and we know that there is a substantial demand for products that combine ergonomics with aesthetics.

As individuals begin to think about their longer term plans for homeworking, the need to have a work area that blends better with the domestic setting is a major consideration. For those without a dedicated work room, the opportunity to ‘close up and walk away’ at the end of the day is also really valuable. HomeFit just ticks all the boxes!

MENTAL HEALTH IN LOCKDOWN v2.0

 

lockdownv2The second UK lockdown has started in a very different context from the first. Gone are the long days, bright sunshine (much of the time) and opportunities to get out for exercise in daylight. By the time most of us finish work, it’s pitch dark and may be cold and wet too. Couple that to the fact that the gyms are closed, many of us have not had a proper holiday or much contact with our extended family and friends and we can expect the final quarter of 2020 to be pretty tough.

Our good friends at Champion Health have produced yet another free resource full of practical tips for coping with the demands on our mental and physical health. Download the 9-page pdf here.

YEAR END MEGA PRIZE DRAW

 

megaprizedrawIt has been a difficult time for all of us and we wanted to create a really significant prize draw as we approach the end of the year. The new website gives us an excuse and something to shout about. The HomeFit gives us the answer. If you would like to win a HomeFit, simply re-register for this eBulletin.

You won’t get an extra email as long as you use the same email address. You can also register for our new Product Radar bulletins at the same time if you wish (see the archive here). If you decide to go ahead and buy a HomeFit from us in the meantime, we shall even give you your money back if you win the draw!

REINVIGORATING THE TEAM

reinvigorateMany of us within the company have been working almost exclusively at home for several months and we have three members of staff who have joined us since the first lockdown. Like many senior managers, I am acutely aware of the potential impact such circumstances can have on organisational culture and staff engagement. We don’t have any issues yet and we are determined to sustain the company DNA, of which I am so proud.

For that reason, we shall be closing the business completely for a single ‘Reconnection Day’ on Wednesday December 9th. In conjunction with our friends at The Colourworks, we shall be exploring team dynamics, playing some games and reinvigorating the essential connections and interactions that bind us together. Please keep in mind that none of us will be available on that day.

CIEHF WORKPLACE SECTOR GROUP

ciehfgroup (1)If you are part of the ergonomics community, you should have already heard that Kirsty Angerer and Ed Milnes have instigated a Workplace Sector Group within the Charted Institute. It already has a LinkedIn Group and its first virtual meeting, held at the beginning of November, attracted 44 delegates and some animated discussion.

Designed for knowledge and information sharing, as well as raising awareness of ergonomics in the broader community, there are already plans for mentorship, greater interaction with architects and designers and individual training sessions on topics like virtual assessments. Contact either of the above about joining the group or Iris Mynott for details about CIEHF membership.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin October 2020

October 14, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/10/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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MUSCULOSKELETAL ISSUES ON THE INCREASE

As the HSE announces a Zoom support facility for homeworkers, it is clear that prolonged work periods with inadequate equipment provision are starting to take their toll. Over the last several months, we have seen employers adopting all sorts of approaches to the ergonomics needs of their homeworkers but comparatively few are really getting to grips with the growing numbers of back, shoulder and neck issues. This has not been helped by inconsistent government policy about returning to the office or working from home. [more]

WORKPLACE TRENDS

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I am speaking at the latest Workplace Trends virtual conference on October 15th. By the time you read this, it may well be too late to attend but you will be able to find out more on the WT web site or Vimeo channel. This is the first time I have been involved as a presenter, but I have attended a number of events and they provide real insight into changes and developments in the workplace.

It is an honour to be part of another very impressive panel of speakers. Obviously, ‘Success in Uncertain Times’, this month’s event, is an especially pressing topic and the experts will be looking at the changing role of the workplace and corporate responses to current demands.

TIPS FOR HOMEWORKERS

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We have not offered this webinar for a while because we have been busy running online versions of our in-house training sessions with our corporate clients. This 45 minute session is our most popular topic and looks at ways to improve posture and comfort in the home by simple setup adjustments, whether using an office chair or domestic furniture.

Find out more about the webinar and register here or contact our Training Manager for more information about corporate delivery.

HOMEWORKER.UK.COM

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It is very clear to us that not everybody wants home furniture that looks like it was stolen from the office! Equally important, many people do not have space at home for the sort of desk they use at work. We have, therefore, been beavering away quietly at a new web site, specifically targeting homeworkers and their needs. Whilst good employers provide suitable equipment for their homeworkers, not everyone gets everything they need and not everyone wants what is offered!

The new site aims to fill those gaps. It is very different from ergonomics.co.uk, offering VAT-inclusive pricing, more focus on aesthetics and a consumer, rather than commercial, experience.

NEW PRODUCTS

new_productsFrequent readers will know that new products appear in this eBulletin from time to time but are not a regular feature. I have taken care over the years to ensure that this medium contains useful information and is not just an email brochure once a month. However, various clients have suggested that a dedicated New Product email would be useful and the current pace of change in the workplace corroborates that.

As you may have seen in recent newsletters, we have launched the separate Product Radar email for those who want to ensure that the latest and best is ‘on their radar’. Of particular value to DSE assessors, Occupational Health and Health & Safety personnel, the registration and archive link page is here.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin September 2020

September 9, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/09/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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WHAT NEXT FOR A HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE WORKFORCE?

Before suggesting ways to address the needs of individual workers in the future, it will help to define the context of how I see the current situation. It is superfluous to point out that COVID-19 took everyone by surprise and even employers with comprehensive Business Continuity Plans were overwhelmed by the scale and precipitousness of events … Click here to read my holistic approach to the challenges of future personnel engagement and productivity.

LIVING SCREENS

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As employers start to bring people back into the office, we are excited about this very different approach to protective screens for workplace receptions, canteens and open spaces. No more acrylic, no more bulky obstructions or blocked sightlines: now you can encourage social distancing whilst offering an attractive, maintenance-free, biophilic addition to your work environment with our hand crafted arrangements. They are easily positioned, readily relocated and made from 100% recyclable materials.

Furthermore, we can offer bespoke designs, branding and display content to reflect your corporate brand or culture. View more here or contact us for further information.

PRODUCT RADAR

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If you need to be aware of all the latest and best products in the world of workplace ergonomics, you should be receiving our new Product Radar emails. Make sure they are on your radar by simply subscribing to the service here. Each time we add a new product to our own portfolio, we shall be sending out a one page summary with links to further information, thereby offering you instant awareness of the goods we rate. We shall also be saving each email to create an archive which you can access at any time.

To get things going, we have added a couple of not-so-new items and fresh product information is ready to go out over coming days and weeks. You can check out the archive, see what to expect and find out what you have missed here. There’s no time to waste!

RULA

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LinkedIn and social media are now full of stories about growing musculoskeletal issues amongst homeworkers and the need to address the assessment process. We are seeing this with our own clients too and I mentioned it in last month’s eBulletin. Obviously, we are here to help with a range of service options to reinforce or extend your own resources but remember that we also have a tool that can help you prioritise needs in a measurable way.

RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment) is a validated online tool that is completely free to use. It is based on the work of Professor Nigel Corlett and Dr Lynn McAtamney published nearly 40 years ago – so it is fair to say it is tried and tested! Help yourself – it’s here!


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin August 2020

August 12, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/08/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.

HOME WORKER ASSESSMENTS

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We are now beginning to see a rise in musculoskeletal issues amongst home workers because many organisations have failed to take consistent action since the beginning of lockdown. Whilst some have been quick to update their existing processes to accommodate the dramatic rise in personnel working at home, many employers have been slow to address the need for an assessment and training process. Providing chairs, laptop stands and/or spare monitors is only part of the solution and, even with a new chair, health issues can arise because individuals have not had proper setup guidance or understood the sort of postures they are trying to achieve (and avoid!). We are now offering both virtual and traditional face-to-face services and we have also extended and adapted our posture training tools to meet the needs of home workers.

HOME WORKER LOGISTICS

home worker logisticsGrowing numbers of organisations now have a plan in place for the call-off provision of approved home worker chairs and other products. We continue to expand our portfolio of rapid delivery products and have learned one really important fact: when it comes to delivering individual chairs in large numbers, it’s all about the logistics!

Some of our clients are realising that their established Agile Working programme offered home working by default, rather than by design, and their mainstream office furniture supplier does not fully understand the needs of consistent home deliveries and support. We have been supplying home workers, their equipment, installations and training for over a decade and our hybrid mix of own transport and logistics partners ensures consistent and punctual delivery. Let us know if you need help meeting home worker needs.

CURRENT & FUTURE THINKING

current and futureOur recent two-part series of webinars covers the 3 Phases we see employers going through since the pandemic began as well as how we think they need to respond in the future (Phase 4). Depending on your preferred consumption mode, you can now see the content either in our recent blogs or on-demand webinars.

The need to respond quickly continues to be a key issue but employers must be taking a multi-disciplinary, holistic view when creating their forward strategy. Maintaining culture will be a key issue for generating innovation and growth in a difficult commercial climate. Enterprises that sustain and support the essential interactions between workers, wherever they are, will rise to the challenge. We can help with that too!

PRODUCT NEWSLETTER

product newsletterThis eBulletin has provided a general overview and broad mix of news for over ten years. We now plan to introduce an additional email bulletin service that will only be product news. The intention is to provide a complete overview with images, description, specification, dimensions, sustainability criteria and literature downloads all in one place.

There will be one newsletter per product and, unlike this eBulletin, which arrives at the same time on the same day each month, the new service will be delivered as and when we have a new product to tell you about. We expect this to be particularly useful to assessors but there will be many others who will find it useful. To register for this free service, please provide your details here.

NEW DESKS FOR HOME

secretair homeWe have always known that not everyone wants a home-office that looks like the office-office! In response to this, we have been seeking out a table selection that is not only more domestic in appearance but also more compact than the sort of desk we have sold in the past. This is a slow process because, whilst some of our UK suppliers are responding to the new requirements, we are also having to look outside the office furniture industry, find products, talk to new suppliers, set up accounts and resolve logistics.

We have now added a compact oak-legged table (1100m wide x 700mm deep) and a Secretair desk (824mm wide x 612mm deep) with delivery times of less than 7 days and 2 weeks respectively. More designs are on the way.

WORKFIT-Z DRAW WINNER

workfit-z-drawI am delighted to announce that our latest winner of an Ergotron Workfit-Z is Phil Nartey of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. He will have received it by the time you read this.

Many thanks to all those who took part in the draw and a warm welcome especially to those who are reading this eBulletin for the first time because of your entry. I hope you find it worthwhile!


VIRTUAL MEETINGS – ENHANCING THE EXPERIENCE

April 7, 2020

This article is a spoof! It was created as an April Fools’ Day joke on April 1st, 2020

virtual-meetings

We have been working with organisations deploying Agile Working programmes for several years. Obviously, in the current pandemic, thousands of employers have become more or less agile almost overnight. One of the key issues addressing communications with, and between, home workers is the need to maintain communications and minimise isolation (ironic in a national state of self-isolation).

The need for more use of video instead of email and phone calls is widely recommended and this is easily done with Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Google Hangouts all readily available. In particular, Zoom meetings have appeared as a leading, easy-to-deploy technology that even the Cabinet have mastered!

As a partial home worker for many years, I have always wondered whether more might be done to enhance the sense of community and connection when working remotely. A chance encounter with application developer, Nevjerojatna Priča, a while ago led to some exciting developments which are still only at beta stage but I felt now would be a suitable time to sense check our work so far.

My discussions with Nev started around what attributes we associate with those we know. Clearly, if we have shared workspace with them in the past, we know what they look like and how they sound but is there anything else that you specifically associate with them? This led us to thinking about smell. Do they use a particular cologne or perfume? Do they bring in home baked cakes? Do they smoke? Do you work with them in a particular location or maybe go for a regular coffee in your favourite coffee shop? Do you go to the pub with them? If you stop to think about it, there may be a location-related aroma you associate with them.

So how do your colleagues think you smell? What scent or aroma encapsulates you (or would you like to be associated with)?

After intense development work, none of which I understand, Nev has developed the Olfactory App, or OlfApp, which enables you to capture your particular smell/aroma/scent. This then creates a piece of code – an olfactory avatar – which you can embed in certain applications. Beta tests only work in WhatsApp at the moment but we hope to have more soon.

If you would like to be part of Nev’s beta test team, these tips will improve effectiveness: For perfumes and colognes, choose citrus rather than musk tones. If you use Brut, you may erase all your contacts. If you choose newly-baked bread, it should not be sliced. Coffee should be beans or ground, not instant. If you want to use a particular pub or coffee shop, you will obviously have to wait.

You can get the app here.

 

 

 

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