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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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

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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.

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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

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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

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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!


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.


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.

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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!


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin June 2021

June 9, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 139 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/06/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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CDW UNLOCKED

Clerkenwell in London, home to many furniture manufacturers, has been slowly coming back to life as showrooms become available to view by appointment. We come one step closer to normality when CDW Unlocked, a ‘mini Clerkenwell Design Week’, takes place from 6th to 8th July. This will feature open house showrooms throughout the area, accompanied by a variety of events and presentations. Plans are still being finalised so keep an eye on the programme page to see what is happening. I shall be speaking at Frem Group on Tuesday 6th. Follow me on LinkedIn for details as soon as they are finalised.

BAKKER ELKHUIZEN CAMPAIGN

bakkerFollowing the success of their ‘One Year of Homeworking’ campaign in March and April, our friends at Bakker Elkhuizen are about to launch the next phase of their thought leadership campaign. This time it is about Hybrid Working.

As employers explore how to blend the many choices available to their personnel, it is important to take a holistic view that considers culture, wellbeing and productivity as well as use of real estate. For their latest white papers and other resources, watch out for our social media links or explore their online knowledge centre.

HYBRID WORKING – WHAT IS EVERYBODY ELSE DOING?

what_is_everybody_elseOur webinar in May attracted our largest audience ever. It is clear that many organisations are still thinking about how to deploy their workforce and optimise their real estate. The five most common business models appear to be – As before – Turbocharged ABW – Clubhouse – Hub & Spoke – No office. What might you do?

We have been listening to what the global experts are saying and the webinar was my chance to share their insights. If you missed it, you can find the video and PowerPoint presentation (with lots of useful hyperlinks) here.

NATIONAL GROWING FOR WELLBEING WEEK

June-eBulletin (1)After a miserably cold and wet Spring, our garden is suddenly full of new shoots, buds and flowers. Even some of the plants that we thought had been killed by frost have sprung into life!

One enormous personal benefit of homeworking has been seeing the seasons unfold in a way I have never observed (or paid proper attention to) before. I have spoken and written about biophilia many times so I love the whole idea of National Growing for Wellbeing Week. I even find the simple act of looking at plants is uplifting!

HYBRID WORKING – HYPE OR HERE TO STAY?

Hybrid,Working,2021,Sign,In,A,Downtown,City,SettingRegular readers will know how highly I value the Workplace Trends events. They bring together global workplace experts to present and discuss research, experience and expectations for the future of workplace. After a fascinating and inspiring Research Summit in April this year, the next event will be both virtual and in-person in London on October 13th, 2021 (subject, as always, to any government restrictions at the time).

The programme is not yet finalised but I am confident it will deliver yet again. To make sure you are kept informed, register your interest here.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin May 2021

May 12, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 138 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/05/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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ALL IN, ALL OUT OR HYBRID – WHAT’S IT GOING TO BE?

Organisations of all sizes are exploring plans for some form of return to the office (or not!). This is a demanding time for senior managers and, indeed, for many employees but it is also an outstanding opportunity for planners, designers and facilitators. Clearly, there is no simple solution and every organisation, department and individual will have different needs and insights. Reviewing what works best for your culture, activities, technology, location and demographics will inform your decisions but, inevitably, there may be compromises where operational need restricts your choices. If you want people back, how will you design that Magnetic Office to attract them? Do you need less space? How will you fill the space? Are you providing enough support for your colleagues? How will you communicate to a disparate workforce and how will you maintain (or improve) productivity? I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I have been listening to a lot of very knowledgeable, experienced people. During May, I am creating a series of blogs to examine some of the issues and, as mentioned last month, my free webinar on May 19th gives some insights, tips and observations to address the question ‘What is everyone else doing?

VIRTUAL CONFERENCES

Global,Communication,Network,Concept.,Video,Conference.,Telemeeting.,Flash,News.During one week in April, I attended two conferences that demonstrated how effective a virtual format can be when well executed. Most notable at each event was the diversity and global reach of the speaker panel, the topics and the audience. Removing the restriction of a physical location really extends the potential and influence of an event in a dramatic way.

Over three days, the CIEHF Ergonomics & Human Factors Conference covered a broad gamut of human factors issues, from the involvement of HF professionals in guiding the NHS pandemic response to exploring the future of autonomous systems. In a single day, the Workplace Trends Research Summit covered data-driven topics from the 4 Day Working Week to Workplace Design for a Neurodiverse Workplace.  Both were educational, invigorating – and exhausting! Contact me if you would like to chat about either.

MORE PRICE INCREASES

containersWhen I mentioned price rises in February, I expected the topic to occur again but I didn’t expect it to be quite so soon! Four of our manufacturers have now issued their second price list in 2021. Increases are averaging 4-5% on top of the rises already implemented within the last five months.

Post-Brexit administration has contributed to this but global shortages of raw materials have also played a significant part. In addition, container transport costs from the Far East have increased by more than 400%. If you are considering any orders or tenders later this year, I strongly advise contacting us to see how we can help fend off unwanted increases. Simply contact the Customer Service team or your Customer Development Manager.

MENTAL HEALTH

Woman,Feeling,Stressed,Because,Of,The,Coronavirus,Outbreak.,Mental,Health,Mental Health Awareness Week follows on closely from Stress Awareness Month. We all now understand the importance of good mental health. In particular, the last prolonged lockdown has put us all to the test and anecdotal homeworker feedback, alongside numerous studies, have brought this clearly into focus.

As a business, we have always maintained the close connection between mental and physical health and we have created a combination of in-house and partner expertise to provide a holistic framework for this. To discuss how we can help with an enterprise approach to all wellbeing issues, contact the Customer Service team or follow a link on our Partnership Services page.

OUR OWN PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Office,With,Modern,Devices,And,Digital,Datas,On,Hologram,ScreensDuring May, we shall be returning everyone to the office at least some of the time. Our internal research makes interesting reading. Of those currently homeworking full-time, nobody wants to return to the office permanently! Of the staff (including logistics personnel) who had experienced some musculoskeletal discomfort in the last month, half said it had got better and the remainder said it was about the same. 12.5% felt that their mental health had deteriorated in the last six months.

Obviously, we continue to support those who need more help. Our next trial phase will involve nearly all knowledge workers returning to the office at least one day a week. Thereafter, we shall make changes according to feedback. We are also evolving the environments we provide within the office. Also, please note that our Monthly Outlook briefings for all personnel will move to bimonthly so the office will remain closed until 10am on the third Monday of every other month.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin April 2021

April 14, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 137 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/04/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.

Cool,Group,Of,People,,Woman,And,Man,Holding,Hand,Near

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

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.

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.


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