Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin April 2022

April 13, 2022

This article was originally emailed as issue 149 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/04/2022. You can register here to receive them monthly.

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PERSONAL PERFORMANCE

Our friends at Bakker Elkhuizen have just launched an extensive programme of events and information looking at ways employers can enhance the performance of their people. This is done simply by ensuring they can work comfortably and productively wherever they are. We already know that millions of homeworkers have been neglected over the last two years and the Bakker campaign will explore what can be done to enhance wellbeing and reduce musculoskeletal problems. To support this, we have some exciting new products coming very soon! Watch out for more information through all our usual channels or sign up directly for the Bakker Elkhuizen newsletter here.

MORE TOP TIPS

Helpful,Tips,In,Scattered,Wood,Letters,On,The,Table,WithWe are now adding at least one video per week to the collection. Feedback suggests people are finding them really useful. For some topics, we are going right back to basics with questions like ‘Do I need a footrest?’ and ‘Why use a vertical mouse?’ but every one addresses a common question or misunderstanding that we encounter on a regular basis. View the latest selection here.

SMALLEST ROOM PORTFOLIO

Idea.,Empty,And,Full,Cups,Of,Fresh,Espresso,With,BulbMany thanks to those of you who appreciated and commented on this year’s April Fools’ Day article. If you haven’t yet seen it, a quick read on LinkedIn will also help to make it our most viewed article ever! We felt that some light relief from the woes of the world would be in order and it’s pleasing to see that so many people agree. If you would like to see some of our AFD articles from previous years, you can find them here.

IN THE PRESS

in_the_press_200x150Since the start of the year, we have been spreading the word about worker wellbeing beyond our trade and professional communities. We have learned that what we take for granted – things we think are blindingly obvious – are anything but obvious to lots of people. This is the rationale behind some of our very basic video tips but also some of the blogs and articles we have been sharing with the wider press. This piece caught the attention of the Bournemouth Echo. I expect to disclose the publication of one or two more pieces in next month’s eBulletin.

PRIZE WINNERS

Draw,Lots.,Folded,Colorful,Papers,In,BowlWe have been handing out little bundles of health and wellbeing again this month. Our bimonthly voucher prize of £180 was won by a customer in London and our most recent B2B Expo draw was won by John Mullally of Cartwright. If you have bought from us or recommended our products and services in the past, you can enter the bimonthly draw by answering a brief survey here.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin AFD 2022 Issue

April 4, 2022

This article was originally emailed as an April Fools Day version of our monthly eBulletin at 10.00 on 01/04/2022. You can register here to receive the usual version monthly.

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TOPICAL NEWS FROM OSMOND ERGONOMICS

Following extensive research into homeworker needs and habits, we are delighted to launch our new Smallest Room Product Portfolio, curated specifically and exclusively for homeworkers with no designated room to work in.

We know that Leesman Index and others have found that a separate room is key to healthy, productive homeworking and our new portfolio unlocks that ‘spare’ room you had all along!

The carefully chosen products enable homeworkers to configure their smallest room and address all these issues:

  • We know that a high proportion of homeworkers are desperately short of space to work.
  • For house-sharers and those with young families, it provides a concentration/contemplation space that is, quite literally, locked away from domestic distractions.
  • For real estate managers, it maximises utilisation of under-occupied space.
    For facilities managers, it optimises the use of existing seating and negates the need to purchase an extra chair.
  • It recognises that the most productive and happy homeworkers are those who can close the door on their home office at the end of the day.
  • It introduces an unprecedented and innovative approach to worker ergonomics.
  • Finally, it is a timely, cost-effective and, above all, universal solution – everybody has a Smallest Room!

Coming soon: Our battery-operated, Bluetooth-enabled NudgeFlushTM device will sit inside your cistern. It links to a range of sit-stand-move apps and actuates the flush at pre-determined intervals to prompt regular movement.

For further information, Contact our Bogonomics team!


Product Radar – ErgoDriver Bespoke Back Support for Drivers

March 15, 2022

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 15/03/2022. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

Product Radar Header - ErgoDriver

Introduction

ErgoDriver-1ErgoDriver is the first fully adjustable and adaptable backrest for car and commercial vehicle drivers. One universal size fits most vehicle/user combinations and its integral harness attaches securely to most drivers’ seats. In standard specification, it has an inflatable lumbar support that can be repositioned to suit the driver. Four further inflatable cells are available. These can also be positioned exactly to the driver’s needs to offer an even more tailored fit.

 

Features & Benefits 

  • The adjustable lumbar support can be inflated and deflated and repositioned anywhere inside the backrest so it fits most spine shapes and curvature.
  • The 3-way harness attached securely to the driver’s seat to ensure it stays in position in use and when the driver gets in and out of the vehicle.
  • Four different optional cells can be added and positioned inside the ErgoDriver to optimise comfort for all users.
  • The optional cells enhance comfort for users with non-standard lumbar lordosis (curvature), such as those with kyphosis or scoliosis.

More Information

 

 


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin March 2022

March 9, 2022

This article was originally emailed as issue 148 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/03/2022. You can register here to receive them monthly.

Lemon,Slice,Drop,In,Fizzy,Sparkling,Water,,Juice,Refreshment

REFRESHMENT TIME

Welcome to our newly ‘refreshed’ eBulletin layout! As mentioned previously, we already had excellent engagement so the brief was always to refresh the design rather than create something radical. We have aimed for a cleaner overall look with our tried-and-tested format of a small number (usually 5) short pieces, offering links to further articles and information. We have also included easy access to our most popular ongoing resources, which can now be found from the four buttons below.

As inboxes get more and more full, it gets harder to make an impact so I really value your support. The number of people who have remained long-term subscribers is particularly gratifying and that makes it even more important that we remain relevant and current, especially in a time of so much uncertainty. I am always delighted to receive comments or criticisms and I would love to hear from you about the new design or any other topic. Just drop me an email.

TOP TIPS VIDEOS

Idea.,Empty,And,Full,Cups,Of,Fresh,Espresso,With,BulbThe next stage of our Knowledge Sharing plan for 2022 is our Top Tips Video series. We already have nearly 50 topics lined up and the first ones have just been published. They are deliberately short and to-the-point and usually last less than a minute. The intention is that you will not only learn from these but also be able to share them with colleagues or clients for crystal clear demonstrations of a particular issue. We have created an obvious web location at bit.ly/oe-top-tips or you can find them by clicking on the turquoise button just above my signature.

FACE-TO-FACE EVENTS

Audience,Applaud,Clapping,Happiness,Appreciation,Training,ConceptWe have no plans to exhibit at any national exhibitions in the near future but I shall be visiting several events as a delegate. Please let me know if you want to meet up. These are the events I already have in my diary and the days I shall be attending:

Health & Wellbeing, NEC – March 15th/16th – more here
Workplace Trends Spring Summit – March 31st – more here
CIEHF Conference – April 25th/26th – more here
Clerkenwell Design Week – May 25th/26th – more here
IWFM Conference – June 8th – more here.

REGIONAL EXHIBITIONS

Aerial,View,Of,Portsmouth,In,Summer,Day,,UkAlthough we have suspended national exhibitions, we shall be participating in various regional and local events throughout the year. You may recall that we took part in the Business Expo in Southampton in November so we are now progressing through Hampshire. We shall be in Portsmouth on March 24th and Basingstoke on April 7th. To find out more, please contact my colleague, Neil Hurst, who can give you venue and timing details as well as meeting you on the day if you decide to attend.

UKRAINE

Political events are not normally a topic for this newsletter but the crisis in Ukraine certainly puts our own wellbeing challenges very much into context. We are making a company donation to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal through the British Red Cross and our thoughts and hopes are with all those who are impacted by the barbaric actions we see in the news every day


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin February 2022

February 9, 2022

This article was originally emailed as issue 147 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/02/2022. You can register here to receive them monthly.

The,Time,Is,Now,-,Words,From,Wooden,Blocks,With

TIME FOR ACTION

Nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, I am surprised how many businesses have still not properly come to terms with the needs of their homeworkers. Back in September 2020, I proposed my 3 Phases of Workplace Accommodation and Phase 2 was ‘Getting a Grip’. At the time, I had no idea that so many organisations would still be in Phase 2 seventeen months later!

Whilst some employers now have staff portals for individual equipment requests or an approved products catalogue for homeworkers, many others continue to ignore the issues or have simply not understood the extent of the problem. With the conspicuous focus on mental health over the last two years, physical health issues have been overshadowed and often ignored. It is worth remembering that days lost through mental health absence have been far less than musculoskeletal absences for the last ten years. I am convinced that many employers will be surprised by the level of musculoskeletal issues they are now facing. The good news is that we are fully prepared and equipped to assist! Whatever phase you find yourself in, we shall be delighted to help you catch up.

1202 – THE HUMAN FACTORS PODCAST

1202-podcast

I am most grateful to Barry Kirby for the recent invitation to participate in his podcast series: 1202–The Human Factors Podcast. He has welcomed a wide variety of guests since it started in September 2019 so I was delighted to be in such impressive company.

We had a relaxed and wide-ranging conversation around the topics of workplace ergonomics, hybrid- and homeworking. I encounter so much misinformation and idea laundering these days that it’s easy for me to slip into a rant on these topics. I think I avoided doing so this time but you can make your own judgement here!

KNOWLEDGE SHARING

Knowledge,Transfer.,Business,Knowledge,Management.,Building,Wood,Blocks,On,Table.

Our commitment to wider knowledge sharing in 2022 continues to gain momentum. Our first blog of the year looks at Instagram Nightmares – those carefully curated images that look fabulous at a glance but make ergonomists tear their hair out!

We have also started to prepare a series of brief videos to provide hints, tips, quick-fixes and ideas to improve health and wellbeing at home and in the office. Finally (for the moment), I have been inspired by my recent podcast experience to create a format for a series of ‘in conversation with …’ events. Stay informed about all this through the social media links below or our resources portal.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK & PRIZE DRAW

Hand,Of,Client,Giving,A,Five,Star,Rating.,Service,Rating,

We have been requesting more customer feedback recently and the results have been really heartening. I am delighted to see how much the conscientious efforts of my team are recognised. You may well have seen some of the comments through our social media channels and you can see real-time feedback on Trustpilot.

For those willing to spare the time to give us more comprehensive responses, we offer a prize draw every two months. The prize is a Voucher Code for £180 and the December/January winner was RR of Southampton.

 


Product Radar – Port Designs Laptop Bags

February 8, 2022

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 07/02/2022. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

Digital,Blue,Realistic,Radar,With,Targets,On,Monitor,In,Searching.

Introduction

hanoi_ii_trolley_5000xThe great debate about office and homeworking continues and, however it plays out for you or your organisation, there will be a need to carry a laptop (and accessories) between locations. Typical laptop bags are designed to protect the computer rather than the user. By contrast, ours are designed to protect the user and the laptop (in that order), offering a variety of storage options, comfortable carrying, good load distribution and quality manufacture. We have just added these two new Port Designs bags to our carefully selected portfolio.

 

Features & Benefits 

  • The Hanoi II Trolley Bag contains padded compartments for a 15.6″ laptop, tablet and accessories so it carries and protects everything your mobile office requires.
  • It also has a large separate compartment for clothing and personal items and it is IATA-approved for cabin baggage so it will meet all your short-term travel needs.
  • The Manhattan Combo Bag & Backpack also provides plenty of storage for smaller laptops, tablets, papers and accessories.

More Information

 

 


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

Hilversum,,Netherlands,-,Februari,06,,2017:,Social,Media,Are,Trending

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

Container,Vessel,Ship

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

Digital,Blue,Realistic,Radar,With,Targets,On,Monitor,In,Searching.

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

training_virtual

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.


Product Radar – FlexDesk 630

November 16, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 16/11/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

FlexDesk 630

 

Introduction

 

FlexDesk 630-1The FlexDesk 630 is ideal for individuals who use paperwork during the day. Positioning documents to the side of you can cause musculoskeletal problems. Although it may not be noticeable straight away, tension and pain can build up in your neck, shoulders, and back as you turn your head to view the documents. The FlexDesk 630 features two lockable positions; push it away from you to use as a document holder or, pull it towards you to use as a writing slope. What’s more, by having the documents in front of you, you’re maximising your workspace which can boost productivity.

Features & Benefits 

  • Increases central desk space creating a more organised work area.
  • Multifunctional – Can be used as a document holder or as a writing slope.
  • Reduces the risk of eye, neck and back strain to improve your physical wellbeing.
  • Lockable in two positions to provide stability.
  • Includes pen tray to create a tidy workspace.

More Information

 

 


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

southampton_expo

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.


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