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.



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?


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.


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.


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.


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.

Product Radar – Motus Monorise

April 22, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 22/04/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

Motus monorise


P1010356Introducing the new Motus Monorise Sit-Stand desk. This product allows almost anyone to experience all the benefits of a sit-stand desk, including promoting movement and improving wellbeing. The single leg frame helps optimise small space utilisation, while the worktop provides the best compromise between good ergonomics and limited space. 

We also recommend a monitor arm and/or laptop stand to maximise the usable space and enhance your posture.

Features & Benefits 

  • Height adjustable to promote movement throughout the day, activating the muscles and stimulating blood-flow.
  • Compact and stable design to fit into constrained spaces.
  • Electronic height adjustment for smooth and easy transitions between sitting and standing.
  • Regular changing between postures reduces the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders and other complaints.
  • Stability Test Certificate available here.

More Information



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.



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.


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.



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_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!


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.

Product Radar – Goal Post Compact Desk

April 1, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 01/04/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

Goal post desk


P1010332 (1)Are you struggling to fit a desk in your bedroom, study or spare room at home?

This new compact desk is a sturdy piece of furniture designed to fit in tight corners and restricted spaces. The Goal Post desk allows good ergonomics in the smallest of spaces to support homeworkers.

This product offers a cost-effective solution that is perfect for home use. We also recommend a monitor arm and/or laptop stand to optimise the usable space and enhance your posture.

Features & Benefits 

  • Compact and stable design to fit into constrained spaces.
  • White frame with a choice of worktop colour to blend with the surrounding environment.
  • Designed so that the rear legs are positioned away from the wall to avoid touching the skirting board or any mains sockets.

Enter the code COMPACT10 at checkout to receive a 10% discount on this product.

More Information



Product Radar – Buck Stool

March 17, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 17/03/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

The Buck Stool


bu-1_bkOur latest addition to our seating range is the Buck Stool – a perch stool that provides comfort and support to the user while sitting and leaning. Its versatility encourages movement and a change in posture throughout the working day, whether it’s in the office or at home. 
Due to its modern, lightweight design, the Buck Stool can also be used for everyday tasks as well as for work, due to its portability. With adjustable height and a rocking feature, this stool adapts to the user while improving blood circulation and strengthening muscles.
Incorporate the Buck Stool into your home or office setup and perhaps pair it with a sit-stand desk.

Features & Benefits 

  • The base is fitted with a wide, non-slip rubber insert to increase stability on any floor.
  • Seat pillow made out of polyurethane foam for maximum comfort.
  • Rocking motion promotes healthy movement and increases blood flow.
  • Adaptable to user and work environment due to height adjustment from 50 cm to 80cm.
  • Design and shape allow it to be compact, making it easy to carry and to be stored.

More Information



Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin March 2021

March 10, 2021

This article was originally emailed as issue 136 of our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/03/2021. You can register here to receive them monthly.



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_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).


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.


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)!


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.

Product Radar – Orangebox Flo Chair

March 3, 2021

This update was originally emailed as a Product Radar posting on 03/03/2021. You can register here to receive them directly by email.

Orangebox Flo Chair


05_FLO-HBAH_HighPeriodically, we like to remind you of our best-selling legacy products to ensure they haven’t been forgotten over time. The Orangebox Flo chair is designed for maximum fit with minimum fuss and uncomplicated setup. Its extensive adjustability enables the ideal individual setup providing support and promoting correct posture. In addition, it has new contouring on the seat, a flat ergonomic base and its extended gas lift means the Flo enables the widest range of users to work more productively. Flo is further supported with optional extras and is now available to homeworker specification for delivery in 7 days.

Features & Benefits 

  • Asynchronous Mechanism (multi-tilt) allows the seat and back to be independently adjusted to provide maximum independent adjustability to aid comfort.
  • Free Float (Rocking) encourages movement whilst seated and follows your body movements to ensure the lumbar support stays in position. It also helps to increase blood flow.
  • Independent Seat Tilt Adjustment improves the shape of your spine by reducing the load on the lower back. It helps reduce discomfort in the lower back and hips.
  • Independent Back Angle Adjustment fully supports the spine whilst seated, ensuring a healthy posture is maintained.
  • Seat Slide allows the user to adjust the seat to correct depth ensuring full support of the thighs whilst seated.
  • Adjustable Lumbar Support ensures the lumbar region is fully supported whilst seated. Helps to maintain the natural curvature of the lower spine.

More Information



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.



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!



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.



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.



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.



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.



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 -Approved Training Logo2021-250px

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.



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.



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.


CIEHF Logo_Blue_White_CMYK

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.



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]



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.

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