An office which is designed well creates a more efficient working environment. In addition, a well-designed office produces for the company a variety of financial and psychological savings in the form of greater job performance, higher job satisfaction, and increased productivity. For the office administrator, new equipment and well-planned environments should be viewed as commodities or investments which will result in substantial returns for the company.
It is stated that the “best case” ergonomic workstation will result in a 25% performance improvement for a worker. This means that if the average worker is given an improved workstation based on his or her individual needs (with other factors remaining the same) a worker’s performance will increase by 25%.
Because personnel expenditures account for roughly 90% of a company’s overall expenses over its lifetime, such a performance improvement per worker will result in substantial savings for a company; and it will more than pay for any initial investments needed to buy new equipment or to redesign a workstation (Springer, 1984, 177).
It is unfortunate, however, that many top management level people are unaware of the ergonomics needs and concern for office workers. Because managers are uninformed, they often do not support budget requests for improvements in equipment and the environment. Instead, they often view the needed materials as luxury items rather than essential components of a productive system (Ashmore, 1985, 92).
If the working environment is to operate efficiently while still utilizing the various components of office automation which are available, then ergonomics—incorporating the careful planning and design of the workstations—are paramount importance to the office administrator.
Designing the workstation should be geared to the individual’s needs. Consideration should be given to the lighting, the terminals, the furniture, and the acoustics. If these considerations are followed, worker performance can be increased. Increased performance validates the usefulness of ergonomics.
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