In 2016 over a three-week period, 3,000 corporate headquarters employees at my former company moved from one building to a new one. Even after six months, very few employees experienced work-related MSDs.
In 2020, millions of people around the world moved, over about three weeks, to new home offices. And various studies show that about half of people “new” to working at home are now having physical issues due to their new workstations.
Why the difference? We used the following, well thought out, systematic approach in 2016, which I term the “Five A’s.” These are the primary components of a successful transition to just about any new work environment:
- Awareness & information shared about good work-at-home practices
- Andragogy, or adult education, regarding optimal computer workstation setup
- Accessories & equipment provided to help fit the workstation to the person
- Assessments and reviews made available (virtually) to work-at-home employees
- Accommodations made for those with prior (or new) physical or psychosocial needs
The approach I led in 2016, and the same one I recommend today, included the “Five A’s.” This did not happen for many people during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We work with our clients’ employees virtually, to help them get “settled” into their workspaces, plus we emphasize the importance of helping those with prior accommodations.
QP3 ErgoSystems has a large team of diverse and highly skilled teams of independent Ergonomics and Safety professionals, and a good scheduling system to help your work-at-home employees succeed.