The Ergonomics in Call Center Furniture
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
When your job includes sitting at a desk and talking on the phone all day, the comfort of your workstation is an important focus. Within the call center environment, a lack of attention to the ergonomics of the workstation can lead to higher absenteeism, increased healthcare costs and even performance issues.
A recent Interior Concepts article highlighted the importance of ergonomics in call center furniture. The company offers Sit-to-Stand workstations to provide the call center with a unique approach to ergonomics for employees. Placing an importance on frequent changes in position can help prevent injuries for employees performing repetitive activities throughout the workday.
Initial studies surrounding healthy positions at work suggested proper sitting methods for the static individual. While it is important to have proper posture, it’s even more important to incorporate movements that are considered healthy. These movements include adjusting the chair, stretching arms, moving the torso, focusing the eyes away from the computer monitor and taking out time to stand rather than sit.
These healthy movements have been shown to reduce muscle fatigue and reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries. When call center furniture is designed according to ergonomics, workstations are easy to adjust and promote the frequent change in positions to support better health. The most varied positions can be achieved with adjustable height workstations.
According to Jennifer Way, Marketing Manager, Interior Concepts, “There are some misconceptions that the only way to provide an adjustable height workstation is to have the entire workstation move up and down with either a crank or push button power mechanism. There are several problems with this solution.”
The problem with this approach, says Way, is that the call center incurs unnecessary costs in call center furniture when the entire workstation moves up and down. Powered workstations do offer convenience, but with significant added cost. Plus, unless the employee has measured the proper height for optimal circulation and healthy movements, adjustments could actually exacerbate the problem, instead of improving it.
In reality, standing can be as simple as sitting if you have the right tools at your disposal. The easiest way to incorporate this approach within the call center environment is to introduce a keyboard tray and monitor arm that offer enough adjustment that they can be used in a sitting or standing position. This approach to call center furniture, according to Way, will accommodate 95 percent of the employee population.
“An ergonomic call center can help reduce loss of productivity due to injury,” says Way, “and create a better working environment, simply by providing ergonomic tools in the workstations. Along with an adjustable height monitor and keyboard, a complete ergonomic package also includes an adjustable chair, task light, and footrest, as well as training on how to properly adjust the equipment.”
Simply put, if your call center furniture vendor is not offering a healthy approach to ergonomics within your environment, it may be time to look for a new provider.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco