Do any of the employees at your company work from home?
Even if you answered “no”, the work-from-home trend suggests your answer to that question will change in the near future.
According to the Citrix Workplace of the Future report, 83% of companies globally will have adopted mobile work styles by mid-2014.
Citrix predicts that by 2020, the average employee will access the company network from six different devices and one-third of employees will no longer work from a traditional office at all, but at home, field sites or customer/partner locations.
In fact, we have firsthand experience with the work-from-home style of work. Ergonomics Plus doesn’t have a traditional “home office”. All members of our team work remotely from their homes and on-site at our client partner locations.
Higher productivity, lower real estate costs and better collaborative technology are all driving the work-from-home trend. And those are all good things.
But one of the serious downsides of the work from home trend is that most of the mobile technology and devices that enable this work style are wreaking havoc on our bodies.
Blackberry thumb, iHurt, and smartphone elbow are names that are becoming commonplace for musculoskeletal injuries resulting from poor ergonomic practices with mobile devices.
The nature of work in today’s world makes the dining room table, airplanes, cars, couches, and coffee shops your work environment. After all, you have a tiny computer in your pocket every second of every day and, most likely, several other devices within reach that give you instant access to work.
The mobile work environment and the digital tools you use to do work were not designed with the human body in mind, putting more stress on your body and putting you at risk for musculoskeletal problems.
You and the rest of the employees at your company should be aware of the stress this puts on your body and make adjustments to your work environment (no matter where you are) to reduce ergonomic risk and promote smarter, safer, better, and more productive work performance.