Reorganizing Office Space for Aging Workforce

Reorganizing Office Space and Encouraging Work Culture Apt for Aging Workforce

Ideally speaking, there are no age barriers when it comes to producing quality work and exhibiting professionalism. Gone are the days when 60 years was considered the death knell for one’s career. The companies too are not willing to part ways with their older staff, the reason is simple; they bring in with them valuable experience and skills that contribute immensely to the organization’s productivity.

However, age-related conditions and functional abilities cannot be undermined. These are the prime considerations that an employer must deal with, to create the right work environment for the aging staff.

Employers are required to take measures that reduce work-related stress and assist workers to perform their daily tasks conveniently and productively. Organizing skills and development programs, incorporating flexible working styles, using the right office furniture like ergonomic office chair, sit-stand desk etc. are some of the viable options to meet the needs of all your employees, including the senior staff.

Adapting Office for Aging Work Force

MSD or musculoskeletal disorder is one of the growing concerns among the working class. It has been reported that a high percentage of men and women, between the ages of 50 to 60 complain of MSD issues like back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and more [1]. It's imperative on the part of the employer to ensure the routine work does not cause MSD or aggravate the same of any employee. Here are some of the ways through which an employer can promote a healthy and productive working environment:

1. Use Ergonomically Designed Furniture: A comfortable office that supports senior workers should opt for ergonomic office chair, adjustable desks and other accessories that encourage organic movement and postures. For instance, while ergonomic chairs ensure correct seating postures, the sit-stand desk facilitates easy movements. The intuitive features of the ergonomic furniture promote healthy and safer workspace and rules out work-related injury risks.

2. Mount Shelves at Right Height: Wall-mounted shelves are perfect additions for creating extra storage space without consuming much office space. But the right positioning of the shelf is of prime importance to facilitate lifting mechanism and avoid any injury. Attention is required while mounting the shelf. Placing the shelf too high or too low both can turn out to be detrimental for the users.

3. Promote Short Breaks Between Routine Works: Sitting for prolonged hours in the same position or performing repetitive movements as typing can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Encourage short breaks in between the work hours to disrupt this monotonous working style. For instance, companies can install coffee machines at strategic points to let employees walk up and hence aid organic movement. Short routine breaks give the much-desired respite and when followed daily, can benefit all the employees. Moreover, the smart use of height adjustable table and collaborative furniture makes the office space open, contemporary and one that aids healthy work environment.”

4. Develop Ergonomic Knowledge and Skill: Ergonomic training is one of the vital aspects of achieving the benefits of an ergonomic process. Educate your employees about the tools and skills of ergonomics and avoid workplace injuries, like repetitive motion injuries (RMIs) and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Today multiple organizations are conducting ergonomic training for their workforce. Companies like HNI India (one of the leading ergonomic office furniture manufacturers) is helping such corporate firms empower their staff with desired ergonomic knowledge and skills, thus contributing to a healthier and safer work environment.

5. Motivate Culture of Exercise or Physical Activity:

Needles to say physical activity and regular exercise offer a wide range of health benefits. It has been reported that people over 60 years, require better fitness levels more than any other age group, to stay healthy.  Cultivating a culture of exercise can go a long way in enhancing the employee's productivity and increasing staff morale and cohesion. No wonder, employee oriented organizations now encourage individual and team-based exercise activities as part of their work regime.

Senior employees, at all work levels, act as the transmitters of knowledge to fresh employees; they work as mentors transforming young talent into promising assets of the company. Their industry knowledge, critical thinking and experience cannot be taught as it comes only with experience. Their valuable contribution could positively impact your bottom line for years to come. So, if you want to leverage the benefits of senior staff in your organization, make sure to adopt work practices and work culture that offsets aging impacts and reinforces their productive ability.

Reference:

  1. 1. Ageing, musculoskeletal health and work