What does ‘Well-being’ and ‘Employee Engagement mean in the post-Coronavirus world?’
Another in the latest of a series of articles, David Preston of Realise surveys the landscape.
Are You Sitting Comfortably? Probably Not!
Whilst many organisations have embraced homeworking for years, Covid 19 has forced the changes on some companies. If you were one of them, you might like to consider how well this was managed. You see, the practicalities of working from home extend far beyond the issues of ‘trust’ and a quick check on internet speeds.
A recent survey from BUPA revealed a staggering 63% of homeworkers are in pain as a result of their makeshift home offices. The survey showed that around 11 million UK adults have injured their back, neck, hips, knees, wrists or another part of their bodies while working or schooling from home during lockdown.
If you’re an employer, did you ask about the physical and spatial considerations when your team were packed off home? Only one in three workers reported having a dedicated workspace in their home. That leaves the majority having to improvise; 18% work from a sofa or armchair, 17% from a dining or kitchen chair, 12% from a bed and 5% from – wait for it – beanbag.
What We Can Do For You
Whilst most office workers have proper desks and ergonomic chairs designed for the purpose, 24% of homeworkers report being hunched over while they work, 18% say they slouch or slump, 23% are balancing their computer on their legs or a chair arm, and 21% sit with their back or legs twisted. The consequences, according to Damian McClelland, BUPA’s clinical director for musculoskeletal services, are bleak. “It’s concerning, but perhaps not surprising, to see that so many are now struggling with their musculoskeletal health.”
wrong leg positions
Slump or slouched
Make UP Your Own Mind
The study shows that younger people (aged 18-34) are disproportionately affected, reporting the highest levels of neck, hip, knee and wrist pain. They are also twice as likely to work from their bed as their older counterparts, with 18% doing so, compared to 9% of 35-54-year-olds.
McClelland added: “As we move towards the ‘new normal’ where higher levels of working from home are likely to feature, it’s really important to address any pain or discomfort now, to make this sustainable in the long term.”
Just 11% of UK workers in pain at home have sought medical help, with the majority using over-the-counter painkillers, massages or ice baths. More than a quarter (28%) have done nothing to relieve their symptoms, risking longer-term damage – particularly as two in five (42%) homeworkers intend to continue working from home when social distancing measures are lifted.
But imagine the benefit of a professional massage, or physiotherapy session, or maybe just some friendly advice from a professional? All these options are available for staff to access via an easy to use app, should their employers have the foresight to invest. Some examples can be found on our website. A points-based system allows each employee to tailor the services they feel would suit them best; there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution here.
Time to ditch the bean bag, maybe…
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