Office Ergonomics - a Pain in the Butt?
If you or your co-workers are finding the office more of a pain
than ever, it might be worthwhile to put some thought into the offices
After all, its great to have all the latest technology and
doodads, but if its set up in a way thatll cost you an arm and a
leg in lost productivity it doesnt make a lot of sense.
Well, the Canadian Standards Association thinks it can help, and
for a lot less money than bringing in some fancy expert to look over and
pontificate about your office space. The Guideline On Office Ergonomics, which
was updated as recently as Y2K, is full of relevant info structured as a
step-by-step design process for optimizing stuff like office layout,
environmental conditions, and workstation design.
The Guide is available as a CD ROM, Acrobat file or a print
document. The CD-ROMs probably the easiest to navigate, since
theyve built a clunky but workable interface that lets you jump all over
the place at will. Unfortunately, you pay through the nose for the high tech
version. It costs $295 Cdn as opposed to the $150 each for the Acrobat or print
The Guideline covers stuff you might not think of, like lighting
and temperature control and even electromagnetic fields, which should please
the tin foil hat crowd. And it also mentions sick building
syndrome, for those suffering from edifice complexes
The objective is to help you or the lucky person you
manage to delegate to optimize the design of the working environment,
organization, and tasks to best match their potential users.
The writing is about as dry as prairie summers of late, and
its tempting to skip forward when things get particularly wordy but the
informations good, there are diagrams and charts and you can print
out checklists you can use to appraise your own space time continuum for any
potential ergonomic nightmares.
You cant print them right from the CD presentation, for some
strange reason; instead they make you open up a Word document in another folder
and print from that. Seems kind of Mickey Mouse for something that costs three
hundred bucks, but what can you do?
The Guideline On Office Ergonomics is available from the CSA Web
site at www.csa.ca.