Chronic pain impacts your business. As a business owner, you need to be aware that your employees may be facing this issue. You may even suffer from chronic pain yourself. How can you make your workplace work better for those who are currently suffering or those that could soon be suffering in the future? How can you protect yourself against workman’s compensation claims? How can you keep your employees feeling healthy and productive?
Create an Ergonomic Office
In order to create an environment where injuries are rare, physical therapists recommend that your offices be ergonomic. The key to setting up your desk is alignment. Make sure that your computer is arranged in such a manner that your head is immediately over your shoulders. Your mouse should be very close to you. Your chair should be adjustable and come with a head rest if possible.
Cynthia Roth, CEO and founder of Ergonomics Technology Corp. states, “Through an applied ergonomics process, any company, no matter how small or large, can establish a cost-effective program that assists employees in their job tasks and provides knowledge for new purchases such as equipment, tools, workstations, etc., with metrics to understand the cost benefit.” Your business can not only help employees feel better, but it can also create an environment where the work can be done more efficiently.
Stress is common at work. In fact, a little stress can be helpful. Deadlines are met. Customers are satisfied. However, too much stress for too long is unhealthy. When overstressed, employees can’t sleep, nor do they eat right. This is the prefect recipe of unbearable pain. Employees can relax on their own, on their off time, but how can you reduce stress in the office?
Stress reduction can be as easy as letting employees personalize their work space. Or, you can allow more frequent breaks. Set up a walking path around the building – inside or out. You can get rid of fluorescent lighting and use a softer, more ambient lighting source.
As a business owner, you want your employees to feel free to let you know about situations that could negatively impact their productivity. How can you get your employees to discuss their health issues? You have to create a company-wide culture of open communication. In addition to sharing information across the company, you must get rid of the “us vs. them” mentality that sometimes invades a company. A leading business journal recommends items such as group lunches, team-building activities, an open office layout, and retreats to build your company’s cooperation rate. You have to ask the right questions, too. Ask your employees how you can better support them.
By creating an atmosphere of open communication, and by implementing the suggestions your employees give you during that communication, you will increase productivity. You will also reduce your employee’s stress. Further stress reduction will help manage issues like chronic pain. Creating an ergonomic work environment will also improve your employee’s functionality, and prevent future injuries. You can help employees manage their chronic pain and grow a successful business.