We are not all equal in the contest for ergonomic office equipment. For instance, you are more likely to have an ergonomic mouse if you’re working in either management or the IT department and engineers have more adjustable tables than any other work group. Finance departments have the lowest ergonomic ‘score’ of all within the office space: A mere 16 percent have an adjustable table compared to 32 percent in the IT & Support department. As a matter of fact the latter turns out to be the place where you’ll find the majority of ergonomic office benefits.
The survey also reveals a significant link between your level of education and getting the right equipment to suit your ergonomic needs. When holding a research degree, such as a Ph.D., you are twice as likely to have an ergonomic mouse as someone with a more general education, i.e. up to secondary school level, a fact which is characteristic for all ergonomic benefits on offer within the office. For instance, there seems to be a direct link between education and the use of headsets: 70 percent of the higher educated are offered a headset compared to just 50 percent without a degree or with a more general education. The higher the degree you have, the higher your chances of getting a wireless headset.
Companies clearly prioritise ergonomic tools for their more educated staff, but this action may prevent all of their staff members reaching their maximum potential: A very impressive 94 percent of the UK-based respondents feel more efficient after having switched to a wireless headset – regardless of their education level.
“It’s vital to support all staff members’ ergonomic needs in order to aid them in reaching their potential and also to retain their talents. It’s not only the IT department or the Ph.D. researcher who can benefit from a wireless headset. Our survey shows that 64 percent of UK-based office workers now have a work radius of 2.5 metres or more, which calls for equipment that enables mobility. Being able to move around while on a call means a much greater ability to multitask and less physical discomfort originating from trying to manage a handset, a mouse and a keyboard at the same time. This is universal and applies across any educational or trade boundaries”, says Andrew Doyle, Managing Director, Jabra UK & Ireland Business Solutions.
The ergonomic equipment divide is not only evident when looking at the departments and level of education, but it’s also country related. For instance, if you’re working within an office in the UK there is a 20 percent chance of you having an ergonomic keyboard or adjustable chair (48 percent) compared to Japan where only 7 percent have an ergonomic keyboard.
Looking at all of the departments in the 12 surveyed countries the most popular ergonomic device is the adjustable chair. Unfortunately, 10 percent of UK office workers don’t have any ergonomic equipment at all.
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