The mobile workforce and the use of laptops has become increasingly problematic over the past few years. With the advent of the millennial worker the issue will continue to get worse.

A number of our clients have recently raised a query regarding staff that travel for the majority of the time and work either in client offices or other locations. These employees work entirely on their laptops. How can their employer ensure their employees are set up correctly and prevent the physical problems that arise from poor laptop set-up?

This is really down to two reasons; the first being that we expect a considerable amount of flexibility in the way that we work. New graduate employees are becoming increasingly demanding about flexibility and this is an issue for companies where talent acquisition is so important. The second reason is that graduate employees will be joining organizations with injuries and levels of discomfort already established from using technology socially and during their educational years.

In reality this is a difficult behaviour to remedy as any equipment that requires effort may simply not be used. There is also the issue of weight in carrying additional equipment and, in itself, this can cause back and shoulder problems. We believe that a company facing this sort of issue will need to focus on education and ensuring users understand the risks, knowing how to identify discomfort and, most importantly, know where to go for assistance. Communication is key to regulatory compliance.

The new version of Workstation Safety Plus, Healthy Working, launching later this year pays particular attention to mobile working.

In terms of a practical solution we work very closely with organizations that are truly leaders in the development of innovative and useable ergonomics accessories. They produce a number of laptop risers that are very lightweight and easy to use.

Office Ergonomics Assessment Software

If this is a problem for you please email [email protected] or call (323) 337-9016

Tablets can be a pain in the neck, says study

Recent research from Washington State University has found that looking at a tablet computer puts three to five times more strain on users’ neck muscles than when the neck is not bent. The amount of neck strain was similar whether the participant was typing or reading.

Researchers studied 30 students and teachers who typed and read on tablets for several minutes. Strain on the neck was lowest when the tablet computer was held up high compared to laying it flat on a surface. The extra strain on the neck can result in pain and fatigue, according to results of the study.

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