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Ergonomics and Office of the Future - Part 1
What will the office look like in future in order to increase comfort and productivity and reduce pain?
I began wondering recently what the office of the future will look like in terms of helping businesses be more productive and for their employees to be more comfortable. Here are a number of trends I see taking place with my thoughts on some of them. Let me know what you think! PC, Laptop and Docking Station Smaller CPU's or laptops will create more space in the workspace as well as create a more visually appealing look. Flat panels will add to this look and create more space on the desk as reduce glare. The additional room on the desktop and below the work surface equates to a clearer mind. A clearer mind is sharper, more creative and innovative. Computer users will find it much easier to focus if the backgrounds of monitor screen were yellow with blue writing. It basically has a lot to do with the cones and rods of the eyes. Right now, pull out your marker and try it out on paper! Are any computer monitor manufacturers reading this? I see many more people using with card readers they slide into their keyboard that will enable them to work from a computer on the other side of the world and still be able to view their desktop. This is being implemented at many Fortune 500 companies because they have seen how beneficial it is for frequent business travelers. The computer of choice will be a laptop and working in comfort with a flat panel monitor, ergo mouse and keyboard. For those that use the laptop on the road I see accessories that will enable the computer user to work in more comfort… ergonomic mouse, ergonomic keyboard, and traveling "table." People will learn the importance of not using the laptop in they exact ways that it is used now. I believe we will see laptops that are designed to fit each computer user. Some of these adjustments include screen height and distance from eyes, a built-in ergonomic keyboard that comes out and adjusts to each person's shoulder width and a screen brightness button that works in many types of lighting to reduce glare. Keyboards and Mice I see most people using ergonomic keyboards and mice. They will not just settle for the traditional, flat keyboards from the manufacturers' anymore. They will demand more comfort at and adjustable keyboards that fit their body. Ergonomics will just be much more understood and accepted (if I have anything to say about it!). There will be ergonomic keyboards designed with built-in mice in the front and center so that it is easy and comfortable to use. No more reaching to the mouse on the left or right. Plus there will be lightweight, fold-up ergonomic keyboards designed for laptops for those who have not purchased their ergonomic laptop yet. The more keyboard adjustability features, the easier to adjust to shoulder width for comfortable and neutral posture. Resting Reminders I see keyboards that play your choice of music to gently remind you to rest your hands and body after you have typed a certain amount of characters or typed for a specific length of time. Your mouse will also "sing" to you to rest! A bell will ring or a screen will pop up after the mouse has been clicked a predetermined number of times or has traveled a certain distance. It will also sense how long you have been using the mouse no matter what you are doing with it and tell you to rest. Who would have seen this just a few short years ago? This is high on my list because resting the body allows the mind to relax and recharge to gather energy for more creativity, production and profits. Stretch and rest software will be more readily acceptable in the workplace as a way to remind workers to take a break from work and rest and stretch. You can follow along with the software and complete stretches picked especially for your aches and pains. There will be free versions or paid versions and it will become a standard type of software in the workplace and at home. It will also contain ergonomic information to help people understand what might be causing their pain. In Part 2 we will discuss….Phones, monitors, desks and filing systems…See you there!..Wendy