Out in the field, in extreme temperatures, at risk every day, you dream of a cushy desk job. But you’ve seen Office Space, right? Are you just trading in your toolbelt for a TPS report?
It doesn’t have to be that way. When you make the transition from the field to a utility control center or dispatch center, your office and desk can be just as comfortable as your coveralls, turnout gear or climbing gear. Read on for 6 tips from people who’ve successfully made the switch!
If you could make a few easy changes in your life that would prevent long-term harm, would you? Of course, you think. But if that were the case, diets, bankruptcies, and computer (and maybe non-computer) viruses would be a thing of the past. But we Americans like to let things go and then look for a quick fix.
Last weekend, I traveled to California for a wedding and drove a rental car. The whole time I was there, I couldn’t quite get the seat and headrest adjusted comfortably—at least not while still seeing out the window to drive. I ended up sitting through the wedding with a crick in my neck, pining for the memory seats in my car.
This served as a stark reminder of the importance of ergonomics. Our work environments need to be designed for the human factor to prevent injury, decrease muscle fatigue and increase productivity. Good design can do everything from preventing repetitive stress injuries and eye strain to solving trip hazards and keeping employees alert and engaged.
Monitor arms may seem like a good idea at first, but generally they require the user(s) to make a viewing adjustment for each individual monitor. This is a significant problem that compromises the potential for proper ergonomic benefits.
When you're shopping for a new dispatch or command center console, you want to get something that will hold up to the abuse of a 911 dispatch center. Let’s face it; 24/7 use is tough on any equipment. The actual furniture itself takes even more abuse with the constant physical contact.
If I said, “Your employees need an ergonomically correct workplace," you may bristle. But if I said, "Your employees will be more comfortable and more productive, and they’ll likely complain less,” I’ll bet your ears just perked up.
Ergonomics is the critical component here. Not only is does it provide a workplace standard, but it also sends a message to your team that you care.
How much and how long should I sit or stand at my desk? There is no perfect combo for this because everyone is different. Here is what we do know; static standing all the time is harmful for you, and too much sedentary activty, such as sitting, is harmful too. It begs the question, what is the perfect combo? What combination works for you, might not work for the next person. Experts recommend, breaking it up or alternating between positions. This is actually what is best for the body – in its simplest form, we are talking about movement.