The way people use laptops can be bad for their health, find out how supplying workers with second business monitors can ease their pains
Modern laptops with 8th-Gen Core processors are incredibly powerful productivity tools and for most office tasks are more than capable of replacing even a high-end desktop. Although desktops are still prevalent in most offices, data from a study by Spiceworks shows that 43% of businesses planned to increase spending on laptops in 2018. However, the increasing use of hot-desking and mobile working could have potential implications for your employees’ health, as workers forego ergonomics in favour of flexibility.
The importance of an ergonomic workspace
Using your laptop in a funky shared space or clean hot-desk may be a cool and attractive way to work, but it isn’t necessarily the healthiest way, as it forces workers to bend their necks to stare down at the small laptop screen. This goes against guidance from The Health and Safety Executive, which states that “Forearms should be approximately horizontal and the user’s eyes should be the same height as the top of the screen”. This is unlikely to be the case when simply working in a shared space, where the laptop is placed flat on a desk or table.
The implications of not following this guidance are serious because according to the Health and Safety Executive, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) accounted for 39% of all work-related ill-health in 2017. While the majority of these injuries were understandably as a result of physical jobs, such as manual lifting, a significant portion (12%) was due to simple keyboard work or other repetitive actions. And when combined with injuries as a result of awkward or tiring positions, such as staring down at a laptop screen, the total contribution is around 35%. That’s a significant amount of lost productivity and lost revenue.
Workers demand flexible working
The need to address these issues will become increasingly important as demand for a flexible, modern workplace grows, driven by the expectations of millennial workers (i.e. those born in the 80s and 90s), which as a group are starting to dominate the bulk of the workforce. In fact, the change is already happening, and according to a study by Deloitte, 39% of 8,000 millennials surveyed said that their employer already offered a highly flexible working environment, with shared spaces and hot-desking replacing the traditional rows of fixed cubicles and static desktop PCs.
Be flexible and healthy
Ensuring that your office remains flexible and attractive to the millennial talent pool doesn’t have to mean sacrificing ergonomics. A simple way to promote a healthy working environment is to ensure that workspaces, irrespective of whether they are fixed or shared spaces, are properly equipped, including laptop risers or monitors that workers can easily connect to. However, considering that laptops can vary in size significantly, finding a riser solution that works for all employees may be difficult, which means that quality business monitors are the easiest solution for ensuring that your workers can retain their flexibility, but also work in a way that is healthy.