New research released today has revealed that 80% of UK office workers have spent money on their own makeshift solutions to make their workstations more comfortable, with one in five admitting spending over £75 on their own equipment.
UK office workers admitted they were using cushions to make their office chairs more comfortable, objects to help lift up their laptops to the right height and boxes or storage under desks to support their feet. Furthermore, 60% even admitted to buying ergonomic equipment themselves including back supports, wrist supports and laptop risers.
It’s no surprise that workers are investing their own money into solutions with nearly 75% of the 1,000 UK office workers questioned by Fellowes suffering physical pain from their workspace set-up. The most common symptoms include:
· Backache (32%)
· Headache (23%)
· Neck pain (20%)
· Eyesight problems (18%)
· Wrist discomfort (17%)
And it’s not just the physical symptoms that are affecting employees: 74% of people are worried about the amount of time they are spending sitting at their desk for long periods, with 25% even saying it is a constant worry.
Although employees are concerned about the effects of the workplace on their health, half haven’t made a complaint to anyone about their uncomfortable office equipment. For those that have complained, 20% have spoken to their line manager, however, 18% just discussed problems with their colleagues. Perhaps most worryingly 67% of people think their employer doesn’t care about their long-term health and wellbeing in the office.
One solution for wellbeing in the workspace is for employers to implement a Display Screen Equipment assessment which can help workers combat discomfort in the neck, shoulders, back, arms and wrists as well as fatigue and eye strain. However, when asked over 50% of people said they have never had or couldn’t remember having a DSE assessment and over a third of office workers said they had never heard of the regulation even though it’s a legal requirement for employers to carry out.
Stephen Bowden, ergonomic expert from Morgan Maxwell said: “The findings are concerning and show a clear need for businesses to improve their policies to ensure employees are comfortable in the workplace. People are rightly concerned about the long-term health issues that can arise from sitting for long periods and are clearly looking for help as they are willing to spend their own money on makeshift solutions. Employers should consider identifying the necessary ergonomic equipment such as back supports, wrist supports and monitor arms which are available for employees to prevent aches, pains and mental distress.”
To help with employees suffering in the workplace, Fellowes has put together top tips for ergonomic solutions using its 4 Zone approach: