With Baby Boomers representing about 1/3 of the U.S. workforce, it’s no surprise that employers are looking for ways to get the most out of these experienced employees before they start retiring in droves. Of course, with the economy struggling many people are putting off plans to leave the workforce even as they age past 65. These mature individuals bring a lot to the table, but they need to stay hale and hearty to keep up with the demands of the modern workplace. This may entail making changes in the work environment to better support an aging population.
What will these older employees need to make their workspaces more ergonomically sound? Here are a few areas of prime importance:
Spine Health: This can’t be stressed enough since back pain is a huge drain on productivity. Easing those aches and pains for your older workers can pay off with greater alertness and better morale. Choose high quality ergonomic office chairs that offer adjustable back support.
Circulation: Varicose veins and other circulatory conditions may be eased with furniture such as adjustable height sit/stand worktables that promote frequent movement. Even placing a footrest under the desk can take the pressure off of thighs and improve circulation.
More Light: As eyesight begins to dim, having plenty of light in the workspace becomes more critical than ever. Look for cubicle panels that have glass tiles and add extra task lighting as needed.
Handy Storage: Keep an eye out for storage units that can be accessed without too much bending, twisting, pulling, or stooping. A spine based workstation system with storage located at desk height may be ideal. Overhead bins that can be reached from a seated position are another popular option.
Clean Air: The older we get, the more prone we are to developing certain breathing problems such as emphysema. New furniture purchases and office renovations should be made with an eye toward preserving a high level of indoor air quality. Look for GREENGUARD certified products from furnishings to wall coverings and carpet to ensure that exposure to potentially harmful chemicals is kept to a minimum.