As we travel further into a post-pandemic world, the era of remote-only work is drawing to a close. Optimizing your coworking space with ergonomics helps members returning to entirely in-person or hybrid roles handle the transition well. It can even give them reasons to be elated to return to “business as usual.”
It’s vital to ensure that businesses view your coworking space as the go-to; leveraging ergonomics in your coworking space boosts member retention as you accommodate workers in a health-focused, productive environment.
Ergonomics can consolidate your reputation as a coworking host by engaging directly with your members’ needs and garnering positive feedback and reviews.
Ergonomics is the science of aligning your workspace with the members' needs. It aims to optimize productivity, efficiency, workflow, and members' enrichment.
The benefits are physical and psychological. Measures towards ergonomics range from the positioning and angle of your monitors to the overall layout and feng shui of your shared office space. This streamlines your members’ workflow.
It can begin with the hardware; there’s a wide range of options, including ergonomic monitors, keyboards, mice, desks, and chairs. As the individual needs of entrepreneurs evolve, they expect customizable and modular workstations that match their dynamic needs.
However, there are SaaS solutions, too. You can start with a small business VoIP phone, so workers don’t have the stress of switching between channels.
Ergonomic workstations can be tailored to match your members’ ideal workflow. They can be adjusted to meet project requirements while also facilitating good health by allowing members to work at length safely.
During the pandemic, people were granted time to focus on personal health and well-being.
Businesses met employee needs during the remote era, giving anywhere between $200-$2000 expense reimbursements for work-from-home equipment. Employees have returned to the workplace with higher standards. An increase in workspace ergonomics is an expectation.
So if you’re a coworking host, it’s important to follow suit and exceed expectations by developing an environment optimized for ergonomics.
With the increase in UN Sustainability Initiatives worldwide, people are more environmentally conscious than ever. Establish an ergonomic layout with sustainability in mind. This aligns your coworking space with your increasingly socially conscious members.
The first measure you need to take towards a greener coworking space is the introduction of sustainable resources. Eliminate the presence of single-use plastics if you offer stationery, switch to energy-efficient lighting, and optimize your monitors and other hardware to be more economical by powering down or entering standby when idle.
Incentivize recycling by making the appropriate bins present.
Furthermore, go greener (literally) by introducing office plants throughout the coworking environment.
These all have ergonomic advantages. Plants act as air purifiers, boosting performance and mood, while minimal, waste-free settings engage efficiency.
Member retention is key to the success of your coworking spaces. There are a variety of measures you can take to ensure high member retention, however, ergonomics may just be the most comprehensive method.
Users of your coworking space appraise their membership by monitoring productivity as a key metric. They will appreciate how the layout and features your coworking space provides positively affect their output.
Optimizing processes like call routing, transcription and communication with ergonomics in your coworking space can really boost members' productivity.
Inefficient over-the-phone operations can be automated with VoIP phone systems; call transcriptions mean that members can focus on the call without the strenuous task of typing alongside the call.
You can also improve coworking communication by providing separate rooms for members to host meetings. This boosts productivity because coworkers outside the project aren’t interrupted, while teams are given a space to voice their ideas.
Adjustable workstations also play a key role in member productivity. Different people have different needs. Ensure that every workstation you have includes modular and customizable elements.
Obtaining great word-of-mouth and favorable social media reviews is another benefit you can take advantage of if you effectively use ergonomics in your workspace.
This acts as great PR amongst the coworking community. Members who experience a positive impact on their performance and well-being in your coworking space are likely to spread the word.
Freelancers make up about 41% of the coworking space members worldwide. As they tend to be a tight-knit community, their opinions are taken seriously in their respective fields.
The remaining majority are employees of companies that are footing the bill. If you manage to develop an ergonomic coworking space that employees want to rave about, chances are their employers will listen. This has a beneficial B2B knock-on effect as their employers are then likely to spread the word to other businesses, increasing the scope of your prospective members.
Workplace injuries are disastrous for your reputation as a coworking operator, leading to potential litigation, subsequent dips in membership and a tarnished reputation. You can avoid this by developing a healthier coworking space.
Slips, trips, and falls are the most common workplace injuries). This can easily be overcome with ergonomic cable management and careful layout of furniture and hardware. Clear all walkways, and if you provide hardware such as monitors or printers, ensure they’re placed with usability and safety in mind.
If you host a suite of workstations, make use of ergonomic keyboards, chairs and monitor positioning. This mitigates the likelihood of members experiencing repetitive strain injuries (RSI) or back problems while promoting good posture.
Eye strain can be tackled by ensuring your monitors have blue-light reduction features and anti-glare screens. Effective positioning, angles, and levels of lighting greatly minimize optical injuries.
Finally, accommodate physical movement. Ensure your layout is spacious, with walkways that promote motion, allowing members to stand, stretch and walk. Stationary work has consequences for physical and mental health, so incorporating open-air communal spaces allows workers to fulfill their basic physical quotas without needing to leave the working environment.
Leveraging ergonomics as a key feature of your coworking space sets you apart from other coworking outlets. The post-pandemic entrepreneur expects flexible and ergonomic workspaces. With increasing options and an estimated 42,000 coworking spaces by 2024, prospects are spoilt for choice.
Ergonomics can offer you a highly coveted competitive advantage.
First and foremost, find the best fit for your space. Every coworking space is different so take your time to get member feedback regularly and listen to their needs.
After responding to feedback and implementing changes or improvements requested by members, you can take to social media. This is your opportunity to promote the ergonomic features that set you apart from your competitors and your responsive approach to feedback. You can also investigate the other coworking spaces in your area to pinpoint any gaps in their provision. You can then work to make sure your space excels in every area.
To wrap up, instilling the principles of ergonomics throughout your coworking space should be this year’s top priority.
Improved workflow, boosts in productivity and health benefits are just some of the perks your members can experience in an ergonomic workspace. As a coworking host, you can reap the rewards of high member retention and widespread awareness via great PR.
Ergonomics adds longevity to your coworking space. As we’ve covered earlier, it’s a surefire way to consolidate member retention. And furthermore it gives your space a competitive edge in the market.
However, leveraging ergonomics isn’t just beneficial to your revenue and growth. It also increases your reputation as a coworking space provider. This is because you align your spaces with safety standards and employee needs, garnering positive reviews and feedback in return.
Making the most of ergonomics curates a “win-win” environment for you as a host and your member community as a whole. Let this article be your handbook to get started today!
The article was written by Jenna Bunnell. Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives using Dialpad cloud PBX solutions. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna has published several articles for various domains including Range and nTask. Check out her LinkedIn profile.