How to make your work space more ergonomic – Café Quill

Ergonomics is the science of matching the work to the worker. Office ergonomics covers finding the right match for a worker and their work environment. Occupational therapists use ergonomics to ensure that individuals’ occupations do not impede their health and well-being. When there isn’t a fit for the worker and the environment, it can cause physical and psychological stress, resulting in physical health problems and injuries to muscles, joints and nerves. When done correctly, good ergonomics can increase your comfort, improve morale and advance work productivity.Five steps you can take to help make your work space more ergonomic:Position monitor at least 20” away and directly in front of you. If you need to raise your computer screen, consider using books or a small box, which helps reduce neck strain at work. When positioning your monitor, the top of monitor should be in level with your eye line.Adjust chair height so your feet rest flat on the floor and your knees are level with your hips. To find this balance, some may need a foot stool to secure proper alignment.Make sure that the weight of your arms is supported at all times. If your arms are not supported, the muscles of your neck and shoulders will be working overtime. Adjust the armrests on your chair to the point where your arms are slightly lifted at the shoulders. Doing so will allow the armrest to support just the elbow and take weight off the shoulders.Take steps to control screen glare and make sure that the monitor is not placed in front of a window or a bright background. Position the computer with the window to your side to control light levels and glare. Also, be sure to look up and away from the monitor regularly, blinking your eyes to help reduce eye fatigue.Use the backrest of the chair for support to prevent muscle discomfort. You should avoid working in the forward position or sitting on the edge of the seat without back support. Your goals is to maintain the normal “S” shaped curve of the spine. Ensure that your ear is in line with your shoulder, chin in and avoid sticking your chin too far forward as this places stress on the neck and shoulders.Following these five steps, you should improve the ergonomics of your desk and enjoy a more comfortable work space.

Source: How to make your work space more ergonomic – Café Quill

To Grow as a Leader, Seek More Complex Assignments

Over the course of my career, I’ve spent countless hours talking to and hearing from leaders around the world. I’ve interviewed thousands of candidates for managerial roles and tracked the performance of those I successfully hired. I led the global management appraisal practice of our own executive search firm, Egon Zehnder. And I’ve spent years with colleagues at Harvard Business School and other academic institutions researching what makes people effective in their jobs.One key lesson I’ve drawn from all this experience? The most successful leaders are the ones who continue to learn and grow, and the best way to help yourself – or your team — do that is through assignments that involve increasing complexity.Several years ago, I worked with Ken Aramaki in Egon Zehnder’s Tokyo office to compare the potential of senior Japanese executives (that is, objective assessments from our consultants about their ability to take on bigger roles and responsibilities) and their competence (that is, objective assessments of their strategic orientation, market insight, customer impact, results orientation, leadership, ability to collaborate and influence, etc.) against the average scores for those metrics from all the executives in our worldwide database. What we found was an incredible paradox. Japanese professionals had higher potential than the global average but lower competence.

Source: To Grow as a Leader, Seek More Complex Assignments

If You’re Not Helping Employees Learn, You’re Not Doing Your Job

When Frederick Taylor published his pioneering principles of scientific management in 1912, the repetitive and mundane nature of most jobs required employees to think as little as possible. Breaking down each task into basic components and standardizing workers’ behaviors to eliminate choice and flexibility could help managers turn employees into productive machines, albeit with alienated spirits.Fast forward to the present and we see that most jobs today demand the exact opposite from employees: the capacity to keep learning and developing new skills and expertise, even if they are not obviously linked to one’s current job. As academic reviews have pointed out, people’s employability – their ability to gain and maintain a desired job – no longer depends on what they already know, but on what they are likely to learn.In other words, higher career security is a function of employability, and that in turn depends on learnability. Thus Eric Schmidt notes that a major pillar in Google’s recruitment strategy is to hire “learning animals,” while EY recruiters observe that “to be a standout, candidates need to demonstrate technical knowledge in their discipline, but also a passion for asking the kind of insightful questions that have the power to unlock deeper insights and innovation for our clients.”Sadly, most organizations have yet to wake up to this reality, so they continue to pay too much attention to academic qualifications and hard skills, as if what entry-level employees had learned during university actually equipped them for today’s job market. Although learnability does boost academic performance, just because someone is job-ready when they obtain their educational credentials does not mean that they are also learning-ready.

Source: If You’re Not Helping Employees Learn, You’re Not Doing Your Job

How to create a culture of early technology adoption in the workplace

Tech breakthroughs are making our lives easier — both in and out of the office.Ever-improving Apple continues to launch new versions of the iPhone. Wearable tech now employs apps to tell us what stresses us out and what makes us happy. And thanks to technology, more companies are offering telecommuting options to employees, according to a recent
SHRM study.Yet, amid all these improvements, only a meager 27% of American employees have access to the latest technology in the workplace, according to Oxford Economics’ Workforce 2020 report. Now that millennials, who grew up using new technology, are becoming decision-makers and stepping into middle management, it seems more of the workforce should have already adopted new technology.The problem might be due to difficulties convincing seasoned executives to rethink their current tools. “Our company has been doing things this way for 50 years,” millennials may hear from higher-ups.The challenge is to convince executives from different walks of life to see the value in these newfangled technologies. Ultimately, the next generation of leaders taking over the world’s top organizations need to lead the charge in adopting new technology so the workforce can benefit from innovation to the fullest extent.Here are a few approaches employees can take to lead a team of early tech adopters.

Source: How to create a culture of early technology adoption in the workplace

15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

People who manage to get a lot accomplished each day aren’t super human, they’ve just mastered a few simple habits. Some may be easy to guess: Keep your desk organized and aim for around eight hours of sleep a night. But others, like taking a mid-day nap or complaining, might surprise you.Here are 15 easy ways to make every day more productive:

Source: 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity | Fast Company | Business + Innovation