Let’s look at a firm that:

  1. Is Beginning to Understand– Works with their Workers’ Compensation insurance company to provide some support with basic interventions to the worst situations. Likely still behind in providing meaningful support in identifying issues and equipment changes.  Will consider some furniture modification including adjusting desk heights or providing a different chair with a Doctors note.

Why is this an issue? First the employee has a problem and the company does not either believe it or does not want to deal with it so they are throwing hurdle in front of the employee.  What does this do to employee morale?  Other employees are watching very closely to see what happens to their coworker and how they are treated.

Many companies believe that if they begin to provide any new or different tools or furniture or change them that all the other employee will want something just to get something new.

I have investigated thousands of these issues.  The reality is that if the company would take steps to fully understand what is going on in this arena with their employees they would find that around 60% of them DO IN FACT NEED SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

Why is this? Why do so many problems exist with employees, their tools and their furniture! The answer lies in the diversity of people.  Specifically, their anthropometrics (Fancy word for different sizes of parts of the body).

Pick out two people of the same gender who are about the same height.  They can be the same of different weights.  When you compare various parts of their bodies there will be significant differences.  For instance, consider thigh lengths, lower leg lengths and torso lengths.  You will likely notice significant differences.

These measurements are primary for determining the proper chair sizing and ranges of adjustment. They also are necessary for establishing the proper height of their desk and monitors.  As you see the differences in more people, you will understand that very few of them will match up in these few dimensions.

Now add in the measurements for upper arm, lower arm and hand size.  The chances for people to have the same measurements is getting even smaller here.  And not throw in girth, weight and height.  There is almost no way that they will all match up. People are very much individuals in all aspects.  You now have a feel for the impossibility of trying to fit everyone in the same exact chair, desk height etc.!