THE EFFECT OF ERGONOMICS ON EMPLOYEES PRODUCTIVITY

ABSTRACT

The study examined the effect of ergonomics on employees’ productivity using Prec Pearl Nigeria Limited as a case study. A sample of 110 was selected from the company. The study was guided by three research questions. The following are the objectives of the study: to examine the ways in which ergonomics can be enhanced to meet the comfort and satisfaction of employees in order to ensure better job performance and raise productivity,to study the prevalence of ergonomics on employees’ productivity in Nigeria and to assess out the benefits of ergonomics on employees’ productivity

 

 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

For the past few decades now, corporate and business organizations have been trending issues to restructure their offices in new ways. In a 2003 survey by Management Today magazine, virtually all (97 per cent) of respondents said that they regarded their place of work as a symbol of whether or not they were valued by their employer.How well they engage with the organization, especially with their immediate environment, influences to a great extent their error rate, level of innovation and collaboration with other employees, absenteeism and, ultimately, how long they stay in the job Al-Anzi (2009).Ergonomics allow workers to do their jobs. Do it right, do it safely, do it with comfort, and, do it with accuracy. Manydevices and machineries that can improve employee productivity are now being used by many organizations. This can include adjustable workbenches, chairs, accessories, tool rack solutions, tilting storage bins, adjustable computer screens, arm rests, foot rests, temperature controls, air conditioning, lighting, seating, and more. Having all components within one’s reach and at comfortable distances, this minimizes the stress of bending and. The expectation is that throughput should be positively affected when proper ergonomics are applied across processes.

Some of the factors that affect employee performance in any organization are; employee’s ability to understand his/her defined roles, knowledge and skills necessary to perform the job, feedback from management regarding the status of the employee’s performance, acceptable working conditions and equipment to perform the job effectively, incentives in place that positively reinforce good performance. Other researchers such as Taiwo (2009), claims that about 86% of productivity problems reside in the work environment of organizations. Although other organizational elements such as praise and recognition, compensation and financial reward impact on employee performance, studies have also shown that an employee’s workplace environment is a key determinant of their level of performance.

In conclusion, ergonomics is also concerned with enhancing work performance, by removing the barriers that exist in many work places that prevent employees from performing to the best of their abilities. This ultimately helps people work more effectively, efficiently, and productively at their jobs (Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 2002). According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (2002) ergonomics improvements to the work environment are primarily used to create a safer and more healthful work environment, and that a company may experience other benefits including increased productivity, increased work quality, reduced turnover, reduced absenteeism, and increased morale.

Researchers in Nigeria have over the years demonstrated little interest researching the subject matterergonomicsand employees productivity. As a result of this, research material and stationeries on the subject are therefore scanty. One of the few studies on ergonomics in Nigeria was in respect of Ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders (Dr. Mike Oyahkire, 2015), Influence of Workstation and Work Posture Ergonomics on Job Satisfaction of Librarians in the Federal and State University Libraries in Southern Nigeria (Ikonne, Chinyere N. 2012) and Evaluation of Ergonomics Deficiencies in Nigerian Computer Workstations (MomoduBayo et al., J Ergonomics 2014). Most corporate offices in Nigeria are increasingly mimicking layouts and finishes which to a large extent typify corporate offices in the advanced world. Evidently, these offices comprise of thoughtfully designed open plan and cellular offices with lush décor, automated work systems and ICT infrastructure that supports employee safety, communication, comfort, motivation and general performance. This study ‘the effect of ergonomics on employees’ productivity’ will therefore serve as a solid foundation upon which other research works on ergonomics and employees can be worked on.

1.2  Statement of the Problem   

Better workplaces will improve employment efficiency and productivity.Workplace environment coupled with the requisite tools, technology, policies and strategies go a long way to enhanceemployees’ performance and help improve their productivity. Indeed, some of the chairs currently in use atPrec Pearl Nigeria Limited are without adjustable or ergonomic features. It is therefore feared that due to long term poor sitting posture, a number of the employees in Prec Pearl Nigeria Limited may have suffered various degrees of back, spine, neck and stress related ailments. In the midst of all these challenges at the workplace, the management expects employees to improve their performancesin order for their organizations to achieve their corporate objectives.

Workers in Nigeria often find themselves in a workplace environment that, to a large extent lacks the congenial atmosphere that safeguards his safety and overall interests. In order to highlight the need for better office ergonomics as a way of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the worker, this study investigates the effects of ergonomics on employees’ productivity.

1.3  Research Questions

These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:

i)            what are the ways in which ergonomics can be enhanced to meet the comfort and satisfaction of employees in order to ensure better job performance and raise productivity?

ii)          what is the prevalence of ergonomics on employees’ productivity in Nigeria?

iii)        what are the benefits of ergonomics on employees’ productivity?

1.4  Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the effect of ergonomics on employees’ productivity. The specific objectives and are:

i)            to examine the ways in which ergonomics can be enhanced to meet the comfort and satisfaction of employees in order to ensure better job performance and raise productivity

ii)          to study the prevalence of ergonomics on employees’ productivity in Nigeria

iii)        to assess out the benefits of ergonomics on employees’ productivity

1.5  Significance of the Study

The satisfactory operation and productivity of any organisation lie to a great extent on the physical and mental state of the employees. This could be enhanced by the introduction of computers, machines to perform risky task that are usually carried out by employees into organisations. This will not hinder the existing employees to perform their functions but rather they will be employed to operate the machineries.This research work investigates the effect of ergonomics on employees’ productivity.

1.6  Scope of the Study

This study investigates theeffect of ergonomics on employees’ productivity using Prec Pearl Nigeria Limited as a case study. It will therefore be carried among the workers of Prec Pearl Nigeria Limited.

1.7  Limitation of the Study

The fact that this research theeffect of ergonomics on employees’ productivity has not been fully researched on by Nigerian researchers made it a bit stressful for the researcher and was also faced with the problem of finance as the researcher did not have enough funds to get the required stationery for the work.

1.8  Definitions of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Employee:a person who works for another person or for a company for wages or a salary

Ergonomics:is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them.

Productivity:the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

 

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