In the mid 1990’s, some of the current team of SmartErgo started exploring ways to help one of its early founders with his Rheumatoid Arthritis and RSI. After much trial and error, solutions which provided relief started to become evident and the focus was deeply trained specifically on posture and pacing.
Most importantly, this injured founder was determined to learn how to stabilize and improve his situation where he didn’t have to always think about ergonomics while working. Although not a psychologist and actually trained and degreed as a physicist, he realized that when we’re working we have only 100% of our conscious mind available to apply to our work. If he now had to devote x% of his mind to ergonomics, then he would lose productivity and effectiveness in his primary work. There’s no getting around that reality, however, being a perfectionist he wasn’t going to stop.
A New Approach
An alternative approach surfaced during a conversation with a friend who was a behaviorial psychologist at Princeton. The alternative was obvious in hindsight as is often the case. Human behavior is manifested in the conscious mind as directly influenced by the subconscious mind. The solution path was to make the good ergonomic behaviors automatic so he could indirectly tap his subconscious mind in this way, leaving 100% of his conscious mind available for his much beloved work. The focus shifted to learning (training) so he could become aware of and practice what was needed.
After another six months, the focus was required to shift again because simply absorbing information on ergonomics was not resulting in any automatic behaviors. Behaviorists understand that, even with strong desire, training without a program of continual positive reinforcement is similar to a New Year’s Resolution. While everyone’s intent is pure, the probability of a successful outcome is bleak.
All positive reinforcement programs are not created equal when measured. Automobile seat belt reminders epitomize the unque value of point-of-use relevance-bearing positive reinforcement. In operant conditioning, positive reinforcement involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following behaviors so that particular behavior will be strengthened.
Behavioral change is a five-step process. The five stages, between which individuals may oscillate before achieving complete change, are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action including positive reinforcement, and maintenance. Here, ErgoCoach was conceived as a simple and clear behavior changing tool much like the metronome and seat belt reminders in automobiles. There’s much more to the story of course…
ErgoSuite simply embodies the best practices and knowledge of several key sciences in a platform which employers can easily understand, adopt and benefit from. Perhaps esoteric physics, biology and mythos would warrant a higher price above pennies per day, but we’re very content simply delivering a highly cost-effective platform to the world which can be easily implemented and its success clearly measured. The platform of tools helps employers through helping employees which fits our ethos comfortably.
Innovation + Science + World-class Ergonomics Advisory Board = Results
Since that very humble beginning, the experienced team at SmartErgo has accumulated a wealth of unique experience over the years working in close partnership with clients who have successfully implemented our solutions for reducing knowledge worker injuries and increasing productivity.
The Client Experience = Results
These measurable returns are of great significance to employees, as well as employers who care about the health of their employees, measure their bottom line and are active in cost containment measures.
- Computer-related Injury Reduction
Substantial reductions in computer-related injuries have been achieved along with equally significant reductions of injury costs. Clients have reported sustainable significant reductions in computer-related injury rates by up to 80%.
- Cost Savings on Insurance and Healthcare
Reducing injuries directly results in reducing Workers Compensation insurance programs for employers as well as savings on the healthcare and benefits side where many injuries are often treated in lieu of the Workers Compensation system. Clients have reported Workers Compensation savings of up to 35%.
- Compliance with Regulations and Laws Directly Covering Computer Users
In the United States, ErgoSuite is helping employers be in compliance with California’s Ergonomics Regulations.
In Europe, ErgoSuite is helping employers be in compliance with EC Directive 90/270/EEC (European Agency for Safety and Health) regulations and the laws of 27 countries which have adopted them.
In Canada, South America and other countries, ErgoSuite is helping employers be in compliance with a number of governmental and regional regulations and directives.
- Performance Enhancement
Sustainable accuracy improvements have been measured at about 60% for computer user groups at clients. This results in a measurable full Return On Investment (“ROI”) of the platform within the first year on this value alone. It’s quite simple. When an employee fatigues at a slower rate, they produce more output at a higher quality. Rather than guess at this, you’ll objectively measure it.
- Boosting Morale While Decreasing Presenteeism
Our enterprise-wide clients in the Fortune 100 as well as much smaller organizations report nearly 100% employee satisfaction with ErgoSuite. Countless testimonies from employees to management are reported regarding immediate and lasting positive health impacts.
Upon validating and realizing the significant impact of ErgoSuite, many clients designate its use as a Best Practice. The term Best Practice is an acknowledgement that a concept, process, or product is proven to produce the desired results and is applicable throughout the enterprise across organizational lines.
Case Study Mitigation Results
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