how-to Oct 31, 2019

In this post I'm going to share with you five points to consider about the opportunity of adding office ergonomic assessments to your services. 

The cool thing is that you can approach ergonomics from a variety of ways. Maybe you're a private consultant, starting your own business, work in a clinic, or perhaps you have been designated (aka 'voluntold', as I like to call it 😉) to start doing the ergonomics assessments for the staff in your organization.  

I've seen it all! 

There's obviously many different backgrounds that could have led you into the ergonomics field. Although there's value in having a foundation in a health or science-based field since there can be many congruences to build upon, I firmly believe with the drive and desire to learn the office ergonomics framework you can still be a success. In fact, many of my students that I teach in the Ergonomics Blueprint course (enrolment is currently closed but you can sign up to the waitlist here) have told me this and they are doing great with ergonomics.

So, with that let's dive into this post! 

5 Points To Know About Starting Office Ergonomic Assessments!

1. Adding To Your Services

Simply put, ergonomic services are perfectly aligned with what many Healthcare Professionals are already doing. 

However, the process can be challenging to learn, but that's a good thing!

Wait. What?

Yes. The 'potential' difficulty lies in what your educational background/strengths are and how much experience you've had with anatomy, physiology, and injury causation.  

I should say that it also depends on how much you actually have a desire to build ergonomic services that can generate an income for you - that is if you put the effort into it. For some, it may feel like a total breeze to learn ergonomics because you already see what the extra revenue can mean for your business and family. I like to call this 'starting with the end in mind'. 

The fact that it can be challenging for some to learn the process and foundation of office ergonomic assessments to be an opportunity in disguise. Why? Well, this perception that some have actually prevents them from ever starting to learn the ergonomics process -  thereby giving you an unfair advantage in the market!!

2. The Process You Use (Time Investment)

Let's talk about the process that you'll need for the typical one-on-one office ergonomic assessments. In my course, the Ergonomics Blueprint I exclusively teach you how to do a thorough one-on-one office ergonomic assessment. It's the foundation to offer other services like trainings, services, consultations, and advice that your clients already need, want, and desire. 

Here's the process that I teach in the Ergonomic Blueprint. I recommend that my students use this for every single office ergonomic assessment:

  • Review discomfort survey 
  • User interview 
  • Complete measurements
  • Complete observations 
  • Identify engineering, administrative and coaching (behavioural) recommendations 
  • Adjust the existing equipment

Sounds pretty simple right? And in the majority of cases it is!

I recommend using a process simply because there's less mental workload in an assessment when you don't have to constantly try to determine the next steps. This allows you to narrow in and focus on the the ergonomic risks, concerns, and problems identified by your client. 

3. The Equipment You Need 

My favourite opportunity for office ergonomics is its low cost, meaning that there's a low barrier for entry. Compared to industrial ergonomics, where you need force dynamometers, a scale, a camera, and a tape measure you need very little to get started in office ergonomics - all you really need is a tape measure and a camera! 

And because you work in other people's offices and workstations, there's also very minimal overhead that's required.

I really want to emphasize both of these points because I think that's where the unprecedented opportunity lies in ergonomics - that if you are competent and confident there's literally nothing holding you back from a well paying and rewarding career! 

4. No Other Ergo Consultants In Your Area?

What if you've noticed that there's no other people doing ergonomics assessments in your area? Well, the majority of people would feel like this is a good thing since there would be less competition, right?

And I totally agree! But the caveat is that while organizations will likely strongly NEED the services that you provide, you may need to do some proof of concept groundwork and educate potential clients to the value of office ergonomic assessments. 

Here are a few points that I've used to educate potential clients in the past: 

  • OSHA provided this list of actual direct costs for the most common ergonomic injuries: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ($28,657), Sprain ($28,338), Strain ($32,319). On average, indirect costs are higher.
  • Back symptoms are among the top ten reasons for medical visits. For 5% to 10% of patients, the back pain becomes chronic.
  • Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy and Chiropractor visits can cost upwards of $100 for just ONE session. Sprains and strains account for nearly 70 million physician office visits in the United States annually, and an estimated 130 million total health care encounters including outpatient, hospital, and emergency room visits.

Of course, these are all issues that office ergonomics can address and solve. I teach how to market yourself to find your first paying customer in my course, the Ergonomic Blueprint.  

5. Other Ergonomic Consultants In Your Area

This last point is my most counter-intuitive (or polarizing) perspective that I've received feedback on. The fact that other professionals are already doing ergonomics assessments in your area means that local businesses have already been educated on the benefits of ergonomics and that it's a profitable to do assessments, consultations, and trainings!

The style, approach, and value that you offer to your clients may be completely different than what others in your area could be doing. On the subject of pricing your services, I don't agree with 'the race to the bottom' where you give clients a lower price just to win business. Your price for assessments should be based on your confidence and competence to get your clients results. And the race to the bottom never leads to a satisfying long-term career. 

I've seen that most consultants price their assessments between $250-$1,200. In my course, The Ergonomics Blueprint, I teach a method of how to consult to clients that you want to work with without lowering your prices. 

Next Steps

I believe if you have gotten this far in this post there is some part of you who wants to take the step forward in doing office ergonomic assessments, consultations, and trainings. As I mentioned in this post I offer a course called The Ergonomics Blueprint that teaches the exact process of how to do thorough and value-added assessments as well as a strategy to win your first paying client.

So, what are your next steps? Some people choose to learn it themselves in a way that could add months to the process and also lead to less effective results for your clients. But, if you are interested in getting faster, more effective results then I recommend signing up to my waitlist to learn if The Ergonomics Blueprint course is right for you, and I can let you know when enrolment opens next. 

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