Every clinic out there today can get a lot of value by adding office ergonomic assessments to their practice. Let’s get this out of the way first – there is an idea that doing ergonomic assessments in the office may be ‘not worth your time’ or that you don’t have enough time to learn the exact process of how to do it or even how you would go about getting people to assess. If you’ve had ANY of these concerns I’d like to be the first to say It just doesn’t need to be like this. Straight up. Ergonomics assessments can be a big value-add to both you and your client, for the reasons I’ll get into below. In fact, for years I’ve been advocating for other health professionals to add simple office ergonomic assessments to their practice. Side note: the way to quickly learn all the ‘ins & outs’ with performing ergonomics assessments in the office is via private label courses. It’s been my experience that the majority (at least 90%) of office ergonomic assessments are simple and straight-forward. Add some really solid training and you are off to the races. So in this article I’m going to share why clinics should consider adding office ergonomic assessments to their services.
*Let’s clarify what I mean by that. I’ve developed this article with physiotherapists (aka physical therapists – depending on where you are) in mind – specifically cash-based clinics. But, here’s the thing: Occupational Therapists, Kinesiologists, Chiropractors, Health & Safety, and/or Personal Trainers all bring their own niche working knowledge to ergonomic assessments and can make it work with tenacity and drive. Without further adieu, let’s dive into some of the reasons why your clients would benefit from this (no matter what your profession is!).
Without years of experience with ergonomics you can still add a lot of value to your client’s life. From my own experience doing thousands of ergonomic assessments I’ve come to the conclusion for the vast majority (likely above 90%) there is likely a simple and straightforward solution to someone’s ergonomic concerns. It could be that someone’s workstation is too high for them or their chair isn’t adjusted correctly – these being the most common ergonomic concerns that I’ve come across in the office. Often times all an ergonomic assessment ‘needs’ is a second set of eyes to look at how that person sits in their workstation objectively. It’s about getting the right training to go through the process, take appropriate measurements and notes (documentation is key), making the necessary adjustments, and then following-up with a solid report with only the necessary recommendations.
Using this simple strategy will (I kid you not) is almost like this blinding flash of common sense that wows clients. This shifts the focus of your client from ‘I always thought the workstation was supposed to be set-up this way’ to ‘I feel so relieved/comfortable’. Like I said: ‘it ain’t rocket science’…. but that shouldn’t negate the positive effect of an appropriately set-up workstation can have on your client’s health and well-being (especially when we’re talking long-term health).
It ain’t rocket science’…. but that shouldn’t negate the positive effect that an appropriately set-up workstation can have on your client’s health and well-being.
Here’s a quick glimpse of what any office ergonomic assessment will target in clients. Of course you’ll need to be more detailed in your approach but this is the outcome that your client would be interested in:
This is the real neat thing about adding office ergonomic assessments to your clinic. You are the expert on your client’s discomfort, their triggers, their treatment progression from all your time spent with them in the clinic. This gives you something special that only you can bring to the table. You can leverage your treatment history into a major time savings: you save time, your client saves time (by not explaining their symptoms again); everyone is happy. By using ergonomic assessments you are addressing that person’s case entirely. You not only address and treat their symptoms, but also address their workstation set-up to investigate what could have lead to or contributed to their symptoms in the first place.
By doing this, you’re essentially covering all angles and using a more holistic approach to their case.
Here’s the thing: putting that person back into the SAME ergonomic environment that contributed to their discomfort in the first place could be the reason why treatment performance has plateaued or it could be that reason why they never fully feel ‘pain free’.
If you are interested in a long-term relationship with clients, adding ergonomic assessments to your practice is definitely something you should consider.
A barrier to clinicians adding office ergonomic assessments to their practice is that they don’t want to waste time cold calling or selling the assessment to an audience who really isn’t all that interested in the first place.
There’s so much more to this…
After speaking with many physiotherapists a common trend I hear is that their clients already want them to check out their workstation and/or make A LOT of hints to them during treatment that something ain’t right in their office workstation. A client may say: “You already know so much about my injury, why don’t you just stop by my office to make sure everything is OK”. Or they could ask “I know my workstation at my office isn’t right for me so could you just prescribe a sit-stand desk for me?”
Sound familiar to you?
Well, that is already a warm audience that is PREPPED to hear about what an office ergonomic assessment could do to prevent this injury from reoccurring. Essentially you are just sharing information. No selling. Just sharing. I like to think of this of my experience with Lululemon. Even today I hesitate to visit their stores because I already know the outcome – I’ll either buy something or WANT to buy something; I know their sales people are just going to share really awesome facts about how their products are superior and will make my life awesomer in general. It’s difficult to resist this new found knowledge (have year heard that they put silver in their garments to reduce odour? That was a major selling point for recent workout purchase!) especially when they solve a problem that they didn’t realized was a problem (and needed to be fixed).
This wasn’t supposed to be a plug for Lululemon. But holy heck do they take a non-salesy approach to sell their products. They share just the facts.
Educate your client that realistically just treating the symptoms and not addressing their workstation ergonomics is never going to give them full relief and in a worst case scenario could lead to chronic conditions. The risk of a chronic injury is a problem that the majority of people don’t realize is actually a problem, if you catch my drift.
This is the really cool thing about adding ergonomic assessments to your practice.
As we all know, that with any business, there can be lulls. Whether its summer vacation, or perhaps a certain time of the year based on the major industries in your area. It depends, but here’s the thing: cashflow is king to any business.
Adding another source of income during those times is a huge value-add that can help the bottom line (without feeling salesy to your clients). Maybe you develop an unique service offering (that sets you apart from your competition) that includes a thorough office ergonomic assessment with every new client. Or maybe you just offer it as an up sell when you are ending treatment with your client. Whatever option that you chose it has to make financial sense your clinic and you have to feel comfortable with it.
What sets your clinic apart from the competition is how you’ve served your clients. Word can spread really quickly that your clinic provides the total package – in this case I’m talking about the appropriate treatment PLUS a workstation ergonomic evaluation to address the underlying ergonomics.
There you have it – some of the TOP reasons why you’d want to add office ergonomic assessments to your service offerings. And I also have a training that you may want to check out. I’m really proud of what this training can offer you. But, what sets it apart is that it has a step process that will help you to be successful with virtual or in-person Office Ergonomics Assessments. Less time learning the office ergonomic minutiae, which gives you more time for your full-time job. I know I struggled with this, and I had a difficult time finding the answers on the internet when I first started doing office ergonomic assessments.
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