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Phone Ergonomics and Productivity

Phone Ergonomics and Productivity

If you’re like most people in an office environment you have a love/hate relationship with your phone.  (Don't we all?)  It’s convenient and a very important tool in every office, yet unfortunately it is a communication tool that can cause a decrease in productivity and an increase in neck and shoulder pain.  How often do you find yourself at your desk with your phone cradled between your shoulder and your ear, while you are using your hands for other tasks.  While it may seem like the best way to multi-task, it is quite possible you are doing more harm than good both to your body and to your level of productivity.  Below are a few ways to eliminate bad phone ergonomics and to increase your productivity.

How to Eliminate Bad Phone Habits



  • First, consider just how often you are using your phone.  Look for ways to decrease the amount of time you spend on the phone.  How many times would it be just as effective to send an email?
  • You can also ask those that are constantly calling to use email as well.  
  • Calls from family and friends are another source of lost productivity.  Try to impress upon your family and friends that you are at work and calls should be the exception. 
  • For the calls you must make and take, ensure you are using the phone in the best ergonomic way possible.  Eliminate cradling the phone.  If you can’t hold the phone in your hand, either let it ring to your voice mail or tell the caller you’ll call them back.  This does two things.  One, it helps you maintain focus on what you’re doing, whether it's talking or other work.  Secondly, it eliminates the bad ergonomic habit of phone cradling which can cause severe neck and shoulder pain.   
  • Another good way of practicing good ergonomics with your phone is to get an ergonomic headset. If you need to free your hands you can switch the call over to your headset. Using a headset will enable you to talk in a comfortable position while maintaining that interesting conversation. In addition, it will also enable you to talk for a longer period of time.
  • Another good ergonomic practice is to use a speakerphone, if your office environment is such that it won’t bother others. 


By simply following the procedures you’ll see an increase in your


and a decrease in your

neck and shoulder pain

.  So whatever you are doing, whether on the phone or on the computer, make it productive by making it ergonomic.