Towards a happier workplace

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To help businesses and experts design workplaces that encourage employee satisfaction and well-being, ISO has developed several international standards addressing the issues of ergonomics in the design of work systems.

For example, ISO 6385 Ergonomic principles in the design of work systems, provides core ergonomic principles to improve, (re)design and modify working situations to make the workplace safer, more comfortable, and more productive. It covers a wide variety of occupations such as machine operators, assembly line workers, car/lorry drivers, airport personnel, healthcare professionals, teaching staff as well as office workers and mobile workers on laptops.

Another example, ISO 10075 Ergonomic principles related to mental workload, provides system design guidelines specifically intended to prevent mental overload. Mental stress can result from many different and interacting factors including the requirements of the task, the physical conditions of the job, social and organizational factors, or societal factors. The idea behind the ISO 10075 series of standards is to help design systems that prevent mental strain.

Another standard, ISO 27500, describes the values and beliefs that make an organisation human-centred, the significant business benefits that can be achieved, and explains the risks for the organisation of not being human-centred. It provides recommendations for the policies that executive board members need to implement to achieve this. It sets out high-level human-centred principles for executive board members to endorse in order to optimise performance, minimise risks to organisations and individuals, maximise well-being in their organisation, and enhance their relationships with the customers.

Developed by technical committee ISO/TC 159, Ergonomics, subcommittee 1, General ergonomics principles, whose secretariat is held by DIN, the ISO member for Germany, these standards are destined to help designers apply the latest knowledge in work systems and work equipment in a human-centred way, for a more productive workplace.

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Published in business and ICT.