Entrepreneurship is a rapidly evolving field where changes in business practices are necessary for growth and success. While technological advancements have made some aspects of business operations more efficient, there are still areas where manual labor and repetitive tasks remain commonplace. In fact, according to Zapier’s 2021 state of business automation report, 94% of surveyed knowledge workers in the U.S. spend some portion of their day performing repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This article will address areas of running a business that require or required change to allow for growth.
Health and Safety of Employees
One area where change is necessary is in the realm of employee health and safety. The rise of e-commerce has led to an increase in demand for warehouse and fulfillment center workers, such as those employed by Amazon. However, this increase in demand has also led to an increase in work-related injuries. According to Salute, 40% of Amazon’s workforce injuries were related to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) stemming from repetitive motion. To combat this issue, businesses must invest in ergonomic equipment and training programs to prevent injuries and promote employee well-being.
Solutions to prevent and reduce workplace injuries can be costly and require a time commitment to implement. One of the most common ways that ergonomic solutions can improve workplace safety is by increasing employee productivity. Many people assume that ergonomic solutions only apply to jobs that require heavy lifting, repetitive motion, or sitting all day. However, there are many ways to reduce the risk of injury even in positions that involve none of those factors.
Disruptive Workplaces and Other Workplace Hazards
While it is generally accepted that sitting is the worst habit a worker can get into, it’s important to remember that sitting is not the only cause of back pain. Another common source of workplace-related back pain is work-related hazards, such as industrial conditions or poor posture. To counter this issue, companies should consider implementing ergonomic solutions in all workspaces. Some of these solutions include:
- Dedicated ergonomic workstations
- Increased production during lulls in the workday
- Adjusted office furniture
- Ergonomic screen viewing locations
- A Comfortable Desk
Businesses have also made changes to move away from substances that can negatively impact workers’ overall health, such as lead. According to Eco-Strip, chronic lead exposure can cause high blood pressure, joint pain as well as memory and concentration issues in adults. This highlights the importance of businesses taking steps to be more mindful of the products and substances they expose their workers to.
Smart devices like smartphones, computers, and appliances are changing the way people work, shop, and stay connected with the world around them. ‘Smart home’ technology, which allows you to control lights, thermostats, home appliances, security systems, and more from your smartphone, is expected to grow in use significantly over the next decade. Many other major categories of consumer electronics, including televisions, and DVD players are likely to continue to decline in use.
Creating a More Inclusive Work Environment
According to H. Rosen Law, P.C., the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This landmark legislation was a significant step forward for civil rights, but discrimination still exists in the workplace. Businesses must strive to create a diverse and inclusive workplace to attract and retain top talent. Diversity fosters creativity, encourages innovation, and improves decision-making. Employees who experience discrimination report reduced productivity and higher levels of stress.
It’s especially critical for employers to have a strong anti-discrimination policy in place to help employees address workplace discrimination and prevent it from happening. A single policy, however, is not enough. Many organizations have a formal anti-discrimination policy that covers certain categories, such as race and religion. If the policy does not define ‘harassment’ and does not take a specific stance on each type of harassment, including sexual harassment, it is difficult for employees to know their rights and to report incidents.
In conclusion, for an entrepreneur or for a business, changes in business practices are necessary for growth and success. Businesses must prioritize employee health and safety, environmental responsibility, and diversity and inclusion to remain competitive in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. By embracing new technologies, investing in ergonomic equipment and training programs, and reducing their carbon footprint, businesses can improve productivity, attract top talent, and make a positive impact on the world.