OFFICE ERGONOMICS ASPECTS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY IN SELECTED PARASTATALS IN NAKURU COUNTY, KENYA
OTIENO, JANET ANYANGO
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Ergonomics is about how key components of an office, for example, physical work settings,unique characteristics of an employee, organizational characteristics andworkstation equipment are customized to fit and improve representative wellbeing and execution. The relationship between office ergonomics and employee productivity has not been exhaustively explored and research already done has not shown how these ergonomic aspects influence productivity.This study therefore sought to investigate the effects of office ergonomics aspects on employee’s productivity in selected parastatals inNakuru County, Kenya.More specifically, the study investigated the effect of physical work settings, work station equipment, organizations characteristics, and employee’s unique characteristics on employee productivity.The study adopted a descriptive survey design approach to establish whether there's a link between office ergonomics aspects and employee productivity. It considered a population of 385 employees in ten parastatals in Nakuru County, from which a sample of 113 was selected using stratified random sampling with probability proportional to sample size technique. Structured questionnaires were used in data collection. The key limitations of the study were; small sample size, time span of the study and conclusions which were based on primary data. However all these were prudently managed to ensure consistent results. Multiple regression and correlation analyses were applied in the analysis of the data to determine the relationship between the variables. The study established a strong positive correlation, 0.651 with significance of p=0.000<0.05 between physical work environment and employees productivity,Further finding indicated established a strong positive correlation 0.456 with significance of p=0.000<0.05 between workstation equipment and employees productivity. In terms of individual unique characteristics, the study established strong positive significant correlation 0.612 with significance of p=0.00<0.05, whereas results indicated strong positive significant correlation 0.256 with significance of p=0.007<0.05 between organizational characteristics and employees productivity. The analysis wasdone with the help of Statistical Package of Social Scienceand the results presented in tables, graphs and pie charts for better understanding. The study established that physical work environment factors and individual worker’s unique characteristics factors had significant effect on employee productivity whereas work station equipment and organizational characteristics had insignificant effect on employee productivity in selected parastatals in Kenya. The study concluded that physical work settings, work station equipment, unique characteristic of an individual and the organizations characteristics influenced productivity of employees.The study recommended that parastatals should carry out workstation ergonomics evaluation to establish the items in the workstations that need adjustment and those which need replacement so that they can fit the ergonomics standards of their work force. The Parastatals should re-design the jobs further with flexible time to allow for personal and family activities.