10. May 2022

5 tips for ergonomic and productive operations in the warehouse

A shortage of skilled workers still characterizes the labor market: Numerous companies are struggling with falling numbers of applicants. This development does not stop at logistics, where the physically demanding work puts a physical and psychological strain on employees. In this blog post, we explain what measures companies can take to make their warehouse staff’s working day as pleasant as possible.

A recent study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows that the shortage of skilled workers is still growing in Germany. According to this study, the number of jobs is continuously increasing, while the number of available skilled workers is decreasing. Especially in intralogistics, the work can be stressful. One of the main tasks in the warehouse is order picking: under time pressure, goods have to be assembled for customers or a production, prepared for timely dispatch and the necessary information recorded. These processes are essential for a smooth flow of materials and goods, but conversely place high physical and psychological demands on order pickers. In order to be able to act despite the shortage of skilled workers, it is advisable for companies to make work processes more ergonomic and appealing. Only in this way can they retain their employees and be attractive to new applicants. 

Measures for a easy operations in the warehouse

Support in daily business is the core element of a good warehouse atmosphere. Simple but profitable measures and the implementation of  suitable assistance systems are a must. We have compiled five concrete tips below on how to keep your employees happy in the warehouse:

  1. A reasonable distribution of the goods in the warehouse

Ergonomics in the warehouse can already be achieved by a sensible distribution of the goods: Generally speaking, a shelf is divided into bending, gripping, viewing and stretching zones. Intelligent allocation of products to these shelf zones prevents bulky or heavy goods from having to be lifted. Products that are ordered with high frequency should therefore be placed in the gripping zone so that the pickers can remove them ergonomically from the shelf.

  1. Choose the right software to optimize the infrastructure in your warehouse

Process data can be used to optimize the infrastructure in the warehouse. One example is the Picavi Cockpit. With the help of our analytics feature, the process data generated during picking can be used to optimize the infrastructure and the arrangement of goods in the warehouse. In addition to customer-specific KPIs, this also includes movement data that is recorded and evaluated with the help of built-in sensors in the smart glasses.

  1. More variety in the daily warehouse routine

The monotony of the movement sequences is a major health risk. Those who bend over a lot during their work day will feel greater strain in their backs. Those who walk long distances complain of aching joints. And those who work entirely in a seated position will sooner or later also have to deal with physical complaints. A sophisticated distribution of tasks can be the first remedy here: If an employee completes a three-kilometer walk, for example, they could then be assigned to a workstation where they perform a sedentary task. Therefore, employees should rotate through the various stations. It will give them a more varied workday while reducing physical strain.

  1. Use assistance systems

In the context of digitalization, new forms of collaboration between people and technical systems are constantly emerging.  One example is Pick-by-Vision from Picavi with its intuitive user interface. The human-technology interface is designed in such a way that all work-relevant information is presented in a user-friendly screen. This is how the employee gets supported and cognitively relieved.

  1. Incorporate a gamification approach

For companies, it is crucial to maintain employees’ motivation and identification with the company in a long term relationship.  A good working atmosphere, fun and recognition does have a central influence on that relationship – especially in the area of manual activities. The gamification approach is an innovative incentive system that increases motivation in a playful way. It can be integrated via the user interface of the pick-by-vision solution.

Do you want to make the working environment more attractive for your employees? Read the Picavi Vision guide "Cognitive Ergonomics" and learn how to make your warehouse staff happy.

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