As strange as it may be to consider, your company needs to keep the welfare of your left handed employees in mind. You will have no way of knowing whether you are hiring a left handed or right handed employee until they actually begin working in your business, and you cannot discriminate against left handed employees even when they do emerge. But you will need to make small concessions to keep your left handed employees from injuring themselves while working for you.
Not Their Fault
Left handed people are often considered to be clumsy or accident-prone. This is not the case, although it may seem like it. What you must keep in mind is that almost everything made in the world today is designed for a right handed person to use. You think nothing of reaching for a doorknob or a navigating a narrow walkway at work with things piled on the left hand side, because you are probably right handed. But for your left handed employees, these everyday situations can create problems.
The injuries that most left handed employees end up encountering at your business are hardly life threatening. Usually they consist of scratches, bruises and bumps. These injuring come simply because your left handed employee is continually having to reach across their bodies and turn their hands in a strange way in order to interact with a right handed object. The changes you make around your small business are more for the left handed employee’s comfort than anything else.
The difficulties that left handed employees face start with desks that are set up for them. If you give your employees the freedom to arrange their own desks, you will find that left handed employees will put the unimportant items to the right, while shifting items such as their phone and their pen collection off to the left. Permitting your employees to arrange their desks like this will cut down on tangled items and dragging cords across keyboards.
If your small business is more of a store than an office setting, then your left handed employees will enjoy the freedom of having a centrally mounted keyboard or cash register. This way, left and right handed employees can both position themselves as is comfortable and reach in the direction they feel most secure in.
The common clutter that exists on the left side of walkways, including objects and papers that are left jutting over the edges of counters and tables, will prove to be a bane to your left handed employees. As they instinctively reach for things with their left hands, they will repeatedly snag their hands on these items and leave nicks and cuts in their wake. Simply taking the time to arrange these items so that they are less in the way, you can safe your left handed employees a lot of discomfort.
Small Changes Make The Difference
For many left handed employees, something as simple as the company designating that company pens are used at all times can cause problems in the workplace. If you have an employee who is handing you papers that are covered in blotches and strange ink marks, the problem is more than likely the style of pen that they are using.
Most left handed people will instinctively choose specially designed pens with fast drying ink. By having your employees use only the pens provided, the ink in those pens are creating problems. The smears you see on pages are caused by the ink not drying quickly enough. As your left handed employee moves their hand across the paper to write, their hand rests in the still wet ink, and ends up stamping it as they move across the page.
Other small changes that you can enact to provide comfort to your left handed employees include automated pencil sharpeners and staplers that can be used by either hand. Top bound notebooks are appreciated as well. If your company relies on scissors or box cutters as a part of the everyday work environment, offer your left handed employee versions of the tools that are created especially for left handed people. Having the ability to use these sharp tools with the hand they are most comfortable working with will dramatically cut down on mistakes in the workplace.
What You Don’t Need To Do
There are some concessions that will make your left handed employees more comfortable, but there is such a thing as going too far in arranging for the comfort of a left handed employee at your business. As an entrepreneur, you must keep in mind that your left handed employees have been living in a right handed person’s world their entire life. They have adjusted in how to operate everything that they normally would find in society, and changing them abruptly is only going to create more confusion that it solves.
Your left handed employees do not need special water faucets or drinking fountains. They learned to adapt and reach across themselves to access the cold water long ago. Replacing your existing faucets with automated ones will just bring every employee in the business the frustration of having to fight with the new technology. This includes automated toilets as well. You don’t need to change around the bathroom just because an employee happens to be left handed.
Another item you don’t need to worry about is the computer. Your left handed employees grew up using the computer with a right handed mouse. It is simply the way that computers are universally set up and designed. By placing the mouse on the left side of the keyboard, you will end up creating problems instead of fixing them.
From door handles to telephones, your left handed employee knows all too well how to use these right hand designed objects. What you should concentrate on is offering these employees the small items and changes that will make the workplace safer for everyone at your company.