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Our Work

Backache at work….? We’ve all been there! Part One.

by Brian Holliday

Here at Aiimi, we’re serious about the physical wellbeing and mental health of our employees. In this two-part blog we will look at the issue of backache in the workplace and relate finding a fix for it through our ITIL Service Desk procedures for incident handling.

Posture! … It’s okay, you can relax now. Please carry on leaning on the back of your chair. You can breathe too, if you like. Posture is a bit like Documentation, it strikes fear into most I.T. people. We think it’s something we should do but it’s just too difficult.

What is Posture, anyway?

According to Google, posture is ‘the position in which you hold your body against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down’.

Why do we think Posture is important?

Is it because

  • we’ve been told that it will help with our backache?
  • we believe it’s better for us than slouching?
  • we think it makes us look more alert, attentive and hard-working?

Where did we get these ideas?

Sitting upright is instilled in us at an early age. At school, we were told…

  • to sit up straight to show that we’re concentrating
  • to use the back of the chair so that we don’t fall off
  • to stay still and to stop fidgeting to show that we’re listening

And as adults sitting in front of PCs all day, we’re told by experts that ‘good posture’ will help our backache.

So, how do we get ‘good posture’?

If there was an ITIL Service Desk for backache, this would be the procedure for handling a backache-related incident from a user:

  1. A user would email or call to log an incident – ‘backache when working at my desk’
  2. User receives an email notification acknowledging receipt of their issueThis email would provide an Incident Number
  3. The incident is assigned to a 1st line Service Desk team member with these details: a. Priority: ‘Low Impact’/ ‘Medium Urgency’ – user specific, longstanding issue b. Category: ‘Hardware/Performance’ c. Classification: ‘Incident’
  4. 1st line response: Advise the user to keep their back straight for longer to maintain good posture
  5. Resolution proves unsatisfactory. The user reports more pain from holding themselves upright! User continues to sit in the same way as before.
  6. User requires further assistance
  7. Incident is assigned to a 2nd line Service Desk team member
  8. 2nd line response: Recommends a new, orthopaedic chair to provide more back support
  9. Resolution proves unsatisfactory. The new chair doesn’t help keep the user’s back straight for longer. User continues to sit in the same way as before.
  10. User requires further assistance
  11. The incident is assigned to a 3rd line Service Desk team member a. It’s at this stage that a third party would be called in to provide specialist advice. In this case, a Physiotherapist
  12. Regular visits to a Physio would establish whether there are any physical difficulties resulting from illness, injury or disability that are causing the user’s backache. a. The Physio would devise treatment programmes and exercises to help the user improve their posture
  13. Resolution proves unsatisfactory. The user continues to sit in the same way regardless of the exercises and reports the same back pain!
  14. User requires further assistance. However, it is clear that further incidents will continue to be reported by the user regarding the issue. a. Problem should now be raised. b. This incident can now be closed.
  15. Raise a Problem ticket so that root cause investigation can be performed. a. In ITIL, a Problem is defined as “a cause of one or more incidents”

In part two of this blog, we will look at dealing with the user’s backache as a ‘Problem’ where the Aiimi Service Desk will investigate the root cause of the issue.

If you’d like to work at a company where support for your physical wellbeing and mental health is a priority, do please get in touch via our website.

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