One in five employees experience problems at work because they’re left-handed, research from online job board CV-Library finds this National Left-Handers Day (Thursday).
In a survey of over 2,400 employees, it was found that 12 percent of the UK’s working population is let-handed, which equates to over 4.5 million staff. Of those, 20 percent (more than 852,000 people) have trouble at work because the equipment they need is designed with right-handed people in mind.
Keith Milsom, owner of ‘Anything Left Handed’ and initiator of National Left-Handers Day, said:
“Left-Handers face real, practical challenges at work, from conducting simple tasks, such as having to use right-handed scissors that don’t cut, to persevering with entire workstations being laid out incorrectly, making them difficult and uncomfortable to use.”
Other key survey findings revealed:
- The majority of UK employers (96.7%) don’t ask new employees if they are left-handed
- Only a quarter of businesses (25.4%) provide left-handed staff with specialist office equipment and stationery
- 82.4 percent of employees believe that employers have a duty of care to ensure left-handed staff have adequate tools in the workplace
- A further five percent of the UK’s working population is ambidextrous, and would like the choice of left or right-handed equipment
It is revealed that the changes businesses can make to overcome these problems are small and uncostly. For office workers in particular, specially designed left-handed stationery, keyboards, scissors and other computer accessories are readily available at reasonable costs, leaving little excuse for employers not to provide satisfactory equipment for their staff.
Lee Biggins, founder and Managing Director of CV-Library, said:
“Businesses need to provide staff with the right tools to do the job. Most professional organisations should already be conducting work-station assessments for all of their employees and this should form a simple part of that process. It is within a company’s interest to quickly identify an employee’s needs and provide suitable equipment so they are able to work effectively. This will not only improve productivity, but also makes each team member feel valued and cared for, which is important in the workplace.”
Steff joined the HRreview editorial team in November 2014. A former event coordinator and manager, Steff has spent several years working in online journalism. She is a graduate of Middlessex University with a BA in Television Production and will complete a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Westminster in the summer of 2015.