As the pandemic lingers, there’s no shortage of entrepreneurs wondering how to inspire their remote employees to want to come back to the office, at least a few days a week if not full-time. The benefits of employees interacting in person fuels creativity and engagement, which are positive outcomes business leaders want to encourage.
While there are multiple strategies for attracting employees back to the office environment—including a more lenient dress code policy, hybrid work schedules, and a stronger focus on company culture—here’s one you may not have tried: focus on employee comfort by upgrading to stylish, ergonomic office furniture.
The physical workspace plays an important role in employee happiness. Drab, dated offices with small cubicle spaces are the epitome of an unhappy workplace. Everything in your office, from the chairs to the desks can have an impact on employees. Taking extra care to plan an in-depth design that includes ergonomic office furniture which is not only stylish, but also comfortable, will show employees that you truly value them and the work they do.
Why is a comfortable office environment important?
“It’s important to be aware of your posture, and how to sit correctly whilst working, be it from home or in the office,” said Andy Goddard of Anglia Chiropractic in Norwich, England. “A great way to do this is to ensure that you have ergonomic furniture and equipment. These are specifically designed to ensure maximum comfort and support throughout use.”
A comfortable employee is more likely to be a productive employee. To avoid a negative impact on the posture and comfort of your employees, following are some ergonomic furniture design suggestions to foster improved posture and productivity in your workplace.
Chairs that adjust in height are a simple way to show employees that you prioritize their comfort. Everyone is different, and every “body” is different—meaning that finding the perfect chair height will be different for each employee. Giving staff the freedom to adjust their chair to maximize their comfort level gives employees the autonomy to adjust for maximum comfort, whichever chair they find themselves in.
Many employees sit at their desks for over eight hours each day, so it is important to provide a chair with appropriate lumbar support to increase comfort and encourage concentration. We’ve all experienced how any form of pain, small or large, can distract us from the task at hand. Ensuring proper support for the back, arms and shoulders helps reduce the chance of office-related aches and pains that can contribute to a level of unproductivity.
A chair with a swivel feature is a must for anyone who experiences lower back pain, as the chair can relieve extra pressure on the lower back when turning, as compared with a non-swiveling chair. Swivel chairs also become a useful tool, introducing the option of easily spinning around to grab essential items.
Mobility and accessibility
Chairs with wheels attached are essential to better balance while working. Look for chairs with five wheels, not three. The extra wheels provide stability and lower the chances of tipping over when pushing away from your desk. Having the freedom to move around and adjust chair positioning with ease can promote a healthier outlook on your work environment.
Another part of mobility is to make sure employees have the option to stretch their legs frequently. When sitting at a desk all day, it’s important to stretch your legs as often as possible. For a versatile, practical option, try a sit-stand desk. With a sit-stand desk, your employees can carry on with their work while stretching their legs. This enables employees to improve blood circulation throughout the body while still using their time productively. An added benefit of height-adjustable desks is that wheelchair users can be seated comfortably, with the ability to change the height of their desk to suit their specific needs.
The furniture you provide for employees can have a dramatic effect on not only their productivity, but their health and overall office motivation. Providing ergonomic office furniture for your staff is one essential step toward creating a positive office experience that employees will be excited to return to. By providing your employees with a comfortable, relaxing office setup you are showing them that you prioritize their comfort and value their work.
Contributed by Martha Casey of Office Furniture Scene, a leading ergonomic office furniture supplier in the UK.