One of the main aspects that some workplaces get wrong is that they treat work and home life differently. If you think about it, the home is a place where we feel at ease and comfortable, a place in which we can relax. Whilst work is certainly a different place, we should be able to take elements from our home life and place them within a work environment – after all, some of us spend just as much time at work, rather than at home.
The issue is that different people are, well, different. It's the very thing that makes every one of us unique and produces the diverse abilities and ways of working in us all. This is something that employers should be supporting and nurturing – and the comfort of their working day is a major factor in this. As such, modern office furniture should be ergonomic – it should be versatile in order to support the needs of the person(s) using it. If you're sitting uncomfortably, for example, you're going to need to stop and constantly readjust your position – this is something that ergonomic office chairs can help with, virtually eliminating the time and concentration wasted in someone having to constantly stop, readjust and get back to concentrating on their work again – which is often not as easy as it sounds.
Another issue with inflexible furniture is that they could potentially cause long-term back, neck and shoulder injuries in those who use them. These injuries don't just cause employees to feel uncomfortable and slow down, but it will undoubtedly lead to them needing to take time off in order to recover. As a result, it's also likely that they'll want to move on and seek employment elsewhere – losing the business a talented employee that will be an asset to someone else.
Introducing ergonomic furniture now will help to save much future cost. If you think about it – employees not being present at work due to absence will cost you money and as you discover that the furniture they have to work with every day plays a role in this, you will need to pay for an outlay of new furniture anyway. So investing in comfortable, ergonomic furniture now, makes sense, in order to save on absence costs in the future.
Looking After Your Ergonomic Furniture
If you're an employer looking to get the most out of your workforce, here are a couple of tips on ensuring the constant performance levels of the office furniture that supports them:
- Think Prevention. This may be the common number 1 rule for almost anything in life, but it is that for a reason. Why spend even more money on replacement ergonomic furniture when a few ground rules and upkeep of best practices can help to preserve the functionality of chairs and desks for much longer? A couple of classic prevention tips include placing coasters on desks for when anyone is taking a drink or ensuring that shoes aren't placed on the furniture. Understanding why furniture tends to break down will help you to formulate these rules and it's these that will go a long way in keeping your chairs, desks, cabinets, suites and tables in a great condition, for longer.
- Undertake Regular Cleaning. Making sure that your office is clean isn't just to prevent any health hazards from forming, it also plays a part in the look and general upkeep of your furniture too. A simple dusting every week can help to maintain the look and functionality of office furniture, preventing any build-up of dust and other debris from infiltrating and affecting its function. If you're employing professional cleaners or undertaking the cleaning yourself, ensure that you understand the effects that certain chemical cleaning agents have on your surfaces. Furniture, that uses expensive wood, for example, can be easily damaged by using a cleaning product that is incompatible.
- Be Aware of Weather (and Lighting) Effects. Despite being indoors, the weather can play havoc with the look of an office's ergonomic furniture. Pieces that are placed near a window can suffer from light damage, with harmful UV rays affecting the look of surfaces, making them fade or crack. Similarly, if your office uses fluorescent lighting, this can also affect the furniture in a similar way – as well as prove to be a further distraction for your employees. Consider using UV lighting. Another great way to avoid the fading and cracking of your surfaces through light is by using effective window coverings, such as blinds or curtains that can block the light from the outside.
Achieve Your Perfect Office Setup, With Active
Here at Active, we are an experienced provider of office furniture that has made a huge difference to the working practices of our clients. Not only are we able to offer advice on the right furniture to suit your business and your employees, but we can also help you to re-organise your office space, honing it to better suit your requirements so that it will be working alongside the business, rather than everyone having to work around the limitations on offer.
If you're looking to introduce ergonomics into your office environment, then why not get in contact with a member of our friendly office design team to learn more? You can call us on 0845 130 9066 or you send an e-mail to us by using our dedicated contact form.