If your business has at least one office space, you know that the layout and flow of the building have a lot to do with how well your employees perform. Even though you're paying those employees to do their job well, the best of the best can sometimes fall into a slum when staring at a grey cubicle wall for eight hours a day.
However, don't think that you have to pick up and move your office or turn it into a theme park. Simple changes here and there can drastically change an office's atmosphere. Not only will this allow employees to remain energized and focused, in the long term, it could help your bottom line.
Keep reading to discover seven new trends in ergonomic office furniture and find what works best for your office.
Health Risks in the Workplace
To a certain degree, how your employees treat their bodies is none of their employer's business. However, if how they spend their days in the office is negatively affecting their health, that can negatively affect the company in both the short and long-term.
Everyone knows that an inactive lifestyle leads to weight gain. However, it isn't always because you're just "being lazy".
Spending long hours sitting can affect your body's lipoprotein lipase activity, which will decrease its fat burning power. All of this tells your body to start storing fat, and you'll gain weight even if you're on a low-calorie diet.
When we sit all day, our bodies don't circulate blood properly. As a result, fatty acids can build up and block the arteries in our hearts. This creates high cholesterol. high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
Chronic Body Pain
The more time you spend sitting with bad posture, the more likely you are to have chronic pain in your neck, back, hips, and legs. In America alone, lower back pain is considered one of the most common work-related injuries.
Anxiety and Depression
Despite all the brain power it takes to get through a day at work, sitting all day can actually have negative effects on brain activity. If you stay still for too long, your brain won't get enough blood or oxygen. Over time, this deprivation can cause anxiety and depression and even lead to brain damage.
7 Ergonomic Trends
As an employer, you can solve all of these health problems for your employees as well as yourself by making a few simple changes around the office.
1. Inspiring and Homey Workspaces
If you aren't ready to fully invest in laptop stands and wobble chairs for your office, a good start might simply be adjusting the atmosphere of your workplace. That could mean lowering cubicle walls or even getting rid of them all together. Improve the overall aesthetic by adding things like brightly-colored couches and plants.
2. Active Seating
Active seating can be used in conjunction with adjustable height desks in order to keep employees active throughout the day. The include perch stools and ball chairs that require the user to shift their weight as they sit. This allows them to use energy while they sit and keep the blood flow going.
3. Adjustable Height Desks
To combat the serious health issues mentioned above, doctors recommend that we stand for fifteen minutes to every hour that we sit. For the average employee that works for up to forty or more hours a week, that's a lot of back and forth.
This can be solved be either buying taller desks designed for standing work or computer stands that can be placed on regular desks. This way, employees can adjust their height depending on whether they want to sit or stand.
4. Meeting Rooms Designed For Certain Teams
If your business is large enough to have different departments, having separate rooms for each creative team can have a positive impact on team dynamics. Each department will be able to decorate the room however they want, and it's easier to remember past thought processes when working in an area with lots of brain stimulation.
5. Collaborative Touchdown Spaces
If your managers are nodding off during those weekly meetings, it's time to change up your conference room. Ditch the long table and add various couches, chair, and coffee tables. If the room itself is too confining, move to a large lobby and gather some comfortable furniture into a corner.
Employees will be more comfortable and creative if they have room to breathe.
6. Outdoor Sitting Spaces
Speaking of room to breathe, nothing energizes the body more than taking a break outside after hours of sitting in a stuffy office. To improve overall morale, it helps to create a peaceful outdoor workspace or even add a small patio to the breakroom.
If your employees use laptops, create outside workspaces with outlet access. They'll get so much more work done if they can get a breath of fresh air while they work.
7. Acoustic Controls
If your workplace has a lot of tiled rooms and hallways, chances are the work environment is rather cold and harsh. All those business heels and work shoes can echo throughout the building, which can be very distracting. If a room doesn't already have carpet, adding area rugs can help muffle distracting sounds and make the office feel homier.
Many people don't know that adding plants with larger leaves can also decrease white noise in a room. Of course, having a plant in each corner won't sound-proof the entire office. However, it will decrease background noise and general reverberation.
Add Your Own Ergonomic Office Furniture
Helping yourself and your employees doesn't mean you have to make all of these changes in one day. If you work from home, it might be as simple as switching out for an adjustable height desk. No matter what changes you want to make, there's an ergonomic office furniture trend out there that will fit your space perfectly.
If you're ready to transform your workspace, click here to read about how Uncaged Ergonomics can help you get started.