Planning an Office that Adapts to the Differing Needs of Employees

Adapting to Employees Allermuir Pause Seating

Your company may have one clear mission and vision statement, but your team is a mix of personalities, body types, schedules, and commutes.  Creating an office space and adapting to employees needs is critical for a successful working environment.

In this age of hybrid schedules and remote working you may have an office space in downtown LA near LA Live and have some employees who live in the Arts District. Others may drive in once or twice a week from the High Desert or Palm Springs.

Some like to stand. Some like to sit—anywhere in the office.

You may have a conference room, but you can also benefit from lounge furniture that can be arranged and re-arranged as needed. It’s an age of multi-use furnishings that serve the dynamics of your office environment.

Let’s see how to design for a range of personalities.

Adapting to Employees’ Physical and Emotional Needs

You can customize your office in many different ways, like equipping for people who have different physical needs and those who have different working habits and styles.

Say you have a finance department where one person likes to sit and another needs to stand for brief periods of time. Height-adjustable desks can be the solutions you need.

Adapting to Employees DeskMakers Ascend Workstation
Photo: Deskmakers Ascend Height Adjustable Workstation

The look and feel of a height-adjustable desk can vary dramatically from one model to another. The DeskMakers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk has a minimalistic appearance. It adjusts easily from one position to another within seconds and comes with many different finishes.

Adapting to Employees Drug Artemis Desk
Photo: Krug Artemis Height Adjustable Desk

For an executive vibe, check the Krug Artemis Height Adjustable Desk.

Get input from your employees so they have buy-in. Ask about their preferences and how they’d like to be accommodated.

Adapting to Employees’ In-Office Working Habits

Not everyone likes to sit at a workstation all day. A change of scenery can help some people be more creative while others prefer stretch breaks and working at different locations throughout the day.

How do you handle the preferences?

HON Abound Workstation
Photo: HON Abound Height Adjustable Workstation

For those who prefer one place to sit and work, equip them with plenty of surface area and set aside boundaries for personal space. The HON Abound Height Adjustable Workstation is a high-tech solution that has numerous configurations. It comes with a wide range of finish options.

Adapting to Employees DARRAN Honey Workspace
Photo: Darran Honey Workspace

A unique solution that’s available is the DARRAN Honey Workspace.

Different styles of cubicles or desks with privacy screens can define personal workspaces and help provide focus.

The Loftwell Split Space Divider can easily fit in new or existing floor plans and it’s also an option for home offices that need separation between personal and professional spaces.


Photo: DeskMakers Synapse Workstations

Does someone need to get away inside the office?

Set aside a lounge area where people can go to answer phones or take their laptops and work. Here are ideas for furnishing the space.

Allermuir Famiglia Chairs
Photo: Allermuir Famiglia Chairs

Use a combination of seating that allows for semi-private conversations and impromptu or planned small-group meetings. A modular seating area that can be arranged and used at the last minute has a distinct advantage over a more formal conference room. It doesn’t have to be reserved and it’s easy to arrange for a small group and then rearrange for the next use.

Look into the ERG International Brighton Modular Lounge Seating, a daring modernization of gathering and meeting spaces.

Adapting to Hybrid and Remote Employees

In many companies, full-time workers may be in the corporate office full-time while others either work remotely or work a hybrid schedule.

Equipping the office to adapt to these schedules includes having flexible office spaces where hybrid and remote workers can settle when they come into the office for meetings. This space can also be used as an area with video conferencing tools for virtual meetings.

What’s a flexible office space?

It could be similar to the lounge area with tables that can easily be set up and taken down when not in use.

It could also be a workstation that’s kept available and is reserved for those who come in for two or three days out of the week.

Adapting to Employees Nevins Volo Media Table
Photo: Nevins Volo Media Table

Install the video conferencing space and tools that are right for you, like the OFS Obeya Architectural Structures or a media table like the Nevins Volow Media Table that fits in any size office space.

You may have a range of people to work with and a variety of expectations to meet, so choose the furnishings that let you adapt to the various needs and create a unified team.

Trust Experience

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than a combined 50 years of experience designing offices and adapting to employees needs.  Trust our experts who’s worked in creating modern office spaces and furnishing clients who are among Southern California’s most successful corporations, universities, and small businesses.

Contact 2010 Office Furniture for input on getting as much value as possible from your office environment.

Read Also: Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture for the Office
Main Photo: Deskmakers Synapse Workstation
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, DARRAN, Deskmakers, HON, Krug, Nevins

Get Inspired with These Top 10 Office Design Trends for 2024

Office Design Trends for 2024 Friant Dash Desk

Keep your office refreshed or plan an entirely new space using these 10 office design trends for 2024.

Make your workspace a destination where employees want to enter. Inspire them to get engaged in their professional strengths while blending their individual personalities with the companys brand.

Thats not an easy feat and requires expert space planning, but the benefits include people who feel ownership of their work and know that theyre well supported.

Some experts find that human-centric workspaces are more likely to exhibit high performance and are likely to attract younger talent.

Lets take a closer look.

Next-Level Collaborative Spaces

Offices have gone from traditional solid walls and conference rooms to open offices.  What are office design trends for 2024 looking like?

Open-office plans made a big splash by removing physical walls and using bench workstations and seating to bring workers together. But critics realized that people still needed private spaces to focus.

Now, traditional meetings may be going goodbye, too.

Shopify cut down the number of employee meetings this year, as reported on LinkedIn, and the company expects several teams to complete 25% more projects by the end of the year compared to last year.

What to do?

The need for communication and collaboration remains. Find creative ways to share corporate values and goals while creating welcoming environments.

Get ideas on work environments that reflect your corporate brand on the 2010 Office Inspirations page, an online showcase revealing possibilities.

Planning for Personality as Office Design Trends for 2024

Your company has a brand personality and the people who work for you, and with you, have their unique personalities.

Check out these following office design trends for 2024 and see what works for your company.

Use corporate spaces to reflect the Big Picture, just like the National Hockey League did at their offices in Manhattan at One Manhattan West. Bold graphics with team logos line a hallway.

Your company can incorporate the golden hues of the mountains around Los Angeles County and Orange County and blend the teal of ocean waves with the shimmering skies.


Photo: Maverick Gravity Reception Desk

Begin with the reception area where you can incorporate your brand with the reception desk, guest chairs, and tables.

Or you can pay homage to the regions once plentiful orange groves or other historic attributes.


Photo: Scale 1:1 Eyhov Workstation

Let your employees bring their personalities out within their workstations to showcase hobbies and special skills.

Multi-Purpose Spaces

Designing spaces with multiple uses is a big part of office design trends for 2024.

Lounge areas can be used for individuals who need to take calls or want to do work away from their desks. The same spaces can also use furniture that can be reconfigured for use by a small group. Remote workers who stop by for in-person meetings can use those same spaces to touchdown and get themselves organized.

Flexible Environments

This is similar to multi-purpose spaces but think of a breakroom having room and pods where people can have focused conversations. Make your office like a coffee shop.

Use architectural walls to create conference rooms and training spaces.

Equipped for Remote Workers

Video conferencing areas with tables made for the occasion are excellent ways to accommodate remote workers and in-person staff who need to attend virtual trainings and other important meetings.

Channeling Sound


Photo: AMQ 3F Acoustic Panels


Photo: Friant Interra Cubicle

Use acoustic panels, cubicles, and stylish bookcases to direct sound. Dont let important conversations distract others who need to focus.

Furnishings for Well-Being


Photo: Rouillard FX Chair


Photo: Workrite Astra 3 Task Light

Ergonomics is the study of fitting equipment to meet a persons well-being. Ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks, and task lighting create an environment that helps reduce physical stress and strain.

Blending Professional and Personal as Office Design Trends for 2024

Stepping into the corporate office doesnt mean you have shut the door on your personal life. And being employed means you might still have a home office.

Allow more blending to take place in the office, especially between workers of different generations.

Why?

Digging further into the Gartner studies, its stated that Gen Z has missed out on developing soft skills, such as negotiating, networking, speaking confidently in front of crowds, and developing the social stamina and attentiveness required to work long hours, in an in-person environment.”

Encouraging mentoring and working across age and cultural differences can benefit all.

Welcoming Nature

Already popular but still going strong into office design trends for 2024 are going green and biophilia.

Make sure you green up the office. Use plants throughout to provide a pleasant look and freshen the air. Place greenery on the walls by using the Nevins Bio Canvas Frame, a stunning selection of moss, bark, and stone panels with no maintenance required.”

Using Light


Photo: Friant Dash Revitalize Workstation

Remember to let in as much natural light as possible. Weve got plenty of it in Southern California and there are many ways to let it filter throughout an open office using bench seating and translucent privacy screens instead of solid walls.

Turn to Experience for Office Design Trends for 2024

Planning spaces for well-known corporations, meeting the needs of universities, and providing solutions for small businesses takes a knowledge of how work flows and what people need.

Turn to the team at 2010 Office Furniture to update your workspace following top office design trends for 2024.  Tap into more than a combined half-century of experience serving clientswho are among Southern Californias most distinguished companies.

Contact them and let them know your project needs.

Read Also: Office Trends that Keep Employees Engaged and Productive
Main Photo: Friant Dash Desk
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ, FriantMaverick, Rouillard, Scale 1:1 and Workrite

Modern Cubicles Office Workstation

Modern Cubicles Office Workstation

Office layout plays a very important role in creating a work environment in the office. A healthy work environment can bring in more leads and sales for companies and increase the productivity of the workforce. Office layout defines company culture. When companies are starting, they pay a great amount of attention to the details on what type of office furniture should be used and what layout will go with it. Providing updated, comfortable furniture such as modern cubicles and planning an attractive layout of the office helps in hiring and retaining top employees. On the other hand, uncomfortable furniture and poor office layout impacts the health of the employees in the long run and causes a sense of discomfort when stepping into the office. Top companies make sure that the comfort and satisfaction level of the employees is taken well care of since they consider them to be their greatest asset.

Types of Workstations

Office workstations take a fair share in building the office layout. Over time, the idea of an ideal office workstation has evolved. From the cubicle to open to modular office workstation, companies have constantly adapted to the changing demands. Many companies opt for an open office environment by removing barriers and cubicle walls. This design is often known as a “benching system,” which includes close seating arrangements for the employees with carefully planned power integration. Though the benching system is fairly a new concept and many companies are opting for it, it has its disadvantages. That is the reason many companies have remained with the cubicle systems over the years. They might have modernized their workspaces but the main inspiration behind the arrangement is the traditional cubicle system.


Photo: National WaveWorks Open Plan Workstation

Modern Cubicles

Many companies are reverting to office cubicle workstations by making some improvisations in their idea. The idea of the cubicle was first proposed in 1967. The idea was to give the worker the feel of personal office while managers can monitor their activities and performance. Modern workstation cubicles help in isolating workers, which decreases the distraction level and increase their concentration on the task. Overhead bins, shelving, and drawers are the major components of the cubicle to meet the basic requirements of the employees. The following are few of the benefits of modern cubicles.


Photo: Friant Novo Modern Cubicle Panel System

Increased Productivity

Research has shown that the employees who work in modern cubicles have 50% more productivity than those who work in an open office. The reason for the increase in productivity is because of a significant drop in distraction from the other employees and lesser noise. The percentage of error-free work also dramatically increases when employees work in cubicle workstations.


Photo: HON Accelerate Workstations

Privacy

Another advantage of using these modern cubicle office workstations is that they provide a sense of security and privacy when dealing with sensitive data and materials. Some employees find it hard to focus on their work because they feel like they are always being watched, which in turn affects their productivity negatively. To facilitate these kinds of employees, managers tend to be inclined towards using cubicles to maintain discipline, aid focused work, and help the employees meet the given deadlines.


Photo: Trendway Choices Modern Cubicle Panel System

Modern Cubicles Price Factor

Modern office cubicles serve the purpose of facilitating employees with their personal space without getting too heavy on the pocket. Rather than providing individuals with their separate room or office, companies can go for modern office cubicles. The average space of a cubicle in 1994 was 90 sqft, which shrunk to 75 sqft in 2010. The rent of offices has drastically increased through the decades, so to optimize the workspace, the size of the cubicle was decreased. The cubicles have been downsized to 5′ x 5′ ft space from 8x10ftspace. The average cost of a cubicle ranges from $1000 to $2000, which doesn’t include tax, installation, or delivery charges. The construction of office cubicles is a one-time cost, and the same cubicles can be used in case the company decides to shift its office or decides to expand. These cubicles are durable and reliable.

Design Improvements

Some improvement has been made in the cubicle design; for example, now office cubicles use sliding doors, which helps in using the designated space more efficiently. Instead of providing each employee with the locker room, overhead bins are used, which are cost-effective and saves space. Employees can also stick their pictures and motivational quotes in their cubicle and personalize them according to their needs. This way, they will get a sense of belonging to the workplace, which can positively impact their work.


Photo: ODS / Office Design Studio Crossroads Modern Cubicle Panel System

Mobility

Materials used in building office cubicles are easily available and inexpensive as compared to the traditional office room. Concrete office rooms use a lot of materials to be constructed, and they’re not mobile either. While on the other hand, office cubicles can be made from plywood or special cardboard. It is also easily set up and can be moved easily.

Standardization

Modern office cubicle workstations also give employees a sense of standardization since every employee gets the same working space. It increases the spirit of employees and also increases the cohesiveness between them and the management. The company’s office layout helps in promoting the brand of the company. The appearance of the workplace matters a lot. Neat and functional workspaces boost the morale of the employees and create a sense of belonging to the work culture.
Photo: Global Divide Workstations

Flexibility

Office cubicles are a popular idea in today’s age because it doesn’t require to be built all at once. For example, if a company has 30 employees, they can build the required number of cubicles. As new hiring is completed, new cubicles can be constructed accordingly, which cuts the upfront cost for the office.

Things to Also Consider

Though it is important to get it installed by professionals and experts to save time, proper planning on the structure and size of the cubicle is required. Many offices create cubicles that are too small for the employee in which they cannot work comfortably. The other disadvantage of a cubicle is that it causes hindrance in coordination with the other employees in case proper meeting channels are not practiced in office.


Photo: Groupe Lacasse Paradigm Workstations

Get the Modern Cubicles Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Main Photo by: Groupe Lacasse
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Groupe Lacasse, National, Friant, HONTrendway, ODS / Office Design Studio and Global

Creating Ergonomic Workstations for Office Well-Being and Productivity

Creating Ergonomic Workstations for Office Well-Being and Productivity

Creating and designing an ergonomic workplace with ergonomic workstations isn’t just a passing fad. Here’s why.

You’ve known plenty of dedicated employees who struggle with maladies such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back strain, or spend hours squinting at the computer screen. In the break room or in social settings, how many times have you heard co-workers or friends moan and say they’re getting older?

What do you think?

Do you know the impact that the right desk, chair and lighting can have on office well-being and productivity?

Find out how ergonomics came about so you get a good understanding of not just how to create ergonomic workstations but why it’s important.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Tables

What is Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of how employees interact with their work surroundings. The purpose is creating an environment to meet the needs of workers instead of making employees fit into the work setting.

Can you identify with this familiar situation?

A person types away hours every day on a keyboard and strains the wrist. Who hasn’t heard of carpal tunnel syndrome? The employee has to take time off to get treatments or can’t work as productively.

Keyboards, chairs and desks are now designed to support good posture instead of making workers potentially suffer more problems. The equipment is designed to help people do their tasks well and reduce the risk of injuries.

Ergonomics, also known as human factors, creates efficiencies while minimizing problems that come from doing repetitive tasks. The discipline is appropriate for both white collar workstations and factory floors.

How Ergonomics Came About

An Italian physician in the late 1600s noticed how metal mining workers suffered poor health. Respiratory illnesses were prevalent but also their bodies were affected by awkward working positions.

They forced their bodies to meet the demands of the working environment and paid a price in poor health.

Skip ahead to 1857 when a Polish biologist is credited for creating the word ergonomics based on the Greek words ergon (work) and nomos (natural laws).

Now head into the late 20th century and into Southern California where local universities like UCLA started to improve working conditions through ergonomics. Since 1987, UCLA’s Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program has “trained thousands of workers and supervisors in office ergonomics.”

A company of any size can design a work environment to adapt to the needs of its people. Let’s see how this is done by looking at something as simple as the office chair.

What Ergonomic Stations Reduce or Prevent

In the late 1800s, the growth of railroads in the U.S. made it possible for businesses to reach customers across the country. A heavy emphasis was placed on office administration to track orders.

Bookkeepers, secretaries and other support staff needed something to sit on. Wooden office chairs were a one-size fits all solution. End of story.

The chairs were sturdy and you didn’t have to worry about them breaking or falling apart. They were completely stationary. If you had to bend and take paper from a desk drawer your hips and back had to pivot since the chair was built to stay in one place.

If your hips or lower back got sore, then you’d take anti-inflammatories to temporarily reduce the pain.

Along came executive chairs that looked fancier and had wheels. Now you could glide to the nearby filing cabinet or to the phone. By the 1970s, more executive chairs were designed to support a person’s body.

Executive office chairs were more comfortable, but they still didn’t address two underlying maladies facing the modern office worker:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries

This is more than just bad backs. MSDs affect nerves, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons as noted on a write-up of ergonomics on the OSHA website.

When a person does the same work constantly at a desk or chair that’s at an improper height and they have poor posture, they’re at risk for repetitive strain injuries. MSDs lead to frequent absences from work.

Employee absenteeism became widespread and serious studies evolved on how workers interacted with the workplace. That’s the focus of ergonomics.

Flip the calendar back to the early 1900s and you’ll find in-depth work appearing on ergonomics. The growth and use of aviation in the world wars that followed made the U.S. military see how they could make crew members better able to handle their duties. Engineers studied the intersection of airplane design and the limitations of the human body.

Now, back to the office.

Here’s where this extensive research has taken us—to high quality solutions that are readily available.


Photo: 9 to 5 Seating Ergonomic Chairs

You work in an office every day but can you name the basics element of a workstation?

If not, no problem. It’s listed below.

Principles of Ergonomic Workstations

What makes up a workstation?

  • Desk or Worksurface
  • Chair
  • Monitor and Keyboard or Laptop
  • Mouse and Mouse Pad
  • Lighting


Photo: Humanscale M10 Monitor Arm

Do those last two items surprise you? They shouldn’t.

Learn why as you read along.

When setting up an ergonomics workstation, pay attention to the space design of the room, a key part of the 2010 Space Planning Strategy.

Also look at the placement of accessories and the equipment layout on the desk as noted in a detailed write up on computer workstation ergonomics by The University of Western Australia. A person’s joints shouldn’t be stressed while sitting and working.

Here’s a summary of how an ergonomic workstation keeps a person in a neutral position:

Be seated so you’re eye level with the top of the computer screen.

Use a wrist pad when not typing to rest your wrists at a neutral position. Wrist pads aren’t meant to be used while typing.

Adjust armrests so elbows are close to the side of the body and are bent at a 90 degree to 100-degree angle.

Adjust the chair so feet are sitting either comfortably flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Be aware of good posture. An article and infographic from the province of Alberta, Canada notes that your ears should be above the shoulders. Those should be over the hips. This position reduces back strain. Use a lumbar pillow or roll against the lower back for extra support.

Now, let’s look at individual items.

Desks

Here’s a tip for working comfortably at a desk. Make sure the surface has everything within easy reach so you don’t have to turn and twist unnecessarily.

How does your desk adjust to your body so you can be more productive and reduce the risk of injuries? Height adjustable desks are an ergonomic solution in many offices.

Desks that support good health can be used in private offices and serve the needs of one person or they can be used in a pod of four people or more. Each person can adjust the desk to suit their preferences so they can work using the best posture possible.

If you’re wondering what to look for in the best ergonomic desks then consider this: make sure the desk changes heights quietly and is easy to reset.

How heavy will the items be on the surface? You don’t want equipment that creates instability.

Height adjustable desks fit well in compact spaces, executive suites and open plan offices.

The equipment does more than provide a place to work. Desks that adapt promote office wellness. A 12-month workplace study from the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that height adjustable desks are linked to increased productivity, better concentration and improved health overall.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Worksurface

 


Photo: Humanscale QuickStand 

Office aesthetics are important, and today’s desks fit traditional office spaces and the latest floor plans.


Photo: HON Empower Worksurfaces with Privacy Screens

A private office desk like the Krug Adesso Height Adjustable Desk has a finely crafted appearance while the Hon 10500 Series Height Adjustable Desk is minimal for a compact work place and collaborative open floor plans.

Desks are a good way to improve ergonomics, but now let’s look at chairs.

Chairs

Sitting for a long period of time simply isn’t a natural position for the body. That’s why it’s important to move. Stretching every 20 minutes to a half hour and take a quick walking break every 90 minutes to two hours.

Moving gives your muscles and tendons a chance to reset.

Make sitting easier and less harmful to your body by using an ergonomic chair that supports a body’s natural movement.

Think of it this way.

You’re not sitting still on a chair. You’re reaching for files, turning to look or listen to a co-worker, and, yes, sitting with good posture, we hope, while typing up your latest report.


Photo: Humanscale Freedom Chairs with Headrests

Remember that ergonomics is meant to keep the body in a neutral position, meaning little to no strains on the joints and lower back.

If you’re looking for the best ergonomic chair, then you need a chair that has a comfortable tilt to it with good lumbar support. Make sure your knees are bent at about 90 degrees. Use a footrest if your feet don’t touch the floor.

Choosing a chair that works is subjective since no two bodies are the same. Evaluate the material, the durability, and overall comfort. Make sure the chair provides support so you’re not hunched over or leaning forward excessively.

Ergonomic Computer Accessories

Posture has a tremendous impact on overall well-being. Your head weighs as much as 12-pound to 14-pound bowling ball so you don’t want to learn forward to squint at the computer screen.

The more your head tilts forward, the more you’ll strain your muscles at the base of your neck and along your shoulders.

Keep computer screens at an eye level so you don’t have to lean forward to read the screen. Accessories like a keyboard and mouse should let the arms remain horizontal. Be careful that your wrists aren’t bent or extended upright.

Office lighting also affects your work and posture.


Photo: Humanscale Keyboard Tray Systems


Photo: Humanscale Keyboard Tray Systems

Light


Photo: Humanscale Vessel Pendant Lights

Light does more than just let you see what you’re doing. Controlling the proper amount of light flowing from windows and lights is part of an ergonomic office design.

The right amount of light in an office boosts your employees’ morale. Natural light is a proven mood booster that promotes a restful night’s sleep as well.

There are three basic types of lighting:

  • General
  • Localized-general
  • Local, also called task lighting

General lighting covers a large area such as ceiling lamps that cover a wide area.

Localized-general lights include ceiling lamps that can direct light to specific areas.

Task lighting is much more focused and lets specific users adjust light levels. Desk lamps are a good example of task lighting.

Good lighting tips include arranging light fixtures so they’re not creating glare on computer screens, but providing enough focused light so users don’t have to squint.

Light “enhances the mood and desirability” of work spaces and public places as noted by the International Association of Lighting Designers.

Now consider the various elements of an ergonomically sound workplace? Can you understand what it ultimately delivers?


Photo: Humanscale Infinity Desktop Light

The Ergonomic Workstation Solution

Sitting comfortably with good posture, being able to handle repetitive tasks with little discomfort and working with proper light are all elements of an ergonomic workstation, and healthy work environment.

How we feel physically also impacts our thinking and our emotions. Investments in the right equipment are investments in people and their health.

Make this a team effort. One person in the office doesn’t have to decide how to carry out improvements and changes. Employees typically want their voices heard.

A successful ergonomics program involves employees in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation.

Here’s the end result of an office that’s planned well.

Expect a reduction in absenteeism from ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome, aching shoulders and bad backs. Employees will be more engaged and alert with proper workstations and a supportive environment.

Give your team the opportunity to function at their optimal levels.


Photo: Friant System 2 Workstations


Photo: Humanscale Ergonomic Workspaces

Get the Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments. Call or submit your questions.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Designing an Office Layout for Maximum Productivity
Main Photo by: ODS / Office Design Studio
Resources & Special Thanks to: OSHA, University of Western Australia, UCLA, MyHealth.Alberta.Ca, IALD, & Respective Product Manufacturers: ODS / Office Design Studio, 9 to 5 Seating, Friant, HON, and Humanscale

Move, Sit & Listen: The Basics for Holistic Office Wellness

Promote holistic office wellness by helping staff move, sit, and listen. It’s easy to put it into the daily routine with a low cost and high potential returns. Here are three categories to use in evaluating your approach.

Office Wellness with Movement

Furnish your office for activity. Our bodies are meant to move and not sit in one place for hours at a time.

This write-up from Office Vibe shares important facts: up to 80% of Americans work in jobs that require little to no movement; and research shows that employee medical costs fall by $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs.  Here’s what happens with a sedentary lifestyle at the office and at home. Pressure builds on the lower back and joints while key muscle groups can weaken. Blood circulation suffers and, ultimately, less oxygen flows to the brain.  Office wellness that includes movement can be subtle. Show employees stretching exercises to do while seated. Encourage them to take a brisk walk down the hallway every couple of hours or scoot around the block outside during lunch.  Install height-adjustable desks for individual offices and for workstations. Start getting used to it slowly by using it in a standing position for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

Wellness When Sitting

Sitting seems like a non-stress activity that shouldn’t have any impact on our bodies. Not true. Make no mistake that sitting without moving creates stress.  Gravity is at work, plus the way we sit can aggravate key areas of the body like the neck area, lower back and hips.  Employee wellness should focus on sitting with proper posture while using ergonomic chairs and workstations and desks with height-adjustable surfaces. Here’s why:

  • Proper posture is when a person is sitting in front of a computer with a relatively straight back and not straining to see the screen. Leaning forward strains the neck because our heads weigh as much as a heavy bowling ball. That gradually pulls the vertebrae out of alignment and pinches the nerves running from the brain to the rest of the body. Blood flow is reduced and pain signals increase.
  • Ergonomic chairs have a real-world benefit that adjust to the contours of the body and evenly distribute weight. They allow for natural movement, too. Not all chairs are quality ergonomic so look for those with lumbar support, waterfall seating to relieve stress on the legs and adjustments for armrests, height and tilt.
  • Height-adjustable desks and workstations conform to individual needs so it’s easy to sit properly. This reduces the flare-up of ailments like carpal-tunnel syndrome.

Another danger to sitting is when people slouch on chairs or sofas and cradle a cell phone with their neck and shoulder. Remember, our bodies and the parts that make it are a whole. A daily repetitive motion like this can throw us out of alignment.  That’s why stretching and regular intervals of movement are beneficial.

Listening Properly

Another part of office wellness isn’t so obvious, but it can reduce stress a great deal. It’s listening properly.  By nature, people want to have their voices heard and know that their ideas and opinions matter. Personal interactions are easily misinterpreted because personality differences come in such wide ranges. This is true in a family and it’s certainly true in an office setting.  And as much as we sometimes try, we can never really fully separate our personal lives and needs from our work and professional lives. Broken relationships, sick kids, and other personal issues distract from the tasks at hand.  Learning to listen well can reduce internal stress—that’s the jangling nerves that we don’t see. Executives, mid-level managers and hourly workers can all use reminders on how to stop, hear what the other person is saying, and repeat back what they’ve heard.

Having designated areas for quiet conversation and personal reflection is key. Semi-enclosed meeting pods and seating arrangements that allow for one-on-one or individual time provide focus and reduce distractions. Leave cell phones behind and don’t take a laptop to go online.

Achieving Holistic Office Wellness

Office wellness can easily be implemented in the everyday work setting. For ideas on how to plan and furnish an office for better office wellness submit your questions and needs to us!  Our 2010 Office Furniture team of experts have a combined of five decades of experience helping start-ups, nonprofits and leading corporations throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Staying Productive with an Effort for Holistic Office Wellness
Main Photo: Global River Lounge
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Global