You wouldn’t put up with uncomfortable furniture at home, so why do we tend to be docile about a painful chair at work?
What comes to mind when you think of what stresses you out? Some might list the well known such as how much we have going on, how things our at home, conflicts and relationships, family, money, deadlines etc. Some might say our environment, the noise of the city, turmoil in our homes traffic,temperamental children, a claustrophobic office.
And it is true, these are factors that effect nearly all of us on a day to day basis. Most try to deal with these issues as they come, finding ways to minimize the load and make the days go smoother. But what is surprising is how little thought people put into how work is affecting them, even though most of us spend the majority of our day at our work place. And I am not even talking about employee conflict or pressure from the boss. I mean our environment, the desk we sit at, the keyboard and mouse we use and the chair we spend upwards of 8-9 hours sitting at.
You wouldn’t put up with an uncomfortable couch at home, so why do we tend to be docile about a painful chair at work? You more than likely spend more time there than on the couch, so why sit in silence rather than in comfort? And never mind the obvious physical health effects of bad ergonomics in office furniture which the latest studies have highlighted the seriousness of, even more than previously thought. We are talking about the repercussions on mental health, office harmony and productivity. And it makes sense that workers who are in an uncomfortable, non-personal work space would find it hard to focus or get anything to done. This is a frustrating and stressful environment to be in and can have a great impact on the morale of the employee.
A scenario to picture is a long meeting, trying to get individuals to work together can prove next to impossible if none of them are able to get comfortable and relax. Clunky and stiff furniture doesn’t give way to the creative flow process. If someone feels uneasy, this will definitely show in their work, according to the latest reports stress affects nearly half of all employees performance, and has been costing American businesses up to $300 billion annually. This highlights the seriousness of ensuring your employees are well looked after and that you are doing everything possible to provide a relaxed and comfortable environment for them to work. Because at the end of the day it will not only be employees who suffer, but also the company as a whole.
What are some solutions to try and prevent this? Well its not as simple as just randomly purchasing ergonomic friendly furniture. You must first understand what it is that is actually causing feelings of stress and discomfort in the your workplace. Findings suggest that a lack of privacy as employees work individually and a feeling of disconnection and isolation when they want to unwind as the biggest culprits of stress. Here few great examples of products that can tackle these problems:
Haven by Allermuir is perfect for combating those feelings of being observed or scrutinized. It creates personal privacy in a busy workplace and allows employees to relax and focus on their own work. More info?
Wall in seating system characterized by simple geometric forms which are suitable for spacious and modern interiors. Wall in offers the best of both worlds in combating those most regular of problems, it offers the cocoon element of the Haven for privacy of work but also the open air aspect of socialization and down time. More info?
On top of the other measures that can be taken above, a very simple and often over looked means of creating the right atmosphere for work are acoustic panels. Gaber produce high quality, aesthetically pleasing panels that clear up sound pollution in the work place and create a more relaxed and comfortable environment. Hanging a few around the busiest parts of the office can make a serious difference in instilling a sense of calm and ease among employees. More info?
While all of the products above will make a big difference in the mood and productivity of workers, it is still important to ask what they feel specifically affects them or prevents them from getting work done. Being equipped with the right furniture and products and also the right knowledge will put you on the right track to minimizing the damage caused by leaving our work force feeling unmotivated and unloved.