Future-Proof Your Furniture, Staff Health and Budget

July 18, 2013 Ergonomics

Did you know that a recent study demonstrated a 17.8% increase in staff productivity for those using an ergonomic chair as opposed to a traditional office seat?

Did you also know that this seemingly large cap-ex cost actually reduced staff absenteeism over the next 12 month period?

What’s more, the increase in productivity and lowered number of absences resulted in a higher turnover. Not bad for a chair, don’t you think?

Furniture Choice

It’s easy to opt for lower quality furniture that ‘does the job’ with little concern for how long it will last – you’ll cross that bridge when you come to it, right? If this is your take on selecting office furniture, your short-term thinking could cost you big in the long run. Falling into the trap of a false economy is easily done, especially with so much choice made widely available – but the need to replace that furniture more frequently can make a big dent in your budget, whilst still going under the radar.

Investing in appropriate office furniture that stands the test of time allows you to lower your spend over the long-term – but that’s not to say that quality needs to cost the earth. Take the time to speak with furniture providers that understand your needs and can put together a proposal based on your requirements. It is likely that doing so will result in a bespoke package with a mixture of lower and higher-end pieces that not only balance out in terms of cost but actually fit your needs much more than an off-the-shelf solution. Make the most of technological advances in furniture and opt for pieces that can multi-task, giving you more for your money and guaranteeing a future-proof working environment. Avoid opting for the quick-win that you’ll ultimately regret in the long run.

Staff Health

It is widely known that poor office furniture can have a negative effect on staff health – both physically and physiologically. But are you actively combating the problem? Failure to recognise the issues that may arise from inept furniture is likely to result in an influx of staff absences, injuries and lowered productivity. And, for those of you that just want the cold, hard facts, it’s hard to ignore the effect that this can have on your bottom line; repetitive strain injury, for example, is the most common occupational health problem in the US – and certainly the most costly – with hundreds of thousands of workers being affected annually and an expense of more than billion a year in compensation.

Research shows that, for employees using ergonomic office furniture with adequate training, productivity and mental wellbeing can be significantly increased. What’s more, the occurrence of repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome can be drastically decreased with health benefits including improved breathing and circulation, and reduced back, neck and eye strain.

Consider the impact that ergonomic furniture could have on your workforce, not only improving safety and comfort, but also efficiency; as the need to stop working in order to move around and stretch is gone (i.e. ergonomic furniture allows you to move freely), there is a lowered number of interruptions that equate to more work being completed. This, yet again, has a positive impact on your ROI.

It’s a simple equation, really; make an investment in your staff today and reap the rewards – physical, physiological and monetary – for a long time to come.

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