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Every business owner wants to increase the productivity of their employees. Owners might spend thousands of dollars on apps that help productivity, courses, and workshops, yet they could tend to overlook the obvious and disregard the office furniture like a good desk and office chairs, which can be a major factor in influencing high or low office productivity.
With employees spending hours each day within an office setting, it’s logical that poor quality furniture can lead to poor quality work. Productivity isn’t a result of working long hours, nor is it necessarily a character trait. Most people have the ability to be more productive if provided with the right setting and tools. Several factors go into improving productivity, and one of those factors is giving employees a comfortable work atmosphere.
If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably put in a good amount of money to find the perfect office location, as well as the office itself. After investing that much, it’s not to your advantage at all to skimp on the office furniture. Besides the need to impress clients and customers with a chic office, there’s the need to employ proper ergonomics, which has been the catchword for office furniture the several years. Basically, ergonomics is a science, and it studies the fitting of a workplace to the user’s needs, and aims to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce discomfort. It plays a substantial role in supporting workplace comfort and helps to minimize unnecessary strain on the body as well as injuries due to poor designs of a layout. Ergonomics also looks into uncomfortable furniture in the workplace or furniture measurements that do not align correctly with the body, such as a computer screen that is too high or too low and not adjusted to your level of vision.
When it’s time to choose office furniture, here are some things to take into consideration to give employees a chance to increase their productivity.
Before considering the furniture, consider the entire layout of the office and if it suits your business needs. People in the office need both an easy way to communicate, as well as quietness to concentrate and focus. Some team members may need to communicate more often together than others, so it makes sense to have them seated nearer to each other. The positioning of all the furniture needs some thought and could take a few trial and errors to get it right.
If anything lowers productivity it’s a cluttered desk. If an employee’s desk is cluttered simply because the desk isn’t large enough, that’s hardly the employee’s fault. The desk should be large enough to accommodate a desktop, keyboard, papers, and various miscellaneous items. Stationary desks with pull out keyboard drawers that lie just under the standard 29-inch high desktop offer an ideal height for the individual sitting at their desk. We’re also more familiar now with the standing desk that helps to reduce neck and back pain. One study suggested that standing desks could boost productivity for some employees by a whopping 46%.
Good desks need to be complemented with good chairs. Humans come in all shapes and sizes, so take this into account before purchasing office chairs which usually come as a standard size. Flimsy computer chairs might have an attractive price tag, but do little for productivity. How many times have we sat on a chair only to find one or more wheels busted? If you’ve already purchased chairs, with hopeless plastic wheels on them, it would be a good time to invest in separate office chair wheels to replace old wheels which support heavy weight, roll quietly and smoothly on any surface, and safeguard the office floor. Other features to look out for, is an adjustable office chair , and where your elbows fall on the chair’s armrest should be even with the surface of your desk.
Though it seems to be an obvious thing to notice, but dull or low lighting has been often a culprit behind poor productivity. Low lights can be great for a home, but even homes have bright general lights or task lights for activities like reading, so imagine how important it is for an office. A brightly lit office wakes up people and makes the office more vibrant to work in. Wherever natural sunlight is possible, keep the windows clean and open the blinds. Poor lighting directly affects work performance as it puts strain on the eyes. Flickering lights always need to be replaced since they’re very destructive. There’s really no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to lighting in the workplace because it depends on the atmosphere that you’re trying to create within the work environment.
Employees should have easy access to papers and files as well as peripherals, such as printers or scanners. One should be able to access these items while standing, without the need for constant bending down to reach lower drawers. Plus, they should be able to access files quickly as one study showed that employees lose an average of 4.3 hours each week just looking for files. Proper storage space keeps all files and documents organized. This allows employees to better meet deadlines, be prepared for meetings and answer phone calls efficiently. If you have a large number of employees, you might want to consider setting up a complete and separate filing room on its own.
Streamline the furniture
Mismatched pieces of furniture give a chaotic and unappealing look to the office, making it a space that no one wants to spend time in. Make your furniture pieces match, add some natural plants and allow your employees to set up some personal items on their desk, like a family picture, to motivate them more for productivity.
Good office furniture shouldn’t have business owners making a decision between what is affordable, what is comfortable and what is attractive. Many office furniture manufacturers or suppliers can offer you all three. Most people don’t change their workspace frequently, but it’s important to keep testing the environment and trying new things. When possible, let your employees also have a say in what’s comfortable for them.