Finding quality office furniture to support your posture can be a difficult task, but it is crucial that you are able to create a healthy work environment for yourself and your employees. Whether you work from home or run a busy office, the physical stress you endure on the job can take a toll on your body over time. Making a few adjustments to the furniture you use, however, can make all the difference. Therefore, when you are looking into office furniture services, you might want to take a few important postural factors into consideration before making your final selection.
Why Your Posture Matters
Your posture plays a huge role in how your body feels. Many people hold down jobs where they have to sit, bend, or stoop down for a large portion of each working day. While you might not be able to see the physical results of this, you might notice that you feel more aches, pains, or stiffness throughout your spine and into your shoulders and thighs. The joints in your knees, ankles, hands, and even your fingers might ache more too. Also, your overall core strength can deplete over time if your poor posture continues. If you continue to engage in sedentary behaviors for years, you run the risk of developing (and possibly dying from) cardiovascular disease.
Having good posture throughout the day helps you maintain your balance, improve upon your favorite sports, and keep your risk of sustaining an injury reduced.
So, what does good posture look like? Your shoulders should be even, your chin level with the floor, hips kept evenly spaced, knees facing straight ahead of you, and your spine should be in a neutral position. Unfortunately, when you are on the job, you might find yourself hunching over, turning your knees out to the sides, or placing more weight on one foot than on the other.
How Your Office Furniture Affects Your Posture
When you are looking to create refurbished office environments or to acquire custom office furniture, you will want to consider how each piece of furniture can potentially impact your posture. Desks, computers, and office chair heights can impact your posture. If your chair seems too low and desk and computer screen too high, you will likely end up craning your neck to try to get a better view of your screen.
Office furniture that promotes poor posture can affect productivity in the workplace. When you are using stiff and uncomfortable office furniture, you and your employees might find yourselves feeling more symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue. As many studies have found, sitting down for prolonged periods of time can lead to increased health risk factors. Cardiovascular fatality in particular has been linked to the increase in sedentary behaviors in adults, including in adults who sit down for hours at a time while they work. Over the past 50 years or so, workers are expending significantly less physical energy while at work, a trend which is projected to continue well into the future as sedentary office jobs become more widespread.
This is why some workplaces are adopting more sit-stand work stations for their employees. Since it is difficult for you and your employees to keep up on physical activity during the working day, you might want to consider getting furniture that adapts your environment into one that encourages better posture through standing at desks for part of the work shift.
What to Look For When Buying Office Furniture
When you are looking at refurbished office furniture or custom office furniture for your work space, you are going to need to take several key factors into consideration before finalizing your purchases. What should you keep in mind as you browse different office furniture services?
Selecting the Right Surface Height of Your Desk
When buying office desks, one of the chief factors that you might want to consider is finding a desk with a surface height that best fits the job that you or your employees will be doing. You can choose between traditional seated desks or opt for standing or semi-standing office desks. It is also a good idea to base the height of the desk’s surface on individual workers or find desks that are adjustable by height. If you are working as an architect, you might want to find a desk with a higher surface than you would if you were working in a data entry position.
Are you working predominantly from a laptop? If so, you might want to invest in a high-quality laptop stand that also comes with a built-in stand for your mouse. This can help keep your laptop at eye level and prevents you from having to crane your neck in an uncomfortable position. These stands are easy to adjust and are typically lightweight, making them easy to carry with you if you need to move about to different work stations.
There are also height-adjustable stands for your office desk if you work from a PC. Treadmill and standing desks are both helpful at promoting better posture while on the job. However, getting a sit-stand office desk stand can maximize your comfort level while you work. This stand will allow you to get up on your feet as needed but are also adjustable enough to level your face with the computer monitor when you go to sit back down. You should look for the sit-stand office desk stands that give you the most diversity in terms of how you can arrange the three different panels it has built in to fit your body type and preferred posture. If you are buying for an entire office full of employees, you can get maximum versatility for their body shapes and postures by investing in sit-stand office desk stands.
Finding a Chair That Adjusts to the Height and Posture You Need
Your average office chair might offer little in the way of postural support, and older office chairs certainly lack the dynamic shapes and adjustable features that brand new office chairs have. In your quest to find quality office furniture, finding chairs that adjust to the right height and posture is important, especially if you will need to do more sitting than standing while on the clock. Whichever type of office chair you decide to get, it should be able to get you sitting level with your desk at elbow height, which is the optimal position for maintaining good posture.
If you have browsed around the Internet lately or been inside another office, you might have seen balance ball chairs. These look like Pilates balls stuck onto office chairs, and they pretty much are! Sitting on one of these balance ball chairs helps to promote a healthy posture since they gently force you to keep your body balanced while you are sitting down on one of them. Just be aware that prolonged sitting on a balance ball chair might have a negative impact on your lower back, just like sitting down in a regular office chair for any extended period of time.
Finding the right balance ball chair size is also important and should be based on your own stature. Men and women who are under 5′ tall should get an exercise ball chair that is 45 cm. 55 cm balance ball chairs work best for those who stand between 5′ and 5’7″ while those who are over 5’7″ should use a 65 cm balance ball chair.
Some contemporary office chairs will actually adjust automatically to your body shape and your own unique movements. With manual controls, it can be hard to find the right adjustment or to even know what height will promote the best posture for you. Automatically adjusting office chairs tend to offer special features like arm rests that move along with you as you recline. Many of them also have pivoting back rests that curve themselves to cater to the shape of your spine while you are sitting. Also, these back rests offer you plenty of lumbar support for your lower back which is crucial for maintaining good posture and avoiding chronic lower back pain.
Think about investing in new or refurbished office furniture that offers you the maximum amount of movement. The more freedom you have to move about in your office chair, the better you will be able to avoid chronic back pain. Finding an ergonomic chair that offers a seat that is molded into a saddle-like surface is ideal since these seats force you to sit with your legs further apart, which will encourage you to straighten out your spine for balance.
If you can swing the price for them, office chairs with massage functions can provide that extra bit of pain relief that will help you maintain good posture. These chairs often plug in via USB and are easy to use. They are ideal for anyone who has to sit for long periods of time, so data entry clerks and illustrators might find that they get a lot of use out of massaging office chairs. Additionally, these chairs are designed with posture and lumbar support in mind, so even without the massage feature, they are still typically very comfortable to sit in for several hours at a time.
How Are Ergonomics Making a Difference?
Although ergonomic office desks and chairs do not usually come cheap, they can make refurbished office environments all the more pleasant (and pain-free) to work in. They are becoming increasingly viewed by business owners and self-employed workers as a good investment. Not only do ergonomic office furniture pieces look contemporary and chic, but they can be an asset that attracts new talent. The highly-skilled workers that come into your office looking for work do not want to be stuck in old office chairs and desks that cause them to experience back pain. Showing that your work environment offers physical support is also a great way to show that your business also offers them a sense of positive workplace morale.
Investing in ergonomic office furniture keeps you and your employees healthier, which is truly the biggest reason for buying them. The healthier you and your employees are, the more productive you can be at work. The more productive you and your employees are at work, the better workplace morale can be. Ergonomic chairs and desks are specifically designed to offer adjustable means of physical support, but having them present in the work environment is a way of showing emotional support and that all employees there are valued.
Since ergonomic office furniture is highly adjustable, it can usually cater to each employee’s physical needs with relative ease. A lot of office furniture services and manufacturing companies offer bulk ordering options that make it easy for businesses to provide quality office furniture for their employees.
Adding Ergonomic Accessories to Your Office Stations
In addition to desks and chairs, ergonomic office accessories can really spruce up and bring comfort to the work space. Investing in ergonomic mice and keyboards can help prevent employees from experiencing the painful development of carpal tunnel symptoms.
Posture is not strictly related to the spine. In fact, the way you position your forearms, hands, and wrists over a keyboard and mouse can greatly affect your health. Ergonomic mice and keyboards are shaped and contoured in order to promote neutral posture and grip forces in the hands, wrists, and forearms. This makes them an incredibly important but often overlooked addition to the workplace.
Promoting good posture in the workplace not only leads to you and your employees being healthier, but it can keep morale high while everyone gets their jobs done. Investing in the best office furniture for maintaining good posture cannot be overemphasized, and there is generally a pretty large return on this investment. Start building a healthier office environment by selecting furniture that will keep you and your employees feeling great and motivated to work through each and every shift.
Offices are changing because the nature of work is changing. Access to technology and the mobility it gives means that offices need to be more than a place you sit and do your work. Offices need to be a welcoming place to gather.
Simplified Design Choices
Many furniture management professionals have a strong awareness of not only current design trends, but also current bargains. Refurbished furniture and office furniture sale liquidations mean that you can get great pieces at great prices.
However, not every bargain is the right deal, and making the wrong buy can be expensive if it just doesn’t work with your space. Experienced professionals have access to helpful computer programs that can assist you with your final decisions. With this type of computer technology, you are able to see what the new furniture will look like in your existing space.
If you’re looking for a whole new set of furniture or even a new layout and space, hiring a professional office furniture design and management team is the way to go. Whether you want a tailored, pulled together look loaded with perfectly matched furniture or a more open design palette, professionals will help you get great pieces at great prices.
Offices Are Changing
When the first generation of baby boomers got into kindergarten, some classrooms found there weren’t enough chairs for all the kids. It’s no wonder that this demographic group is a competitive bunch, and that the prestige of an office matters a lot to them.
However, as demographics change, so do office needs. Many younger workers were raised in a spirit that focused on collaboration more than it concentrated on competition. This may cause workers under 40 to feel isolated and limited by an office, rather than elevated by it.
Of course, this doesn’t override the need for privacy and focus. Furniture management professionals can help you make the best selections for your business needs for productivity and profit.
First Impressions Still Count
A flexible open office space may look great to your employees but can appear a scrambled mess to your clients. A professional office designer can help you come up with a beautiful reception area that’s visually shielded from an expanse of mobile, collaborating professionals.
Exciting trends in office design include a focus on natural elements, including wood and stone. Office furniture has often had a strong focus on wood, but the addition of stone such as granite tops on credenzas and conference tables has greatly expanded the color palette and design options for modern office furniture.
Work Where You Will
If nearly all your work can be done on your laptop, you can put your office on your back and take it almost anywhere! Embracing an increase in technology likely means that not all your workers will be at their desks, or even in the office, every hour that they’re working.
Some offices have even given up the concept of assigned spaces in an effort to promote workplace flexibility. If this doesn’t sound like a great option for your industry, be aware that you can still offer collaborative workstations and flexible work meeting spaces to promote creative expansion and more mobility of thought.
It’s important to note that some employees still need privacy to help them focus. You can implement an open, flexible office and still allow employees the chance to get away from the bustle. Office additions such as portable screens can give workers privacy when needed and be moved for gatherings or standing meetings.
Design a Collaborative Space
Office furniture sales organizations can help you come up with a great desk and chair combination, but if you want the best from great workers, you’re going to need more. By investing in a flexible office space that gives workers a great place to be while they’re working, you’ll develop better community among workers, more connection and more free flowing information.
This collaborative space can mean anything from beautiful granite topped conference tables to squashy armchairs to a set of flexible kiosks for laptop plug in. Some workers really want their own desk so they can personalize their space and create a work cocoon. Some want to take their laptop and find a great cup of coffee and a comfy chair.
Ergonomic Design and Wellness
Sitting all day is bad for you. Options to improve your well-being in the workplace can be limited, but new office innovations such as standing desks can help your workers stay productive and healthy.
Don’t forget that creative office designs also encourage movement. Walking meetings promote both blood flow and idea flow. By encouraging your employees to connect face to face rather than through email, you have the chance of a healthier workforce and a more vigorous idea flow.
Blood flow equals brain power. In addition, exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can not only limit employee input and collaboration, but may also shorten their lives! Creating a space that encourages both connection and movement will bring great ideas to the surface and put them to work in your business.
Workplace Fitness as an Investment
The well-being of your workers is critical to your continued business, so why not invest in it? Healthy workers have less stress, are more productive and are more likely to be at their desks when you really need them. Knowing that their employers care about their well-being can also increase the loyalty they feel for the organization.
Standing desks, mobile work spots and a culture of “walk and talk” can really increase connection and wellness. Workers in cubicles can and should be encouraged to stand, stretch or use an office exercise ball for part of the day to promote core strength.
It’s also important to note that poor health is expensive. By encouraging wellness amongst your employees, you can reduce your expenses, reduce absenteeism, and enjoy a more stable workforce.
Even if your area isn’t large, you can encourage a stop and stretch break or a post-lunch walk outside.
What if your office furniture is in good shape but you’re ready for something new and better? Find a professional office design team that can help you give back. Many non-profits don’t have the budget for office furniture; in fact, many organizations have a charter that forbids a large investment in their physical space, so your donations can free up non-profit budgets so they can continue to work for the greater good!
Even if your current furniture set is worn, many office furniture sales organizations offer services for refurbishing office furniture. Perhaps the physical structure is good but the fabric is worn or outdated, or maybe the cushions have lost their bounce. A professional can put these pieces back together for use in another space.
Work With a Professional
Whether you need to fully outfit a new office or just need a few pieces, our office furniture service professionals can help. For small offices, you may find bargains from office furniture liquidators.
However, the products gleaned from commercial furniture liquidation may only be a good start. With a professional office furniture management service on your side, you have team members who can keep an eye on the products available and add just the right piece for your space. In addition, if you have a worker who needs any custom furniture such as a taller chair, your office furniture management professionals can help you find a great fit, both in height and aesthetic!
In addition to coordinating the right furniture pieces, we can help with moving and setup. Disruption always leads to down time, but with a great connection to an efficient and organized office furniture management team, you can minimize lost time and stress on your employees.
Starting Small? We Can Help
Refurbished office environments don’t have to look like a hodge-podge of whatever you could afford. In fact, refurbished office furniture can be a great choice for small businesses just creating their first brick and mortar spaces.
Working with professionals who are aware of the trends in office furniture design as well as your expansion plans means that you can focus on growing your business while our team keeps your office expanding smoothly and looking great at every step!
Also, remember that refurbished office furniture isn’t just used office furniture. Our service professionals can connect with furniture professionals who do a great job of saving the structure and frame of each piece while replacing what’s worn or outdated. If new furniture isn’t in your budget, you don’t have to make do. New to you furniture can be more than serviceable and your office will look terrific.
It’s More Than a Purchase
With an office furniture management service professional on your team, you can be confident in your investment. Office furniture services can offer you a wealth of knowledge in design trends, new furniture styles and deals coming up in commercial furniture liquidation. If you’re looking to expand into more space or update your current furniture stock, we can help!
Whether you’re starting brand new in one spot or putting together multiple refurbished office environments, our team is ready to help. We have great connections with office furniture liquidators and our professionals have a terrific eye for putting together different furniture lines for a streamlined, pulled together look.
You and your business have a brand, and your furniture selection is a subtle way of letting your clients know what you’re about. Investing in a great furniture line is your decision, and with a professional office furniture management team, you’ll know that your choice will continue to be reflected in your space.
Working for the Community as a Whole
Once you’re ready to replace or redesign your existing office, an office furniture management team can help in getting rid of your old furniture. Items that are still in great shape can be donated or sold at a discount to non profit organizations. We are connected with professionals who focus on refurbishing office furniture.
Donating your old office furniture can seem simple enough, but collection and transportation can take a lot of coordination and may result in you having to store things that really need to be out of your way. Professional furniture managers can help. And community connections make it easy to contact local non profits so the donated pieces can be quickly picked up and put to use elsewhere.
Outsourcing the Furniture Search
Design is not everyone’s favorite project, and for many the task of picking out new office furniture is a task to be avoided. Schedule a consultation with a furniture management team to discuss what you have, what you need and how you see your office expanding.
Furniture styles, like everything else, change over time. It’s also important to note that panel structures, such as cubicle walls, come in a variety of sizes and may not always fit with the next generation of products. If you need temporary wall structures that have to be mobile for your employees to get a sense of a personal workspace, an office furniture professional is crucial.
In addition, if your office space is fairly fluid or constantly expanding, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your brand of cubicle construction. Liquidation sales and refurbishing opportunities can help you stock up on materials that you will need in the future. Then when it’s time to add or move cubicles, you’re ready to go and don’t have to face the bad news that your brand or height of panels has been backordered or discontinued.
Business decision makers and thought leaders already have a job to focus on, and that’s growing their business. While furniture decisions may be enjoyable, committing too much time to these projects can cut deeply into the bottom line. A qualified furniture management service can make you aware of everything from changes in office furniture design to new products available in your specific furniture line. Winnowing out the noise is their job. The final decision is up to you.