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Why choose ergonomic furniture?

Praveen Rawal, Dec 7 2017, 19:16 IST

The year 2018 is all about transformation as organisational culture takes precedence and leaders look to provide better amenities to their employees and differentiate themselves from the competition. There's a powerful movement going on in workplaces as an increasing number of companies are looking to revamp their offices in order to promote the well-being of employees. Designed to support various postures and increase productivity, ergonomic furniture is revolutionary in many ways. Here's why every workplace needs to put art and science to work and invest in the right asset.

For the better

In growth markets like India and China, there are many hindrances like real estate constraints, poor infrastructure and challenging public transportation. Considering these restrictions, organisations need to focus on creating a pleasant work environment for their employees. A company that wants happy, engaged employees has to worry about their employees' experience from the moment they leave their homes.

Ergonomics is how companies can enhance workplace well-being and increase the productivity levels of fatigued and drained workers. Today, work is both physically as well as cognitively demanding, and to ensure quality, workplaces need to be designed to help deal with the stress it causes.

Setting up standing stations, treadmill desks and more active spaces encourages movement and helps users stay engaged. A benching work environment, for example, can be designed to support both individual and collaborative work. An extra open space at the end of a workbench can also provide a natural area for informal conversation or one-on-one collaboration. These kinds of ergonomic designs can have a huge impact on employee well-being.

Promote workplace health

Workplace health is correlated with organisational performance. Sitting in poor postures for long periods with little movement can impact our health and result in low productivity levels. Introduce height-adjusted work surfaces so that employees can spend portions of their workday standing, thus avoiding unnecessary weight gain and lack of blood flow.

As most office tasks are best performed while seated, sitting in the right posture helps avoid awkward postures that can lead to neck, shoulder or vision issues. The challenge is that many workers are sitting in chairs that don't encourage healthy spinal motion. When a user reclines, the upper spine wants to arch backward, while the lower spine wants to arch forward. Yet most chairs don't mimic this motion. By offering employees only high quality, ergonomically advanced task chairs, employers can significantly promote workplace health.

Assist diverse work modes

Whether it's individual work, working in pairs or working with a group, we know that people perform best when they can choose where and how they work. Incorporate a palette of place, a menu of different workspace choices for different work modes. From a stand-up meeting to seated task work, here's a diverse workforce driving new demands.

The overall effect of the choice of places is that employees are better able to negotiate a work-life balance. So, besides the obvious physical benefits of more daylight, a blend of work modes supporting multiple modes and working styles, ergonomic furniture makes real estate more usable and also ensures workers have the best place to work at any time.

So, go ahead. Get some ergonomic furniture and live a stress-free life!

(The author is managing director, Steelcase India and Asia Pacific)

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