5 Principles of an Ergonomic Office

Injuries caused by offices not optimized for ergonomics cost businesses $15-20 billion each year in worker’s compensation expenses. These kinds of injuries also lead to more time off from work than other workplace injuries.

If you want to avoid the costs and lost productivity associated with injuries caused by poor ergonomics, you’ll need to make sure you’ve provided your workers with a proper ergonomic office. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Secrets of an Ergonomic Office

Here are 5 ways to make sure you have an ergonomically correct office.

1. Proper Chairs

For employees spending many hours at a desk, having a proper chair is key to preventing injuries related to poor ergonomics.

The most important thing is to make sure the chair is fully adjustable so it can adapt to the needs of workers. Because each worker has a different body type, you’ll want to make sure they can customize the seat height, backrest height, and armrest height and position.

2. Monitor Placement

To avoid eye and neck strain, monitors must be situated properly. Workers should not have to strain their neck or squint to see the monitor. This means employees should not have to turn their neck to see the monitor. If the worker must move their neck to view the monitor it can lead to neck muscle strains.

Monitors should be placed at the worker’s eye level and at a distance where the worker can clearly see the monitor without moving their neck forward or squinting.

3. Keyboard and Mouse Position

Having a properly placed keyboard and mouse is important to maintaining the proper body position when sitting at a desk. Employees should not have to reach for the mouse and must keep their elbows and wrists parallel while using the keyboard.

Having to reach for a keyboard or mouse can lead to fatigue and even injury after an extended period. For this reason, it is important you pay attention to the placement of keyboards and mice.

Because each employee is different, the exact position of these devices will vary. Having adjustable chairs and desks can help make sure the placement can meet the needs of each employee.

4. The Right Environment

When you think about ergonomics you probably don’t think about the overall office environment. But, factors such as lighting, room temperature, and humidity matter.

Lighting should not create a glare on monitor screens or be too low for reading printed materials. Office temperature and humidity should be comfortable for employees and not require them to wear bulky sweaters and clothing to keep warm.

5. Using Ergonomic Accessories

To make sure you have an ergonomic office, you’ll want to use ergonomic accessories that help customize the workspace for each employee. For example, footrests can help shorter employees keep their legs and knees in the proper position while at their desk. Having an adjustable document holder will allow employees that need to read printed documents from straining their necks.

Some workers may even prefer a balance ball chair for their workstation.

Making the Office Ergonomic

An ergonomic office will not only cut down on injuries and loss of productivity but is also an important factor in keeping employees happy.

When it comes to making your office ergonomically sound, we’re here to help you. From ergonomic workstations to accessories, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to find out how we can help you create an ergonomic office.

5 Benefits of an Open Office Design

At the end of 2016, there was more than 12.3 million square feet of occupied office space in the United States. Do you know how many cubicles you can fit into that much space? Luckily, the answer to that question doesn’t matter because open office design is a better choice.

While there is a need in certain office environments for partitions, halls, and walls, check out these five benefits of using an open layout, and you might change your mind!

1. Collaboration and Cross-Training

Working together toward a common goal — collaboration — is part of human nature. Instinct tells us that pooling and sharing resources can produce better outcomes than trying to go solo on a project. Employers can facilitate this natural need to connect and share by implementing an open office design.

Cross-training is critical to business sustainability. Open working spaces allow cross-training opportunities to arise organically during regular work.

2. Improved Relationship Building

Constructive, positive working relationships are better for business and morale. Open concept offices can foster natural bonds because it’s easier to chat about work and life. Plus, people can’t “hide” in offices when issues arise.

This benefit comes with a caveat. Strive for employee buy-in before tearing down walls and taking away private offices. There are many ways to keep employees happy and having strong dispute resolution practices for open environments is among them.

3. Reduced Cost

With an open office design, you save money on construction and maintenance. The savings come from more than not needing to build as many walls. Ventilation and electrical wiring are less complex to install and service. Routine office cleaning is faster.

Plus, furnishings such as whiteboards and filing cabinets in private offices are often underutilized. But when put in an open layout, fewer pieces can be used more often.

4. Flexibility

Nothing remains static in business for long. Products evolve, markets shift, people come and go. Open concept offices make it faster and easier for growing companies to accommodate new staff and reorganize teams.

Typical workstations are easy to dismantle and move. Rearranging work surfaces and project areas can take only a few hours. That not only helps contain labor cost, but it also reduces staff downtime.

Keep in mind that good open office design also includes conference rooms and small project meeting rooms. It’s a fact of life and business that some meetings and work sessions require privacy. This is another way to make workspaces flexible.

5. Flattened Hierarchy

Open work environments aren’t just for front-line staff. It’s common for managers and people higher up the chain of command to also work in shared space. It can require a shift in mindset for leaders as well as staff at first. But soon, leaders discover that issues are identified and resolved sooner than when they spend their time in an office. Stronger and more respectful bonds are other common byproducts of several layers of command sharing space.

Of course, leaders can’t fulfill all aspects of their role while in the middle of the action. This is another reason for including a few meeting rooms of different sizes in your office design.

Closing Thought About Open Office Design

Open office layouts tend to spark creativity. It’s easy to use lighting, color, and choice and placement of furnishings to add flair and efficiency.

At Workspace Solutions, we help customers plan and install innovate work environments. It’s core to our mission. We’re a locally-owned office furniture store and design center based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Our dedicated staff builds great relationships with customers across the region and from coast-to-coast.

Are you ready to explore how an open layout could benefit your business? Contact us today!

7 Design Solutions for Making Your Office Feel Bigger

design solutionsIs your tiny office space affecting your work flow?

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!

By utilizing some super simple design solutions, your office space can go from feeling cramped and crowded to feeling spacious and comfortable in no time.

Here are seven easy design solutions to make your office feel bigger.

Let’s get started!

Paper Storage

Those piles of paper on your desk are taking up more space than you think!

Some files can be stored digitally. Just make sure that you educate yourself about the ins and outs of digital storage before you get started to ensure maximum privacy and protection for yourself and your clients.

For the documents that can’t be stored digitally or are too important to risk losing into cyberspace, organize them in a filing cabinet. The top can be used as a surface to decorate or provide even more storage opportunities.

Use Color

The color of the walls and floor can make a room look bigger or smaller depending on their shade and placement. Here’s how.

Dark colors on the walls will make any room feel smaller. Keep the walls of your office space light to make the room appear more open. Off-white, cream or yellow are great options for making your office feel more spacious.

The opposite goes for the floor. Darker colors for your office floor will make it appear larger. For a quick fix, try a dark-colored rug.

Hang Some Mirrors

Trick your brain into feeling like you’re in a bigger office than you are by using mirrors!

Hanging mirrors around the walls of your office will give it the appearance of extending much further than it actually does. The reflection of light will also brighten the space. This subtle addition to your office design can make a huge difference in how you feel while at work!

Get Rid of Wires

Mouse wires, phone wires, printer wires, computer wires… they could be taking up more space in your office than you realize.

These days, you can get a wireless version of virtually anything. Make your office wire-free to clear more space. Visual simplicity is the key to successful office design solutions.

Clean up Clutter

Minimalism is important when it comes to maximizing your tiny office space.

Getting rid of anything that you don’t absolutely need will make the space look much bigger- not to mention making your work life more organized as well!

Ditch the outdated magazines, unused furniture, and piles of paper to declutter your office.

Use Walls for Storage

Why stick with floor space when it comes to storing things at the office?

Get creative with wall shelving to make more room on your office floor and help with organization.

Change up Your Chair

Traditional office chairs can take up lots of space, and can also be detrimental to your health.

Ditch your current office chair and look into some different options. Save space and make a positive change for your health with this easy solution!

There You Have It

Use these simple design solutions and you’ll feel like you have a new, spacious office!

Remember to continually reduce any unneeded items to keep the space visually open and organized.

Office Design Concepts For the Modern Workplace

office design concepts

Millenials are changing and shaping the modern workplace as everyone seems to be making their office cool to attract them. It’s estimated that they will outnumber baby boomers in workplaces by the year 2020.

Tech firms are leading the pack in developing new office design concepts that are more appealing to millennials. More companies are using these concepts to help boost productivity and improve employee retention.

But, before you redesign your office to attract the millennial workforce, keep in mind that poor office design costs U.S. businesses about $330 billion each year due to reduced workplace productivity.

So, if you’re planning to revamp your office, here are a few design concepts to consider.

1. Wellness Space

More companies are finding ways to add wellness to work to ensure their employees are active and healthy. One of this ways is through the addition of standing desks to improve the optimum ratio of activity.

Some offices have kitchens that employees can use to cook and enjoy meals together. Yoga and meditation are also becoming the norm in many workplaces with employers offering spaces for these activities.

2. Collaborative Spaces

Traditionally, employees were restricted to one desk or office, and this affected productivity. With the new office design concepts, modern offices combine cubicle banks, private offices, and open floor plans to ensure workers enjoy improve accessibility.

There are communal areas for those who want a place to vent after hours of working and sound-proof rooms for employees that want to focus on solo work. The end result is a modern hybrid office that features different spaces to give employees the autonomy to move around easily.

Offices feature more glass and have places for impromptu and casual meetings to boost engagement and save time.

3. The Fun Factor

Offices are no longer places where you come to file papers, crunch numbers and pound the computer keyboard over and over. Now, employees have their fun areas to unwind and let loose.

Scotiabank in Canada offers a bowling alley for their employees while Burton, a snowboard giant, has a skate park behind their office. Some offices have pool tables, music rooms, karaoke lounges, Lego rooms, and indoor running tracks.

These activities allow workers to break free from the usual grind and re-energize for the day’s work.

4. Deliberate Furniture Designs

Here, tech companies are at it again, and Google is a great example when it comes to quirky and fun office furniture designs. Typically, the essence of these designs is to reduce the number of hours employees spend sitting.

These designs are achieved in varied ways. French designer Benoît Malta’s way is even quirkier. He believes that creating less comfortable chair designs will make people get up more often. If they remain seated, they’re forced to do it actively.

Another deliberate design is whereby furniture comes with a lamp that turns itself on or off depending on the time of the day, so you have to get up and reset it.

Office Design Concepts – The Takeaway

Creating a space that is appealing to employees is an important investment in securing your workforce. Millenials are fueling the push for creative and fun designs in the workplace, phasing out the traditional concepts that don’t boost productivity.

When done right, office design can be a powerful tool for branding and productivity. Employees spend most of their time in the office, so it’s wise to create something that’s functional, accessible, comfortable and inviting.

Do you need help redesigning your workplace? We’re here to help, so feel free to contact us.