Since hiring new staff members and training them takes weeks and a surprising amount of money, most businesses are better off trying to boost the productivity of existing employees when facing a crunch. Whether you need to put the finishing touches on a new product or want to catch a new client, don’t ask more of your workers than they’re used to doing unless you’re ready to help them reach those stretch goals. A quick investment in a whole new set of chairs for the office could be just what you all need to hit that deadline without feeling stressed.
The Power of Ergonomics
So how do chairs help so much with office productivity? The secret lies within the science of ergonomics. This buzzword simply encompasses all the studies done on efficiency in the workplace, but for chairs specifically it refers to careful design to prevent physical fatigue. Most people don’t think of sitting in a chair as a difficulty, but the poor back support offered by most office chairs means your back muscles are working harder than necessary to hold you up. Swapping to a properly designed chair amps up the back support, reducing the work your body does while you’re sitting and leaving you feeling a lot better at the end of a long day.
Fewer sore backs and less wrist pain in your office team means fewer distractions when you’re all working towards a difficult goal. It also boosts productivity in the long run because your employees won’t feel as stiff and achy after spending weeks stuck at a desk for eight hours a day.
What To Look For
Not all chairs touting themselves as ergonomic actually meet the body’s needs. Start by picking chairs that go up extra high and low so each employee can get the perfect height. Desk workers should sit with their backs pressed firmly into the chair and with both feet flat on the ground, so adjustable chairs are the only way for everyone to find the right fit. After height adjustments look for adjustable arms, head rests and even seat backs. Being able to adjust the depth of a chair by moving the back allows each user to get plenty of support against their back, regardless of height or body type. Finally, don’t forget about adjustable lumbar support cushions. Either invest in gel or buckwheat cushions employees can arrange as necessary, or pick chairs with built-in lumbar sections.
Don’t assume that just because a certain office chair came out this month or has a high price tag that it’s worth investing in for your office. Stick with well-tested chairs that have earned endorsements from real doctors and spinal health organizations. Since you’ll likely want your employees enjoying their new chairs for years to come, stick with known brands that offer warranties on their equipment. You can’t stay productive, no matter how well-organized your office is, if your ergonomic chair falls apart on you.