Member Article

Working comfortably – the missing link for productivity and positivity

We live in an era of digitalisation in which progressive businesses place huge significance on investing in technology. It promises competitive advantage, differentiated value, efficiency savings and smarter decision making.

Digital transformation has driven greater reliance on software and apps for daily work in office environments. For employees, this means more time spent working on devices - workstations, laptops, tablets and mobiles. So, while workers are benefitting from streamlined workflows and faster processing power, is their physical wellbeing taking a hit? Also, are businesses missing out on real transformation that increased mobility can offer?

Let’s get physical

With budgets largely focused on software and apps to drive smarter working, the physical environment is often overlooked. Technology has created a mobile revolution, giving us more ways to work than ever before. But in many offices, employees are still sitting at the same old desks for most of their day, staring down at a screen. And this isn’t good. At best, it’s eroding productivity and performance. At worst, it’s contributing to physical and mental ill health among employees.

Why healthy working matters

Too much sitting is unhealthy. Research shows that being sedentary for long periods of time increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic issues. Also, sitting for 6+ hours during the workday puts people at a higher risk for anxiety and depression. On a more immediate level, being forced to sit to work can leave employees feeling restless and unable to concentrate. It is a hidden problem but one that can have a serious impact on your business. 16% of employees who feel restless waste time on social media. 23% surf the web. 61% get up and move about(2). Those wasted minutes add up and productivity goes down.

Sit-stand desks boost wellbeing and mental alertness

Businesses will never fully realise the value of their tech investment unless they address the human factor. And that means enabling employees to work in a healthy way – by giving them the option to stand and move more.

Using a sit-stand desk has been shown to increase productivity by up to 46%. The freedom to switch between sitting and standing can prevent restlessness, and the simple action of standing up boosts mental alertness and improves mood. At the same time, it tackles the long-term health issues associated with sitting which can lead to absenteeism.

Effortlessly better for everyone

Unlike rolling out new software, rolling out sit-stand desks is simple. Desk converters turn your existing desks into sit-stand workstations. There are designs to suit every desk, job role and employee. Space-saving converters clamp securely to the desk, positioning the monitor, keyboard and mouse in a comfortable way and enabling them to rise and fall easily. Another option is a table-top convertor that sits on top of an existing desk and lifts up quickly and silently. Get it out of the box and it’s ready to use. There are also options for corner desks, and some convertors offer a handy integrated mobile/tablet station, so all devices are to hand. Best of all, employees feel the benefits from day-one and your return on investment starts immediately. How often can you say that about a tech investment?

Creating a more natural connection

Just as apps create a better connection between employees and tasks, ergonomic furniture creates a better connection between people and their devices. Long hours of screen time are an inescapable reality, so it’s crucial that each employee’s screen can be positioned in a way that’s kind to their body. And that means the head is balanced on the neck in a neutral posture. The best way to achieve this is to turn fixed monitors into movable ones by attaching them to a fully-adjustable arm that’s secured to the desk.

Monitor arms come in all sorts of formats, making it simple to accommodate different screen sizes and orientations. But what they all share is the ability to put the monitor in a healthy, comfortable position, at the right angle and height for each employee. After all, aches and pains caused by poor workspace design shouldn’t be part of anyone’s working day.

Workspaces that move people

Let’s return to that huge investment in software and cloud-based apps for a moment. These technologies have mobility at their core, enabling people to move between places and devices. They’ve also been designed to bring colleagues together for easier collaboration. So, it makes sense to extend this ability into the physical workspace and mirror what’s happening digitally. People work best when they’re free to work where it suits them. And sometimes, there’s no substitute for face-to-face group working. So, make it happen by providing mobile sit-stand workstations.

These are a fantastic option for businesses who regularly reassemble teams around projects or have open-plan workspaces and want flexibility about how desks are organised. Whether attending a walking meeting or gathering for a whole day of work, people simply wheel their desks to where they’re needed. Mobile carts have on-board power options, so devices stay powered up. And there are designs that accommodate laptops and tablets, so people are always working on their preferred device. Even presentations can be mobile with a media centre cart, giving you a large screen that you can wheel to any part of your premises.

A change is as good as a rest Sometimes people like to get away from their own desk to find a quiet spot to work or they need a change of scene to help them refocus. For this, wall-mounted, flip-down desks are perfect. The working surface is height adjustable so one size fits all, sitting or standing. They come with integrated power and data connections. And when not being used, they fold neatly down - a real space-saver. For businesses looking to create a dynamic, mobile workspace, these desks are a real bonus for employees.

Digital and physical workspaces complement each other

Movement-friendly furniture inspires people to work differently and move more - good for innovation and morale. Making employees comfortable while they’re working lets them focus fully on the job in hand. The freedom to stand and move more through the day improves musculoskeletal and brain health. Employees feel more alert and happier. At the same time, mobility enables new connections and ways of working, leading to better engagement and productivity. This is why investment in technology should go beyond apps and devices to include workspaces where people and the digital world come together.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Christophe Clerc-Renaud, Senior Sales Director, EMEA, Ergotron .

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