How Comfortable Is Your Office?
A comfortable office environment can be important for the productivity and morale of you and your employees. It can even be beneficial to you and your employees’ health.
Below are just some of the measures you can take in order to make an office more comfortable.
Investing in comfortable chairs and desks
Having to work from an uncomfortable office chair can be distracting. It can also be unhealthy. Many people who work on an uncomfortable chair develop lower back pain. This is why it’s important to invest in ergonomic office chairs with good back support.
Having a chair that is height adjustable can be important too. If your feet are hanging while sat on a chair, it can cause cramps and potentially cause circulatory problems. Height adjustable chairs allow shorter employees to put their feet flat on the floor.
Height adjustable desks could also be worth considering. Ideally you should be able to type with your elbows level with the keyboard – if a desk is too low or too high it could cause cramps to occur in the arms, which could eventually turn into a permanent strain. Low desks can also force people to lean forward, promoting lower back pain. While you may be able to adjust the height of the chair, this may affect how your legs are positioned. A height adjustable desk and height adjustable chair gives employees full control over their seating position so that they can find the most comfortable posture.
Finding the right layout
It’s worth considering the layout of your office and how this may affect general comfort. Think about where desks are placed. Is there enough legroom beneath each desk? Where does the lighting fall on each desk? Are any desks located right next to loud sources of noise?
You should also consider how conveniently located certain equipment is. Are telephones within easy reach or do employees have to get up or strain to answer them?
Use of dividers for privacy could also be worth considering. In the last couple decades, many companies have embraced open plan offices. However, for work that requires intense concentration, such a work environment can be distracting. Reverting to office cubicles might be a drastic solution and may make some employees feel claustrophobic. Instead consider whether a happy medium is possible – you could consider having an open plan area and an area with a few dividers for work that requires more concentration.
Regulating the temperature
An office that is too hot or too cold can have a negative impact on productivity. If your office doesn’t already have HVAC, it could be worth investing in, allowing you to more easily regulate the temperature.
Be wary of areas of the office that may get a lot of sunlight causing them to become hotter – placing fans here or finding a way to obstruct sunlight could prevent employees from getting too hot. You should also be wary of desks that may be exposed to cold breezes such as a desk near an entrance – a double door entrance may help to prevent cold drafts from getting in.
Getting the lighting right
You should also consider the lighting levels in your office. If the office is too dark, it could create a gloomy atmosphere and could increase the risk of eye strain from bright screens. If there’s too much light, it could result in screen glare, making it difficult for employees to see what is on the screen.
All in all, you want to get the lighting just right. Try to position desks by windows, but place them side on or facing the window so that sunlight isn’t pouring on the screen. Alternatively, use blinds or shutters to control sunlight. When it comes to artificial light, consider using a combination of overhead light and desk lighting. Overhead lighting should ideally be not too bright.
Improving air quality
The air in your office shouldn’t be stuffy. There should be good ventilation so that employees can breathe easy. This can also help to reduce build-ups of contaminants in the air like dust, mold and radon.
You may be able to incorporate a ventilation system into your HVAC rather than having to constantly open windows. Make sure that HVAC is regularly serviced so that it’s working properly and you’re not pumping dirty air around.
Adding plants to your office could help to purify the air. If your office is quite humid, it could also be worth looking into forms of dehumidification.
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