Make A Move: How to maximize movement during your workday.

Are you sitting right now? And have you been sitting for most of the day? Chances are, if you’re an office worker, the answer is yes. And if so, you’re not alone.  Shockingly, 84% of office workers say they sit for four or more hours a day, and more than 50% of those workers say they sit for six or more hours a day, according to research from furniture manufacturer Allsteel.

There is no shortage of studies that speak to the negative and long lasting effects that sitting down all day has on your overall health, including an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, and musculoskeletal disorders, to name a few. But the good news is there are several easy ways to change up your sedentary workday and lessen or avoid the effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time.

The head of Allsteel’s Ergonomics Group, Dr. Lauren Gant, shares a few easy ways to infuse your workday with mobility, even when your day requires you to be at the office.

Think outside the desk. Move to alternate working areas when possible, even if it’s just a different area of your desk. Changing up your seating location every so often will help adjust your posture so you’re not stuck in the same position all day. Or when possible, take your work to a different area of the office, like an area with standing-height counters or tables, or office areas with more relaxed seating.

Meet on your feet. Leave the conference room behind and opt to meet your colleagues while you’re on the move. Try a walk outdoors, walking around the building or standing in an open area. Not an option? Try pacing or standing while on the phone to help break up a sedentary day (while respecting the office environment and your coworkers’ space, of course).

Sit back and relax. Reclining at your desk and fidgeting while you’re seated can help vary your posture throughout the day. Changing up your position in small ways can help reduce your exposure to the effects of sitting for long periods of time.

Take a stand. With the growing availability of alternative workstations like sit-stand desks, there are a number of ways to stay productive while you tackle your work without being in a seated position. Investing in an alternative workstation can lead to a lifetime of comfort and good health.

So will these small adjustments actually make a difference in your day? Take a look:

allsteel

Allsteel’s The Importance of Movement in the Workplace

Visit Allsteel’s Ergonomics page for full results from the study, and for ideas and inspiration on how you can implement some of these changes into your workspace, check out our latest Go2Book.

 

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How to Create an Inspiring Workplace in 5 Easy Steps

The open office concept’s rise in popularity has come into question over the last few years, as many question the impact an open office design has on employee productivity. But on the flip side, a closed office layout decreases the opportunities for collaboration and spontaneous brainstorming.  So what layout option works best? Which one will inspire employees to do their best work? The 2016 Workplace Index surveyed a mix of managers and workers to find out.

The Workplace Index findings pointed to a split decision when it came down to the preference of the office floorplan layout and design. When asked what the preference would be, 34% said an open floor plan, 32% selected a closed floor plan, and 34% chose a hybrid option – an office floor plan consisting of fully enclosed office spaces or cubicles as well as open spaces.

Perhaps of equal importance to floorplan flow, those surveyed pointed to a number of features of an office that provide inspiration and add to productivity. Whether stationed in a cubicle or corner office, the following features were among the top rated in terms of what workers and managers are looking for:

  1. Natural light – 43% of survey respondents listed natural light as a feature in the office that they would like to have access to. Natural light is known to boost productivity and creativity among office workers.
  2. Private space – those who participated in the survey noted that they would like to have access to private space to get work done. In fact, 34% listed this as a preferred feature.
  3. Standing desks – the battle of sitting all day continues; 31% noted that a standing desk would be something they would like to have access to.
  4. Lounge areas – while private space allows workers to get their most pressing work done, lounge areas that promote collaboration were also requested by 30% of respondents.
  5. Flexible furniture for multiple uses – in addition to standard office furniture (cubicles, desks, chairs), respondents were looking for furniture that can adapt to their tasks.

Want to explore how you can introduce some of these elements into your workplace? Speak to the experts. The furniture team at Staples Business AdvantageTM can help. For more information, visit: StaplesBusinessAdvantage.ca/Furniture.

5 Up-and-Coming Design Students Win Interior Design Scholarship from Staples Business Advantage

What does it take to design a workspace that is functional for a business but also inspiring for employees? College students across Canada got the opportunity to showcase their insights and understandings of workplace design as they applied their skills to create a corporate space layout and design for the 2016 Business Interiors Scholarship, now known as the Staples Business AdvantageTM Interior Design Scholarship Program.

The contract furniture division of Staples Business Advantage Canada is proud to offer academic scholarships to five winners of this year’s Corporate Workspace Design Project. Interior Design students from across the country participated and were judged on their ability to create and present a workspace design plan for the modern corporate environment. This was the 6th consecutive year for the Interior Design Scholarship Program. The design submissions were judged on a variety of criteria, including overall design concept, space planning solutions, finishes and material selection, presentation skills, and more.

“The task of designing a future space allows promising students to showcase their creativity and skills in creating a vision for reinventing the way we work,” said Sandra Vyse, National Director, Furniture, Staples Business Advantage. “We are very pleased to offer a scholarship to help students in education towards creating exceptional design.”

The scholarship provides an opportunity for talented design students to re-imagine today’s workspace into a place where digitalization, telecommuting and need for collaborative space can all be combined. The project encourages and supports interior design students who have the potential to make a significant contribution in the design field.

Staples Business Advantage Canada partnered with several interior design schools across Canada and professors selected their top students to participate in the workplace design challenge which saw nearly 30 submissions.

Throughout the design process, scholarship recipient Alessia Maria Agozzino from Sheridan College learned the importance of considering and incorporating employee wellness into the design process. “My goal was to create a work place that workers enjoyed going to as well as a space that enhanced the importance of wellness and sustainability,” Agozzino said.  “As Canadians we are indoors most of our day and we spend most of our time at work. Therefore, it is important to create a design that will better enhance the performance of workers by creating that outdoor feel…”

The following students were chosen nationally and awarded a scholarship by a panel of interior designers from the furniture team at Business Interiors by Staplessm, now known as Staples Business Advantage Canada and several designer firms:

Maria Cristina Riano, Fanshawe College
Alessia Maria Agozzino, Sheridan College
Sara Topp, Mount Royal University
Alexandra Verkuil-Wood, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Marie-Helene Sarrazin, College de L’Outaouais

Staples Business Advantage Canada congratulates each of the scholarship recipients and all the hard work they put in to their projects.

NeoCon 2016 Recap: Top Trends & Innovations for Office Design

The furniture team from Staples Business Advantage was in Chicago in June to attend NeoCon 2016, North America’s most important design exposition and conference. Our team of experts visited the various showrooms to explore the latest trends in workspace furniture and office interior design.

Throughout the few days we were at NeoCon 2016, we gathered up heaps of inspiration and insights from top vendors like Allsteel, HON, Global, Via Seating, Arcadia, Safco, and many others.

This recap from our time at NeoCon explores active seating options, how to introduce pops of colour into your workplace, communal workspaces, and how to plan your office layout to optimize employee productivity.

Perching vs Sitting
Safco was a hub of activity with their newly acquired line of Focal Upright seating options that they’ve added to the Safco Active family. This collection brings together products that promote movement throughout the workday by standing, active sitting and perching. The products make healthy happen through small changes that add up to make a big impact on your work and life. As studies and news outlets continue to report the importance of movement throughout the workday, Safco Active is focused on providing solutions to keep user’s bodies actively engaged while keeping in mind how and where users work.
SafcoSource: http://www.safcoproducts.com/pr-201605-safco-acquires-focal

Bringing Colour into the Workplace
Global Furniture Group brought a sleek and modern approach to their NeoCon showroom, infusing pops of colour into traditional office furniture pieces. Blues, yellows and plaid patterns made an appearance, bringing a fun twist to the standard selection of workplace furniture.
Global1
Source: facebook.com/globalfurnituregroup

Global’s new River system introduces customizable lounge furniture pieces in a range of colours and layout options. The River collection brings people together in a place where ideas, insight and inspiration can be shared. River supports an endless array of curvilinear and rectilinear configurations with three back heights and benches. Seating and tables can be specified with power and USB outlets for mobile devices.
Global2Source: facebook.com/globalfurnituregroup

Workplace Productivity
In recent years, employers have been searching for the key ingredients that will help employees do their best work. Many workplaces are dealing with tighter budgets, a scaled down workforce, increased workload, and greater expectations to perform. If we’re putting more pressure on our employees, how do we support them to keep performance and productivity levels high? Is there a proven method for measuring performance? In a recent global research review, Allsteel went in search of scientific answers to backup this very question.
The study uncovered six key factors that have the highest statistical association with the performance of teams:

  • Social Cohesion
  • Perceived Supervisory Support
  • Information Sharing
  • Vision and Goal Clarity
  • External Outreach
  • Trust

These insights help us to approach office design and layout for optimal productivity levels as proven through the research.
Allsteel
Source: http://www.allsteeloffice.com/neocon2016

Want to explore how you can introduce some of these elements into your workplace? Speak to the experts. The furniture team at Staples Business Advantage can help. For more information, visit: workplacestudio.ca.