How Modern Office Spaces Are Improving Our Overall Health

“For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking”
Martha Grogan, Cardiologist, Mayo Clinic

Traditional office environments are often a “one-size-fits-all” approach. You may know the type of space we are referring to very well: a room lined with cubicles, each containing a desk and a chair, waiting for occupants to arrive and spend the day seated in one place in order to get as much done as possible. Flash forward a few decades, and a few research studies later, and the traditional office environment is making way for a more modern space, one which allows for workspace flow that promotes movement during the day.

As many studies have unveiled, the act of sitting at a desk all day can have a significant impact on health and wellness. Moving from a stationary workstation to one that promotes movement, like active seating and sit-stand desk set-ups, are said to have a variety of positive benefits that can improve overall health, including a reduced risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and lower long-term morality risk (source).

As we make the shift from traditional workspaces to active workspaces, companies like Ergotron have developed products to make a healthy workday happen. Ergotron is redefining the 21st century workspace with an emphasis on health, productivity and affordability.

Ergotron WorkFit workstations bring new flexibility to traditionally static environments, increasing your options for equipment placement, improving workflow, and enhancing social interaction.

That’s good for a company’s bottom line.

Retrofit your current workspace now! The WorkFit-T comes fully assembly, so no installation is needed. Whether you are upgrading an existing space or designing for a new build, WorkFit units are easy to install and use. They offer tool-free adjustment to suit individual users, and are tested to help ensure years of trouble-free up-down movement.

“Obesity is increasing not only in numbers but in severity;
More than 1 in 4 Canadian adults are obese;
Obesity costs economy up to $7-billion a year..”
Source

Sitting less and standing more is healthy and in-demand. Not only can it help increase your bottom line, it can help maximize office real estate space and assist with talent acquisition and employee retention.

Product Spotlight:
Ergotron WorkFit-T, Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation

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See the difference sit-stand stations and other ergonomic products can make for your employees and the boost it will bring to your bottom line. Find the full assortment of products on eway.ca.

 

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.

4 Tips for Standing Desk Success

So you’ve heard all about standing desks and how they can be a great benefit to your health. You would like to make the transition, but what if it feels weird? All your coworkers are sitting and you’re standing. Before you make the investment and jump in with two feet, we have four tips to make your transition to a standing desk a true success.

Do your homework.
Moving to a standing workstation may require a bit more planning than if you were ordering another standard height desk. You will want to think about getting some of the necessary accessories that will help support your new standing situation, such as a height adjustable monitor, a supportive stool, and maybe a padded mat to stand on. You’ll also want to think about your choice of footwear.

Value flexibility.
This goes for both the products you’re considering as well as your habits. Standing desks and other design pieces that help you get up and move often have the ability to function as a “traditional” desk and transition from one mode to the other. There are even apps to help. Phone apps like “Stand Up” and others can help remind you to take a break from sitting and to switch to the standing function of your desk. And flexibility goes beyond your desk— not all tasks and situations work best when standing. Find the right balance and you’ll get the most use out of your standing desk.

Don’t be afraid to be a trendsetter.
This one’s a tough one, and a New York Times article says “you will literally stand out. Embrace it.” Standing desks, treadmill desks, and other pieces are becoming more and more common in the workplace, but it might be a while before they’re the majority. In the meantime, consider how your originality might lend itself to other healthy office trends—start a walking group, encourage your team to take meetings on the move, and make your standing desk just one part of an overall approach to a healthier workplace.

Consider the culture.
Consider the culture of your office and determine how a standing desk fits within that culture, and where you can take advantage of company culture to promote workplace wellness, flexible workspaces, and creating ways to avoid the brain lag that can come from being cemented in one place for too long.

Are you looking for ideas on how to break out of the mold of the traditional office? Browse a selection of height-adjustable desks and accessories on eway.ca.

3 Health Reasons Why You Need A New Chair

The average office employee spends a large part of the day sitting at a desk, and while taking frequent breaks helps to minimize the impact of staying seated all day, it is equally important to have an ergonomic and correctly adjusted office chair for all the hours spent sitting down.

For those sitting in uncomfortable or ill-fitted office chairs, the short and long term effects of this can take a heavy toll and lead to Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). But there’s good news for businesses whose work environments lack sound ergonomic practices: improvements are often easy, relatively inexpensive, and will definitely pay off in the long run.

Three of the main benefits of having a properly fitted ergonomic chair:

  1. Increased health & comfort:
    Adjustable features on ergonomic chairs help to customize a chair to fit the user. Positioning the seat and arm rests at the right height and distance from the desk will greatly minimize the potential of developing MSDs.
  2. Increased productivity:
    An ergonomic chair enables the user to adjust their seating for activities at their desk, allowing for overall better accessibility around the workstation including better reach and less exertion. This will help improve overall satisfaction and minimize frustration and fatigue as a result of having improper tools to perform a job function.
  3. Reduced risk of injury:
    A properly fitted ergonomic chair can improve overall posture and lower the risks of MSDs. This can also help to minimize the costs to employers for lost employee time due to work related injuries.

Are you ready to shop for a new chair? Browse a huge selection of ergonomic chairs by Global on eway.ca.
Or enter the Global and Staples Advantage Chair Giveaway contest. Follow Staples Advantage on Facebook or Twitter and upload or tweet a photo of your old, broken or beat-up office chair to enter.

Click on image below for details and to view full size:

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5 Factors that Contribute to Employee Productivity

The importance of the office environment cannot be underestimated – even the basics such as furnishings and keeping the office at the right temperature contribute to employee productivity. So it’s no surprise that both employees and employers identified these as factors that can either help or hinder productivity in the workplace.

832 employers and 1,771 staff participated in the 2015 Workplace Index survey, and findings point to the following 5 key factors that impact productivity:

  1. Facilitating teamwork
  2. Adequate breaks
  3. Flexible schedules
  4. Ergonomic/functional furnishings
  5. Right temperature

Encouragingly, staff and employers both agree that the key to a productive office is an environment that facilitates strong teamwork, encouraging co-workers to work well together and communicate effectively.

Making sure staff get adequate breaks to refresh themselves was also identified as important, and flexible schedules emerged as the third most significant factor. Many workers find that traditional schedules do not always suit them and prefer a more flexible, non-conventional arrangement and working hours.

Having functional furniture that supports proper ergonomics,  as well as a comfortable office temperature also made the list.

Bottom line: find the right balance. If staff and employers can find the right balance, both will greatly benefit.

Productivity

Office Ergonomics: The Benefits of a Sit/Stand Workstation

As previously unveiled, 84% of office workers report that they sit at a desk for four or more hours a day, putting so many at risk of long term injuries due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). In an effort to combat the increased lost employee time due to MSDs, many companies have been investing in proper ergonomic tools to help diminish strains and pains caused by sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Sit/stand workstations are a rising workplace trend that offers an ergonomic solution companies are looking for. The hybrid desks allow easy flow of movement between sitting down and standing up, giving employees the option to make a more concerted effort to get away from sitting down all day.

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(Click on images for product information)

And another added bonus? The sit/stand workstations are said to have a variety of positive benefits that improve overall health, including a reduced risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and lower long-term morality risk (source).

Learn more about outfitting your office with sit/stand desks from Business Interiors by Staples.

How Collaborative Workspaces Improve Office Productivity


The key to a more productive office might just be moving away from that very thing: the office. Your workspace should make you feel comfortable enough to do your best work, even if that means sitting on the couch with your feet up.

Communal spaces encourage employees to utilize breakout rooms to brainstorm new ideas in a fresh and open atmosphere away from the typical four walls of a cubical desk.

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“The idea is that chance encounters will spark conversations and collaboration that would not happen when creative minds are moored to a singled assigned desk.” – Knowledge©Wharton / “Cost Efficient, Open-Space Office Designs: Ditching Desks-and Privacy”

An alternate option is to add moveable furniture to the office to allow employees to pull up a chair or stool. This helps promote impromptu meetings and thought sharing sessions while working with the current workstations or seating areas already established in your office.

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Business Interiors by Staples offers expert vision in creating workspaces that cater to every environment, including open concept office spaces to encourage employee collaboration.

Learn more about how you can improve your current office workspace to promote employee to participation and productivity. Get started today, click here for more details.