Ergonomics, as defined by OSHA, is the study of work. It is commonly used to study ways in which job tools and furniture can create a more effective and efficient environment for the worker instead of requiring the worker to adjust to the environment.
Ergonomic office environments provide a number of benefits to the individual worker as well as the company. Such environments can help with the following.
- Increase productivity by providing efficient solutions that affect movement, workflow, and organization.
- Create comfort, which keeps workers from suffering from back pain or strain, making longer sitting spells less hazardous to workers’ health.
- Promote healthy habits by decreasing glare, encouraging good posture, and decreasing the need to stretch to reach items.
Most people who work in offices know the importance of having an ergonomic chair, but having an ergonomic desk is just as important to an office worker’s health. Corner desks have proven to be an ergonomic solution for many work environments.
Benefits of Corner Desks
Corner desks have a variety of ergonomic and other benefits.
- Corner desks are constructed so that all your needs are within arm’s reach. Other desks may be longer and require getting up, moving your chair, or overextending your reach to grab the phone or a stack of files.
- Work prioritization. Most corner desks are set up with the computer monitor and keyboard in the center and workspaces on either side. Having a separate workspace on each side of the computer allows you to keep an open work side and place all your urgent items on the other. You’ll be able to clearly see what needs to be done during your daily activities. Furthermore, being able to move easily between tasks will reduce strain on muscles and joints.
- Corner desks provide a variety of vertical organizational options. Workers can maximize the space underfoot by placing a PC, printer, or other bulky item below the desk without compromising foot space. Above, many corner desks can be fitted with a hutch. Featuring shelving or a small cupboard, corner desk hutches can hold notebooks, folders, or reference books.
- Space saving. In small office settings, the corner desk is ideal. Unlike a traditional, straight desk, a corner desk takes up a minimal amount of space leaving the rest of the room for other uses. It is a great solution for home offices that serve as multi-function rooms. Additionally, corner placement in a room naturally cuts down on glare by positioning the computer monitor away from direct sunlight.
You’ll enjoy the versatility, style, and ergonomic functionality of your corner desk investment. Whether your style is modern, traditional, or somewhere in between, there is a corner desk that will be both ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing for your space. Stay-at-home moms, remote workers, and office workers all benefit from the corner desk design that improves productivity and maintains movement and flow in an office setting. Pair your desk with a comfortable and ergonomic chair for the most benefit from ergonomic research and design.
Did you know that sitting at a computer desk all day may be harming your health? When sitting your body is inactive and you aren’t burning any calories or getting any exercise. But the impacts of sitting all day are much more serious than that.
If you sit at a computer desk all day, you have an increased risk of the following.
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Chronic pain
Dr. James Levine has done extensive research on the effects of sitting. His studies show that people who sit all day gain more weight than those who take the opportunity to move. This may be due to actual changes in the body that slow down metabolic processes and can also contribute to developing diabetes.
Sitting is a risk for increased heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. Researchers found that sitting more than two hours a day puts adults at a 125 percent increase for heart disease. Additionally, increased rates of cancer can be linked to sitting for extended periods. Cases of breast, colon, lung, prostate, ovarian and endometrial cancer can be tied to sitting for too long.
All of these health issues lead to an overall increase in mortality. A seven-year study in Australia concluded that for every extra hour during the day subjects spent sitting, they saw an increase of 11 percent in the overall chance of dying during the study period.
What is the solution to this health epidemic? Computers are so integrated into daily activities and work that it is impossible to avoid them. The simple solution? Stand up.
Standing Computer Desks Get You on Your Feet
The simple act of switching from a traditional desk to a standing computer desk could improve your overall health and ultimately save your life. Standing automatically increases movement and encourages you to walk, shift your weight and flex your muscles.
There are two types of standing computer desks: adjustable and fixed height. Fixed height desks are generally less expensive, but adjustable desks have advantages that make them the preferred option.
Adjustable computer desks:
- Give you the option of switching between standing or sitting throughout the day.
- Let you adjust the height of your desk to meet the needs of your body.
- Are an easier transition from a sitting desk to a standing desk.
If you are switching from a conventional desk to a standing one, you may need to build up your stamina during the day. An adjustable computer desk lets you stand for a period and then sit when you need a break. Once you make the transition to the standing desk, if you are tired or having an off day, you can adjust the height to suit your needs.
There is nothing wrong with sitting for part of the day as standing too long can lead to back pain and other issues. An adjustable desk lets you find the balance that is right for you. A standing computer desk can have life-long impacts to improve your health and extend your life.
L desks are great choices for an office space, but designing the space around them may present a challenge. Due to their angular nature, L desks will take up more space in your office than a straight desk or a corner desk. The way you position furniture in your office can also have an impact on your productivity levels and interactions with others.
Your office desk should always be arranged in such a way that you have a clear view of the door. The desk is the central piece of furniture in the room and can convey authority and professionalism. Additionally, if your desk is facing the rear of the room, you may be startled by or miss things that are happening right outside your doorway.
Placing your L desk with one arm horizontal to the doorway not only maintains flow, it divides the room and places you as the authority position in the area. Those who come into the room will be facing you, with their backs to the open doorway. This allows you to control and move in the space freely, while the other person is generally limited to the front of the desk.
With an L desk, options may be more limited than with a straight desk, though your usable workspace will be increased. The tradeoff is perfect if you engage in different types of activities at your desk on a daily basis. Place one arm of the L desk so that it faces the door and the other side against a wall. If you work in a more open environment, you may be able to place your L desk in the center of the room without interrupting the flow of the space.
After you have placed your desk, you can determine how to arrange other pieces of furniture. Too many filing cabinets, bookshelves, and other tables may make your office feel cluttered. Instead, look for additional storage capacity when you purchase your L desk. While some desks may create a need for a separate collaborative table in the office, the L desk is perfectly shaped for collaboration on one side while allowing your workflow to remain uninterrupted on the other.
If your office is shared, one major benefit of the L desk is that you can create personal space by placing the desk in a corner of the room. While you may not directly face the door, you will have a semblance of privacy without sacrificing table space or feeling like you’re working in a classroom setting.
An L desk is also great for reception areas. A receptionist can use one side of an L desk to greet and interact with guests while the other side of it can be used for completing daily tasks and projects. It is a great way to define and organize space.
With many options for style and materials, the L desk fits the needs for a number of different professionals. It provides enough space for computer work as well as physical tasks and collaboration, while maintaining an area of space that is personal and secure.
Ergonomics is the study of how a work environment can be modified to better fit the needs of the worker. From efficiency to health, ergonomics in the office place has become an important aspect of improving productivity and decreasing absences in the workplace. One of the most ergonomic office staples you can invest in is a quality, ergonomic office chair.
An ergonomic office chair affords multiple modifications to suit the user’s needs. Keep in mind the following considerations when choosing an ergonomic office chair.
The height, headrest, armrest, and seat should all be adjustable. Because heights, body types, and needs vary from person to person, finding a chair that can be modified to correspond to different workers’ needs is an ergonomic priority. When you’re adjusting an ergonomic seat, remember the following tips.
- Make sure the height allows you to sit with your feet comfortably on the floor. Your knees should be at roughly a 90-degree angle.
- The back may move forward and backward to support your lumbar spine. Other chairs feature flexible backs that mold to you as you’re sitting. Look for chairs that allow you to sit in a slightly reclined position as well as straight.
- Some ergonomic office chairs will feature a separate headrest and others will not. If yours does, position the chair so that it slightly reclines, and make sure that your head feels supported.
- Armrests should comfortably hold your forearms in a number of positions that suit your body and the way you sit. Depending on how often you actually use the armrest, it may not be as important as other supportive features.
Look for seat construction that is wide and deep enough to be comfortable for your body type. If you can’t comfortably sit in the chair with your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90-degree angle, then the chair is probably too large for you. A little bit of space between the backs of the knees and the seat is the best fit.
The material of ergonomic chairs varies widely, from leather or microfiber to plastic or rubber composites. Some chairs may have a combination of materials. Make sure it is material that you will be comfortable sitting in for an hour or more. Breathability, feel, and design should be important in your decision making process.
The construction of the bottom of the chair should feature 5 legs for the most support and stability. Casters are optional but helpful in a variety of office settings. If your chair does have casters, make sure that they have a locking ability. Additionally, the chair should be able to swivel to allow your movement to a number of different desk constructs.
If possible, sit in any office chairs you are considering before making a purchasing decision. While a description can provide you with important information, only physically testing a chair will inform you of whether it has the features you need in an ergonomic office chair.
When client, colleagues, superiors, and/or employees enter your office, they get a certain impression about you. When choosing your office furniture, you should take this initial experience into consideration. Snap judgments, whether wrong or on point, can make a difference in how you are perceived in the future. For some, a modern vibe in the office is integral to conveying their skills, innovation and creativity.
Modern office furniture is impressive because it indicates attention to detail and relevance in today’s market. Particularly in innovative technological fields and marketing, staying current with office trends is an indication of your overall relevance as a brand.
Here are some useful tips for modernizing your office space
- Check it out online. Search online or browse on Pinterest to get a feel for the latest and greatest in modern office furniture and other design aspects for your space. If you’re on a budget, some of these sites will include techniques for modernizing your space without breaking the bank.
- Identify the important changes. Will a different desk work for you? Or, do you need to take it one step further and change the trim, file folders and other details? Make a list of the aspects you most want to change, and work your way down. If there are some affordable changes you can make first, tackle those while you save up for what you really need.
- Choose unique artwork. A hallmark of modern design is personalization. You should not be afraid to express yourself within the scope of the brand for which you work. Doing so actually distinguishes you from your competition. Whether you work on your own or under a larger brand, find artwork that represents you with the brand colors or vice versa. It’s a great way to integrate your personality into your work.
- Streamline your meeting space. Wherever you interact with colleagues and clients is where you need to make a statement. That means that if you entertain clients from home, your home needs to represent your brand. If you meet in a conference room or your office, make sure your desk meets your modern office furniture needs. The desk is your place of power when you’re entertaining. Until you can define your space, try meeting clients in a neutral location that reflects how you do business.
- Modernize your chair. You may not think about your chair as a design element that will make an impression on your clients. If you have a unique or ergonomic chair, however, it may catch your client’s attention. In terms of modern office furniture, whatever you can integrate into your space will be worthwhile.
Use distinctive lighting. The lighting you choose will have a subconscious effect on anyone who enters your space. Accent lights in unique and modern designs can be eye catching while providing light that enhances your client interactions. Try to avoid fluorescent lights that can be harsh and intimidating. Modern lighting focuses more on integrating and mimicking natural light.
Whether you’re creating your first office space design or your tenth, finding the perfect solutions for your space can be challenging. Luckily, brands like HON Furniture specialize in providing unique and effective workstation solutions for your business needs. With easy setup and many different options, your office space will look and feel great with these workstations from HON Furniture.
The Abound workstation is durable and provides technological capabilities to ensure that configuration and installation is quick and seamless. It functions well in today’s world, but is built for the world of tomorrow. With cubicles that have glass tops, the Abound station allows natural light to permeate the workspace, decreasing the number of headaches workers suffer while improving moods and boosting productivity.
Individual cubicles provide privacy while mixed materials create distinct lines and simple organization. Other workspaces in the collection provide openness or more privacy, depending on your office needs. The collection is a full system of framing and tiles to create seamless workspaces that are flexible to change with the needs of your business.
The Initiate system is durable and made with easy-to-reconfigure pieces. If you’re looking for a solution that can be modified in numerous ways and has a low ecological footprint, you’ve found it with Initiate. With simple solutions to provide you with the right amount of space and design specifications for the right individuals, this system is the definition of simplicity and functionality. All pieces are preassembled and stay strong no matter how often you reconfigure your workspace.
Accelerate is a system designed with change and performance in mind. It features clean lines and the ultimate in redesign capabilities. Pick the elements in this system that best work with your business needs and you’ll have a customized space that works with all the other HON systems. From personal storage to thin glass panels that are durable and covered under a lifetime warranty, Accelerate can be customized to create the look you need in your office space.
If you need to follow a strict budget or you need to accommodate specific workflows, the Accelerate system has you covered. With different levels of system design features, we can help you fit any budget and need with the potential for an easy and effective upgrade in the future. Color, storage, and layout are all fully customizable for your scale and price range in this system.
When it comes to designing workstations that evolve with your business, there is no better brand than HON. Complete with a full lifetime warranty, each system HON Furniture offers is easy to mix and match and perfect for a number of applications. Choose your design materials from fabric to finishes, and your workstations will complement and reflect your brand’s personality perfectly.
From individual cubicles to shared cubicles, collaborative tables, and optimal lighting, all three systems – Abound, Initiate, and Accelerate – are designed with the future of business in mind. The Hon Furniture workstation systems improve morale and design efficiency with their classic, clean, and innovative designs.
A messy desk is not an ideal work environment. In fact, a disorganized desk can increase stress levels, make work processes more difficult, and give a bad impression to anyone who visits your workspace.
Corner desks were designed with efficiency in mind. Unfortunately, it’s still possible to create a messy environment at a corner desk. Even though we know disorganization is detrimental, sometimes it’s difficult to maintain a habit of tidiness. You can turn your messy habits around and keep your desk clean, even in the midst of looming deadlines, fatigue, and laziness with these tips and tricks.
- Deal with paper immediately. Never set paper aside to be dealt with later. Set up a filing system for urgent action items, filing, and shredding. Having a place to put all your loose papers will automatically make your corner desk appear less cluttered and more organized.
- Set a 5-minute organization timer every day. Instead of waiting until your desk becomes a clutter monster, take 5 minutes out of your day to do what you can. Set a timer and only work on organizing in that amount of time. You’ll be amazed at how much neater your space is at the end of a week. Alternatively, you can set your timer for a longer period of time and organize once a week. Five minutes a day, though, will allow you to take a much-needed break from difficult or stressful tasks and projects.
- Keep office supplies in a designated area. Whether you prefer to have your tape and stapler on your desk or in a drawer, always keep your office supplies in a chosen location. Leaving tools where they are after you’ve used them is one way to build up clutter very quickly.
- Use disinfectant. The number of germs builds up quickly on items we use on a routine basis. While many germs are benign, having the wrong germs around can lead to chronic illness.
- Invest in a corner desk. If you don’t have one, a corner desk is great for helping with organization. They are generally smaller than other desk varieties, which will force you to clean as you go to have full use of the area. Some are also built with vertical storage and plenty of room under the desk for PCs, printers, trashcans, and more.
- Use a bulletin board. For some people, out of sight really is out of mind. To remedy this, set up a bulletin board behind your monitor or on a visible wall close by. You’ll be able to easily see your to-do list without leaving your action items out on the desk in disarray.
- Limit the number of decorations you have. Unless your corner desk has a hutch with shelving, decorations can get in the way of your workflow. Limit them to one or two items and hang picture frames on the wall if possible. While it’s okay to express your personality at your desk, having too many items can make your space seem cluttered.
Many of us spend eight hours a day, five days a week in our computer chairs. This can have a detrimental effect on anyone’s health. While some people choose to address this with specially designed chairs or standing workstations, simply improving your posture habits in computer chairs can remedy many of the adverse effects.
If you sit at a desk for hours at a time, you may suffer from any number of musculoskeletal afflictions including back pain, carpal tunnel, and other aches and pains. Sitting improperly can also affect your digestive health. When you slouch, your spine and all of your internal organs are compressed and the digestive system’s ability to function normally is inhibited. You can strain your eyes to the point of developing chronic dry eye or other eye-strain problems.
Your mood is also markedly changed by your posture. Remaining hunched over can create fatigue and sleepiness, making it difficult for you to remain productive throughout the day. If any of these descriptions sound like you, there are some ways to practice good posture and improve your productivity, mood, and decrease pain.
Practicing Correct Posture:
- Sit squarely. Either sit all the way back in your chair or slightly away from the back. If you do sit away from the back of the chair, make sure you don’t arch your back. Keep your spine elongated and your buttocks tucked in.
- Keep your shoulders back and head up. To correctly position your shoulders, roll them up and back. Your head should remain forward looking with your chin making a 90 degree angle to your spine. Adjust your computer monitor to keep your head in proper alignment.
- Make sure your feet are squarely on the floor. Don’t sit on your feet or cross your legs. Over time, both can throw your spine out of alignment. Keeping your feet squared provides balance and stability while you are working.
- Get up and move. Whenever you feel strained or if you’ve been sitting for an extended period of time, get up and move. Walk around for a minute, do some arm circles, or march in place. Anything that gets your blood circulating and moves your muscles will keep them from becoming stiff and sore.
- Change positions. Without slouching, try sitting in some different positions. Recline slightly in your chair or sit forward more than normal for a few minutes. Frequent change is a good way to keep pain away.
- Check your posture. Set a timer for 20 minutes to remind you to move around and reorient yourself in your chair. Doing so will give you a heads up if you’ve been slouching and remind you to keep moving throughout the day to avoid strain. Alternatively, you can have a colleague remind you to practice your posture when they see you.
Choose a chair that is comfortable and stable to make the most out of your posture practice. Over time, you should notice a decrease in overall pain and an increase in mood and productivity.
The reception desk is the first impression your office makes on visitors. A desk that is cluttered can send the impression of unprofessionalism to clients and affect the way they treat you and your staff. Psychologically, disorganization increases stress and puts nerves on edge unnecessarily. To avoid making a bad first impression, follow these tips to keep your reception area clean and organized.
Work on one item at a time. Instead of pulling out everything on your to-do list and leaving it on the forward-facing desk, get out only what you will be working with at the moment. Leave everything else filed away neatly. If you have an area that is not facing incoming guests, always do your work on that side and greet your guests on the neat and orderly side.
Minimize decorations. While having some decorations on your reception desk can be eye catching and represent your brand’s personality, too many decorative features are a distraction. You want your guests to see something and feel a connection, but not be visually overwhelmed.
Organize daily. When you get stressed or need a break from a project, set a timer for 5 minutes and organize what you can in that time. File, throw away or shred unnecessary documents, and stop when the timer is finished. Doing so will go a long way toward clearing your mind and clearing the desk of clutter.
Use sanitizing spray or disinfectant. This is one of the most important areas in your building to keep clean. Sanitizing regularly keeps your guests and your staff healthy. Many reception desks also feature hand-sanitizing stations for guests to use. Doing so is generally appreciated as a thoughtful gesture.
Keep your computer angled away from the reception area. Your computer might feature sensitive client information and having it where entering guests can read your work can be a security hazard. Even when you are not working on sensitive material, keep your computer monitor angled away from the doorway and reception area.
Never leave snacks on the desk. You may need to eat a snack at your desk occasionally, but keep it low profile to uphold a professional demeanor for anyone who comes in. Wrappers, crumbs, and half-eaten food can easily send the wrong message.
Place routine office supplies in a designated area. Rather than leaving your tape, scissors, pens, and post-its wherever you last used them, it’s important to have a place for everything. Always putting things in their places will make less work for you in the future and keep your desk looking orderly.
Most importantly, create a schedule and stick to it. It may not be feasible for you to do everything all of the time. Instead, schedule your organizing tasks so that you can do a little bit at a time. Don’t get frustrated if it’s difficult to follow at first. Keep trying, and see how it positively affects the guests who come to your reception desk. Seeing and feeling the difference might help you turn this routine into a habit.
When you are looking to invest in a high-quality executive desk, material matters. There are many options when it comes to materials for your executive desk but which should you choose? Your desk has the important job of conveying your approach to business, and finding the appropriate material is half the challenge.
A high-quality surface exudes power, responsibility, and class. If you’re investing in an executive desk, chances are good that you’ll want one that emphasizes those three qualities. Executive desks are known for being higher quality than other desks. They are made from durable, high-quality materials and the craftsmanship is generally better than you will find in another type of desk.
Consider these options when choosing your desk material.
Solid wood is the definition of class when it comes to executive desks. Look for maple, oak, cherry, mahogany, and walnut as the classic wood types that have been used in executive desks for hundreds of years. Ranging from a light ash to deep red, these woods are sturdy and durable – the perfect material for an executive desk. You will pay more for solid hardwood than almost any other material on the market, but it may be worth it.
If you decide on a desk that is solid hardwood, it could become a family heirloom. While executive desks made of hardwoods come in a variety of styles and designs, choosing more classic styles will make your investment longer lasting than choosing a newer style that may go out of fashion in your lifetime. Taking good care of your executive desk can help it maintain its value over time. Some solid wood desks come with a glass overlay for the surface to protect the wood. If yours does not, you can have glass custom fit for your desk to prevent writing and spills from ruining the surface.
Other materials that you might see used in executive desks include steel and other metals. Many of these designs will feature glass tops or shelving spaces. Be wary of glass that is not reinforced, as it may shatter or splinter. Perfect for more contemporary office settings or a unique sense of style, metal desks are also durable and make a statement. The desks are heavy and solid, and many have an industrial look. If your office is in an old warehouse, a steel or metal desk might be the ideal material for your needs.
Laminates and Composites
You may come across executive desks that are made from laminates and other composite materials. For stricter budgets, these materials may be a good choice, and they come in a variety of durable styles and finishes. The laminate industry has come a long way and in some cases, you may not be able to see much of a difference between a laminate and a wood desk. If you’re looking for a desk that is more for function than style, then a laminate or other composite with a wooden style finish may suit your needs.