If you work at home, you know it can be difficult to find the right chair or right spot on the couch that feels comfortable to work from. If you are feeling sluggish or tense in your back and shoulders, it would be wise to consider purchasing ergonomic chairs for your home office. Doing so can decrease pain and improve your performance, making your at-home job a more rewarding experience.
Did you know that the study of ergonomics has been around since World War II? Britain coined the term when it was trying to enhance the pilot control experience in airplanes. Now the principles of ergonomics are applied in office furniture, vehicle seating, and other areas to improve the overall user experience or interaction with a device.
Ergonomic chairs provide users with a number of health boosting benefits. Because they are so customizable, they improve and reduce chronic pain associated with sitting improperly, overuse, and overextension. To get the most pain-reducing benefits, users should practice sitting in the chairs with good posture. A great way to ensure that you are sitting with proper form is to adjust the seat to your needs while you are sitting straight with your feet planted squarely on the floor and with your knees at a 90-degree angle.
If you feel uncomfortable, chances are you are going to be taking more frequent breaks, becoming distracted, and shifting around more in general. While moving around during the day is actually very healthy, the stimulus for moving should not be pain or stress. Ergonomic chairs improve productivity because they facilitate our movements, provide stability, and support our bodies while we’re sitting. In the same way that a swaddle helps a baby feel safe and stabilized, an ergonomic chair helps adults feel empowered to complete their deskwork.
Look for these ergonomic chair features to get the most out of your purchase. Don’t simply trust that a label with the word ergonomic on it indicates that a chair will cover all your needs.
- Back support. The best chairs feature moveable lumbar support. If the chair does not have adjustable support, make sure that your lower back feels cushioned and supported.
- Adjustable armrests, headrests, and height. Depending on your height and body type, you’ll need to adjust all three areas to suit your needs while you are sitting at your desk.
- Swivel capabilities, legs, and casters. An ergonomic chair should make it easy for you to move around within a confined area and easily reach things on your desk or nearby. Five support legs provide more stability than four, and casters will allow you to move around your desk with ease.
Just because you don’t work in a traditional office setting, doesn’t mean that principles that work for large companies won’t work for you. Invest in an ergonomic chair to improve your productivity and protect your musculoskeletal system. You should be able to tell a difference in as little as a day of use, and it can save you from experiencing chronic pain in the future.
Long hours spent at a desk job can take a serious toll on the back and spine. Sitting all day may sound preferable to many people, but our bodies were not meant to remain sedentary for extended periods of time. In an effort to mitigate pain associated with prolonged sitting, many companies are turning to ergonomic chairs for solutions.
Productivity and Health Benefits
Ergonomic chairs were developed with employees in mind. They are intended to suit individual needs so that performing a job function is easier and more efficient. With the rise in chronic back, wrist, and neck pain, ergonomic chairs focus on providing support and relief to individuals who sit for hours at a time. The chairs promote good posture habits, create stability, and provide a way for employees to adjust their chairs’ fits.
Employers are finding that the use of ergonomic chairs in an office environment can enhance productivity, boost morale, and, ultimately increase the bottom line. The natural decrease in pain that employees experience means that there are fewer overall absences in the company on a daily basis. Fewer absences are almost always directly and positively correlated to an improved rate of productivity.
Additionally, ergonomic chairs are generally more comfortable. Employees find that sitting in them for long amounts of time is less stressful to their musculoskeletal system than with other chairs. How do you know if your chair is ergonomic?
Features of Ergonomic Chairs
Adjustability is one of the hallmarks of a well-designed ergonomic chair. The height, backrest, armrests, and headrest should all be adjustable to suit the needs of the individual. They feature wider and more supportive seat cushioning that can be tilted up or down depending on the comfort level of the user.
Chairs with five feet and casters make it easy to move around the office space while remaining seated. The extra foot provides extra stability so that users won’t accidentally tilt or topple while swiveling or moving in the chair. The swivel function is another feature of most ergonomic chairs. Being able to twist in your seat makes grabbing print jobs and filing documents a seamless job.
Ergonomic chairs are often as stylish as they are functional. Available in a wide number of color options and materials, you’ll easily be able to find a chair that suits the needs of your office. Consider chairs that match your brand personality or corporate culture. Less conventional chairs may feature unique designs that mimic spinal anatomy or specifically target pressure points. If you run a small office, consider letting your employees provide you with input on what they need in a chair.
Any company that is looking at ways to improve the employee experience while improving productivity should consider investing in ergonomic chairs. The health benefits have the potential to increase your bottom line and drive down health insurance costs. Many designs are stylish and affordable, making it an investment that your company may recoup in as little as a year or two.
Companies are always looking for ways to boost productivity at work. From improving benefits packages to instating flexible work schedules, finding ways to incentivize productivity can help companies stay ahead of the curve and inspire loyal, productive workers. Investing in a U-shaped desk for workers is just one of the ways companies are influencing worker productivity on a daily basis. How does a U-shaped desk do it?
- It’s ergonomic. U-shaped desks help streamline processes. By taking an expansive desk space and curving it around the worker, they’ve eliminated the need for the employee to move around to look for items in their office. From organization to separation of tasks and multi-tasking, an employee has greater freedom to design and schedule the workday with the use of a U-shaped desk.
- It provides a large amount of storage space. Drawers and cabinets around the edges of the desk and overhead in a hutch make your employees’ workspaces one-stop shops. They will no longer have to get up to search for a file in a shared filing cabinet or the corner of the room. It will be within arm’s reach right in their space.
- It can facilitate collaboration. When an employee is hosting someone in his or her workspace for project collaboration, he or she has to clear an area for two people to work. Instead of shuffling and reshuffling stacks of paper, a U-shaped desk allows your employees to simply turn from one side to the other side for work. As an added bonus, if an employee needs to reference the computer or grab another document, it’s all right there to see.
- It’s aesthetically pleasing. U-shaped desks are reminiscent of command centers. They give employees a defined amount of space in which to work, decorate, and live for 8 hours a day. Many designs are functional as well as stylish. From colored filing inlays to frosted clear plastic accents, there are many different styles, colors, and materials to choose from. You can reflect your company’s personality while creating a pleasant environment for your employees to work in.
- It’s technologically savvy. Need to house multiple gadgets and devices at your workstation? It’s amazing the number of electronics you can effectively store and use in this desk design. From printers and scanners to dual or triple monitor displays, your workers can personalize and arrange U-shaped desks to meet all their technology needs.
- It’s personal. Particularly in large, open environments, a U-shaped desk gives your employees a way to define their workspaces. Having individualized spaces for work can influence productivity by encouraging productive routines and helping your employees feel valued and respected.
The U-shaped desk is a smart design that was created with the user experience in mind. From collaboration to creating personalized spaces, the U-shaped desk is a great way to encourage productivity and innovation in the work place. Choose the desk that is right for your work environment by exploring the design options and space requirements you’ll need first.
It can be difficult to keep work organized and accessible throughout the day. Often, this is related to not having enough desk space to keep various items properly arranged and visible. For people who struggle with this type of situation at work, U-shaped desks can be helpful additions to the office.
At first glance, the U-shaped desk may seem overwhelming and large. In fact, it is the ideal solution for both small and large areas. It effectively creates a private workspace with its 3-sided design. Consider these other reasons why more people are choosing a U-shaped desk.
- Multi-use space. With a U-shaped desk, you can easily keep track of your to-do list. You can use one area for computer research and work and leave the others for filing, collaborative work, or completing day-to-day mailing and other tasks.
- Options for vertical storage. Depending on where your U-shaped desk is located, you may be able to include a hutch overhead for storage. Being able to display photographs and keep reference books handy overhead gives you far more access to a number of items than you would have in a normal office setup.
- Increase surface area. If you had an equal amount of surface area on which to work, but it was in a straight desk format, you’d have to get out of your chair or slide from end to end to reach certain items. The U-shaped desk concentrates that amount of space so all you have to do is swivel in your chair to reach anything you might need.
- It’s perfect for open environments. If you work in an open air environment without cubicles, it can be hard to designate a space as your own. With a U-shaped desk, you effectively have a small space to yourself.
- It’s great for reception areas. The U-shaped desk is ideal for a reception area. If your incoming clients need to fill out paperwork or go through an introductory process, they can sit at one side of the U-shaped desk while the receptionist helps and maintains order with other tasks throughout the rest of the desk area.
- Greater technological capacity. If you work regularly with printers, scanners, and other gadgets, you’ll be able to house anything you need on the U-shaped desk or right at your feet. It’s nice to be able to turn around in your chair and reach a freshly printed document or check a scanner if it doesn’t seem to be connecting to your computer properly.
- Ideal for late night workers. If you only spend a couple of hours at your desk every day, you may not need a U-shaped desk. For others who spend a significant portion of their days working in a desk setting, the U-shaped desk is the perfect command center for all of your activities.
- Promote organization. With extra storage and additional surface area, getting organized is a breeze. You’ll be able to lay out everything you need in one area without having to stack things precariously.
If you’re in the process of buying a conference table, it may be the only time you get to evaluate all of the different options out there. Conference tables are big-ticket items and companies don’t replace them very often, so it’s important to find one with lasting quality and style that can grow with your company over the years.
After you’ve determined the space requirements for your table and have a rough idea about the shape, it’s time to look at materials. A quality conference table will likely be built of solid wood, though it’s becoming more common to see other materials in the mix. Depending on the nature of your company, a good quality hardwood may be the best solution for your conference space.
Consider these material options.
- Oak, cherry, walnut, and mahogany are all quality hardwoods that will last a lifetime. Make sure the construction is solid hardwood. Some companies may try to pass off a hardwood top with weaker wood in parts of the frame. You will pay more for hardwoods than for some other materials like composites and laminates.
If you do find a hardwood conference table that meets your needs, ask about scratch resistance and finishes. You’ll want to make sure that the table doesn’t become etched with peoples’ writing over time. Some may come with an optional glass top to protect the surface of the wood and prevent damage.
- Plastics, laminates, glass, and metal. These may also be used as materials in your conference table. Depending on the brand you will find a range of qualities in these materials. Some laminates look just like wood and are tough, durable, and lightweight. Others will peel and rip over time, making your conference table look worn out and old.
- Wood veneers. Wood veneers may be placed over other materials to mimic the nature of a hardwood table. Veneers, when properly applied, can be just as classy and durable as solid wood constructions and have the added benefit of being far more affordable.
Look for structures that don’t inhibit feet when a person is sitting at the table. A conference table with a bulky frame may prevent tall people from sitting comfortably or from crossing their legs. The support should be sturdy and stable to provide for any future transportation or room reconfiguration.
Always ask your sales representative about the way in which the table was constructed. Look for words like dowels, nails, and screws, not glue and staples. These indicate strength and structural integrity. Inspect the construction by looking the table over from top to bottom. Is it too heavy or light for your space? Try lifting up on one corner of the table. Tables that feel too lightweight may indicate the use of lesser quality materials. With materials like glass and plastics, you’ll want to ask about the reinforcement.
Get details about the weight the table can hold, and always ask about the warranty. With such a large purchase, you’ll want to protect your investment for as long as possible.
If your company meets with or entertains guests in your office space, a conference table is both a necessity and a statement piece. Many times, the conference room is the first impression a client or visitor has of your company. Making a statement that reflects your company’s culture can enhance the meeting experience and create a favorable environment for negotiations, meetings, and other activities. Consider the following aspects.
The placement of the conference table is the first consideration. Conference tables are always the centerpiece of a room. Your table should fit within the room in a complementary and easy way. It should not look forced or out of place. With that in mind, try to match your table to the shape of the room. Use round or squared off tables in square rooms and rectangular, boat shaped or oval tables in rectangular-shaped rooms.
To make a statement with your table, you will want to carefully consider the placement and number of chairs that you intend for the conference table to accommodate. A table that does not adequately suit your needs will leave people feeling confined and uncomfortable or too spread out. Make sure that the chairs are sized so that the setting is comfortable even with the maximum number of people you expect to entertain.
Determining the specific shape of the table is largely discretionary. Aside from choosing the relative size and shape that will fit the room, you’ll need to try to imaging your typical meetings taking place in each different shape. If clearly defining leadership is important for your company, you’ll likely want a table that has a clear head where the main representative of your company will sit during meetings. In an effort to make meetings more comfortable, many business models have done away with hierarchical seating systems, making square and circular tables more appealing.
Do keep in mind that a boat or oval shaped table will taper toward the ends and may confine space to a certain degree. Make sure that your shortest employee will be able to comfortably reach the center of the table. It can be uncomfortable to have your pen roll away from you and be unable to easily retrieve it.
For businesses that need to regularly host interactive presentations, a U-shaped table is well suited to your needs. The presenter will be able to easily hand out information from the front of both sides of the table, while still maintaining traditional face-to-face meeting requirements for a large group. This form of table will also work well in training settings. If your company is operating in a confined space, having your conference room and training room rolled into one area with a U-shaped table may be more efficient for your needs.
Remember that your conference table is where you will need to wear a variety of different hats as a company. From internal meetings to difficult negotiations, you want to choose a table that is effective in communicating your company’s stature without being imposing or threatening.
Whether you are working at the office or at home, having a quality desk is crucial for productivity. Take the time to make this investment wisely by picking the best option for your situation. The Kathy Ireland Furniture collection has several different types of desks that will help you find the perfect fit for your job.
Small spaces require creativity when it comes to picking out furniture. You want to have enough space to work at your desk without sacrificing space in the room. If you don’t need a lot of room for storage and you primarily work on a laptop, a table or writing desk may fit your needs well. More upscale than a multi-use table and featuring classic hardwood designs, you can imagine you’re writing by candlelight in the 1700s or comfortably house your laptop, desk supplies and picture frames. As an added benefit, you can move these tables around and use the extra space when you are entertaining guests.
For a stationary desk in a medium-sized space, you will find a multitude of options that include storage and rolling keyboard platforms directly under the desk’s surface. The computer credenza and loft desk will fit into your space seamlessly and provide style and function in your office. These straight desks are great for placement in the center of your office facing the doorway. With front panels, everything behind the desk will be hidden from view, while your desktop may serve as a workspace and display for photographs and other trinkets. The loft desk features a front window display for additional viewing.
An L-shaped desk provides the most surface area and storage in a singular desk. The executive desk in the Kathy Ireland Furniture line includes plenty of surface area for your work needs. With two rows of drawers, your filing and work will remain centrally located and easy to find in this all-in-one desk solution. Use one side of the desk for computer activity while the other side is left for paper folding, hobbies, and organizational needs. Perfect against one wall or in the corner of a room, L-shaped desks are designed for making the most of a space and providing easy access to the user.
Depending on your space, you may find that a hutch will complement your desk well. The Kathy Ireland Furniture hutches maximize your space by providing vertical storage and leaving you with an added area for decorations, book or file storage, or to display awards and travel souvenirs. Some hutches also include glass cases to securely store and highlight items that are meaningful or beautiful.
Whatever design you prefer from the Katy Ireland Furniture Loft collection, you’ll be pleased with your choice. Quality materials and beautiful finishes make these office desks and accessories a classic and quintessential collection. With so much time dedicated to working and making the most of every day, we all deserve a desk that is as beautiful as it is functional.
A home office should be a sanctuary away from the noise of the corporate office. It should be a place where you can work efficiently to finish extra projects and enjoy the peace of your own space. However, it can be easy to forget about decorating your home office and turning it into the oasis you truly need. The addition of Kathy Ireland furniture can help you reimagine your home office in a positive and reenergizing light.
If you haven’t thought about how your desk affects your mood when you work, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you feel at a desk that reflects your sense of style. A desk that speaks to you on an aesthetic level will likely make you feel more productive when you sit down to work. Choose colors, materials, and styles that suit your needs. Keep it simplistic or make your desk an all in one station for your work.
Kathy Ireland Furniture proudly offers a line of writing desks, computer desks, and hutches that are uniquely suited to a home office environment. Whether you just need a place to put your laptop while you pull up the day’s news or you want to write your first novel, your home office can be as stylish as it is functional.
Organizing your home office reference materials, favorite books, and arts and crafts supplies can often present a challenge. Instead of having stacks of books or plastic boxes full of crafts lying around, consider adding a Kathy Ireland Furniture bookshelf with open and closed-off storage solutions. If you have a hard time maintaining order on a shelf, try using decorative shelf boxes to store your materials in an easy-to-clean and eye-catching way to organize.
The days of storing a bulky metal file cabinet in your home office are long gone. Many people keep their personal, paper files to a minimum, preferring to keep many of their files in an electronic format. For the paper files you do need to store, the furniture line includes a rolling file cabinet that is classic and unassuming.
If you have the additional space in the room, a table or a small seating area with a couch and coffee table is perfect for at home meetings or snuggling up with a good book. Choose window treatments that are cheerful and warm and keep your windows open while you work during the day. The natural light can be invigorating and improve your mood. Remember that little touches go a long way, and a personalized home office can help you stay productive and on task.
Skimping on the furniture in your home office may leave you feeling stressed out and uninterested in completing routine tasks. Take the time to dress up your home office and make going to work a rewarding experience. Retreat into your office during the day or work those long nights in the comfort of your home with these solutions from the Kathy Ireland Furniture Loft line.
During the course of evaluating conference tables, you’ve determined that a traditional table will best suit your company’s needs. Now, you have the important task of choosing between a round table and rectangular one. While the shape of your space may make the choice for you, it’s important to look at a couple of other reasons why one may be better than the other.
Did you know that your conference table will send visitors a message about your company? While it may seem trivial, first impressions that clients make in board and conference rooms can impact business interactions in a meaningful way. You want your conference tables to reflect your business as a professional and authoritative brand.
Consider the pros and cons of these options.
Square and Rectangular Tables
Square and rectangular conference tables are more traditional choices. They generally provide clear lines that mark the two most influential people in the room sitting at either end. While this model is changing in many conference settings, and a CEO will happily sit anywhere at a table, when visitors arrive, it can be confusing to try to understand the company’s hierarchy without visual signals.
A rectangular table provides enough space for everyone seated, unlike an oval table that tapers off on the sides. If you anticipate ever needing to combine tables, a rectangular table will seamlessly integrate with another rectangular or square table, even if the designs are not exactly the same. Perfect for a training setting, a rectangular table provides a clear view of the presenter at one end.
A round table, on the other hand, symbolically places individuals on the same level. Without designating a clear head, round conference tables bring equality to a meeting space. In a rectangular room, however, a perfectly round table may not fit very well. Round tables also generally only allow for a certain, small capacity. Trying to fit more people than recommended around a round table can make the space crowded and difficult to work in.
As a compromise, oval tables and rectangular tapered tables provide a sense of openness in a room. The softer lines of the tables are inviting, while allowing a larger number of people to gather in the room at one time. For larger rooms in which a round table is not large enough and a square table is too traditional, a marriage of the two in a boat shaped, tapered table, may be the best solution.
Depending on the needs of your company, either solution is a great choice. If your company is large enough to house multiple conference spaces, having different shapes in different rooms can accommodate the widest range of needs for your employees. Technology can be integrated seamlessly into almost every table configuration, so the look and feel of the table in your space will always trump other considerations. Choose conference tables that will accurately reflect your company’s culture and fulfill the needs of those who will use the room on a regular basis.
A home office is an important extension of many people’s careers. In addition to working from home, people also use a home office to manage finances, work on home projects, and pursue hobbies. With so much time spent in a home office, the space should be arranged so that you can be efficient and productive during your time there.
Spruce up your home office and turn it into a sanctuary from the daily grind with these tips from National Furniture:
- Choose your desk wisely. The desk will likely be the main feature of your home office. Choose a desk that meets your needs for work by providing you easy access to any materials you might need during the course of your work. If you need a place to spread out, an L-shaped desk might be the best solution for you. On the other hand, if your space is small and you need to maximize its use, a corner computer desk will suit your technological needs.
- Organize intuitively. You’ll want to find solutions that are easy to keep up with and visually appealing. Coming into a cluttered home office can make you want to avoid finishing important projects. Open shelving with baskets is a great way to store any number of items from office supplies that you don’t use regularly to arts and crafts. The baskets also look nice on the shelf, and make it easy to access the items you need and store them again when you’re done.
- Make your lighting count. Choose lighting solutions that are natural and help you become more efficient. Fluorescent lights can cause headaches and remind you of being at the office. Instead, find bright white or daylight bulbs to mimic natural light from outside. If you’re working in your home office during the day, keep your window treatments open to let natural light in.
- Install vertical storage. From bookshelves to cabinets and credenzas, overhead storage keeps items that you don’t regularly use out of the way. Using vertical space can help a small room stay open for other activities.
- Eliminate cords and wires. If you can go wireless with most of your gadgets, you’ll be able to work from any area in the room instead of being confined to your desk. It will also make storage and cleaning easier. Dusting cords behind desks is a pain and anything that is out in the open will certainly become a dust magnet.
- Build a routine filing system. Instead of letting papers pile up on your home desk, keep wire filing baskets nearby or use a folder system. Make sure you have a designated space for urgent action items, filing, and shredding. Dealing with paper as soon as it comes in the mail or home with you from work is the best way to keep up the routine and prevent stacks of paper from piling up in your home office.
For more information about home office solutions, contact National Furniture, a quality and value driven furniture provider.