Tips for creating a healthier work space

With office workers spending long hours at their desk, choosing the right furniture design and office layout is crucial to productivity and wellbeing says Mark Brown, Owner of specialist furniture suppliers Lismark. Here he offers advice on how to improve an office space. 

Employers and managers have a duty of care to the people who work under their direction. This includes creating a work space that is conducive to the promotion of the health and wellbeing of the people who work there. To achieve that requires an investment in the right furniture, as well as ensuring that the basics of sufficient light, ventilation and rest breaks are all in place.  In fact, some organisations have taken this a step further by implementing initiatives such as flexible working, in-house exercise classes and fruit baskets. 

Of course, budgets can be tight in many organisations, so is it really worth spending the money? When making the decision it's important to remember that a healthier working environment has great productivity benefits too. Issues like back pain are a significant factor in staff absence and so an investment in the right furniture can actually reduce illness and absence- as well as helping to retain key staff who feel cared for and valued. 

If your office space has been unchanged for years, it might be a good time to take a fresh look at the layout and organisation, as well as the furnishings to see if improvements can be made. 

Why sit when you can stand?

It sounds strange, but a standing desk can actually prove to be a very comfortable solution and help alleviate common musculoskeletal problems such as neck, back and shoulder pain. People now spend more time than ever before sitting down, which creates significant health issues.  In fact, a recent AXA PPP Healthcare poll of 2000 workers discovered that almost half spend 4-6 hours per day sitting down at work, with 70 per cent suffering from musculoskeletal issues. Sit-stand desks provide an ergonomic and movement-friendly solution and can help to both alleviate these issues, and prevent them occurring.   

Want to break free?

Everyone needs to take a break and creating a third space away from desks and formal meeting rooms is important. Of course, it does depend on the space available, but with a bit of imagination, it should be possible to create a comfortable breakout area for people to brainstorm, have an informal catch-up or just take a break from their desks. Not every discussion warrants the booking of a meeting room, so a breakout area is an ideal alternative.  Even if space is tight, suitable areas can often be found by getting creative with spaces like corridors and landings. Modular seating, high sofas and acoustic pods are effective and practical choices of furniture for breakout areas. 

Using acoustic pods to transform a space

Putting dividers between desks is the traditional solution to reduce noise and offer privacy in the office, however the clue's in the name; these are divisive and create a cluttered, unwelcoming atmosphere. However, although open-plan spaces look and feel great, they present issues in terms of privacy and noise. This is where acoustic pods come in. Available in a huge range of styles and sizes, acoustic pods are also a great talking point and are always a popular place to hold meetings or get on with a task without being uninterrupted at busy times.  Acoustic pods can blend in seamlessly or, as with our bestselling Beach Hut, can make a real design statement. 

Investing in good-quality modern furniture and creating a great workspace makes a powerful statement about your brand, how you want to be seen by others and how you value the people who work there. In short, everybody wins. So, make time in your day to take stock of your office layout and see if it can be improved for everyone's benefit.  

More News
16 minutes ago
Six ways to boost your productivity levels in the office
Now that workers are back in the office, some people may be finding it difficult to concentrate in this environment after working from home for so long – but how can you fix this? The experts at Office Furniture Online have given their top tips on how you can improve your productivity levels in the office.
21 hours ago
Jisp reaches Scan & Save milestone with Nisa Retail
Jisp has reached 10,000 scans, 5,000 taps and 2,000 redemptions in five weeks of its Scan & Save trial with 14 Nisa stores.
1 day ago
How connected tech is transforming our energy reuse remit
Businesses and organisations across the UK are under pressure to implement commitments and actions to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But, to truly commit to a carbon-neutral (or even a carbon-negative) future, cutting down on emissions is not enough. Matthew Margetts, Director of Sales and Marketing at Smarter Technologies explains why technologies for energy reuse are beginning to receive a lot of attention from governments and other stakeholders.
2 days ago
New Softcat report reveals the top tech priorities
A new report by IT infrastructure provider, Softcat, offers a snapshot of the enterprise IT landscape. It reveals the technologies businesses are prioritising over the next 12 months to bounce back from COVID-19, become smarter, and realise their long-term ambitions.
2 days ago
Coventry Building Society and Atos support digital transformation
Coventry Building Society and Atos have announced the completion of a major upgrade of its digital infrastructure by Atos that will help strengthen the Society’s position as a top 10 UK savings and mortgage provider.
5 days ago
Six ways to get to grips with hybrid working models
Resetting work patterns and the workplace for post-pandemic realities appears to be a popular option as far as the workforce is concerned. According to a recent study, 74 per cent of UK employees say that a mix of office-based and remote-working is the best way forward following COVID-19. But how will organisations ensure the hybrid working models they deploy work for everyone – and what changes in working practices will this usher in?
1 week ago
Majority of companies have had lone worker incident in the past three years
Most companies (68%) have experienced an incident involving a lone worker in the past three years, with a fifth of these incidents described as severe or very severe, according to research from lone worker solution, StaySafe. In addition, nearly a quarter of staff feel unsafe at least once a year. 
1 week ago
Simple Pilates exercises to combat back pain from sitting
There are two main areas where people suffer most: upper back and lower back. Poor posture, working at a desk for long periods, ongoing stress, or repetitive strain can affect the upper back, shoulders, and neck.
1 week ago
Take work-life balance seriously for a happy community
The 11th-15th October is National Work-Life Week and it’s an opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on wellbeing at work. In a recent survey, work-life balance was hailed as more important than salary for two-thirds of Brits.
1 week ago
Top tips to tackle cyber risks posed by hybrid working models
Remote working creates challenges for IT services and cyber security as many working away from the office can often be without the data and network protection they may have at work.

Login / Sign up