The work-life we once knew is gone forever. We’ve entered a new era of the office that’s up to each business leader to define for their own teams. Employees have completely different preferences, more diverse needs, and much higher expectations.
With all the changes companies have faced recently, a New Year is the perfect opportunity to embrace the concept of a fresh start and new beginning within the office — and that means some furniture upgrades. But that investment can come in the form of implementing small changes that will mean a lot to both your employees and customers. To get started, we’ve created a list of five essential upgrades your office space needs in 2022.
Invest in Ergonomic Seating
The healthier working trend was taking over the office long before the pandemic. But a lot has changed since then. While some of your employees may remain remote, those that do come to the office will spend an average of 7-8 hours a day in the same chair — if that’s the only option they have. This not only puts a ton of stress on joints, fatigues muscles, and hinders blood flow, but it also completely disrupts productivity as a result of discomfort and stagnace. When you’re stationary for too long and your chair isn’t supporting you the way you need it to, there’s virtually no chance for a happy, healthy, or focused employee.
New seating that can encourage both creativity and comfort will be a game changer in 2022. Ergonomic seating means that it is designed to offer scientific-based comfort and efficiency. Consider the factors that help your employees perform their best. Favoring chairs that have extra padding for their back or a multitude of adjustments that help each individual find their best positioning and alignment. Features like seat sliders, synchro tilts, and arm height adjustments aren’t luxuries in the office anymore — they’re essentials.
You can offer additional seating options outside of task chairs that allow employees to switch things up throughout the day. Lift stools, privacy seating, balance balls, or modular seating options allow various opportunities to help with spinal alignment, core strengthening, and blood circulation.
The most important workplace relationship your employees have is with their chair, so inspire your employees to look into more innovation solutions themselves — Ethosource can help.
Get Moving with Versatile Desks
Desks are the backbone of a workspace. And the right size and configuration plays a major role in helping an employee stay focused and organized. The industry’s top workstation systems offer a blend of ergonomics and style with various surface sizes and shapes with the opportunity to reconfigure easily to adapt to changing needs and workstyles.
Sit-to-stand desks give each employee complete control of their workspace, helping reduce worker fatigue and discomfort. Similar to combatting the consequences of a low-quality task chair, having the option to get on your feet throughout the day can help increase blood flow and minimize lethargy which directly impacts focus and mood. There are a variety of these sit-to-stand solutions that put health first while offering versatility throughout the workday.
Strengthen Your Culture with Collaborative Spaces
After over a year at home, employees not only want flexibility — they demand it. They were able to make a bedroom or dining room double as an office afterall. Though many employees like the quiet of their own personal work area, many crave socialization and collaboration to find inspiration. Incorporating flexible meeting spaces that encourage employees to work together and bounce ideas off one another will lead to a more meaningful work life. Huddle rooms, outdoor office spaces, lounge areas, and more are all great spaces to bring people together.
Beyond actually working within these spaces, you can add wellness elements, which allow them to decompress and rejuvenate. Long days can take a toll on both employees’ mental and physical health, so consider providing employees with yoga mats, medicine balls, or light weights to help them relax and start developing healthier habits. Working out can increase energy and focus, relieve stress, and help with any pain associated with sitting down all day.
Or think about how your cafe or eating areas can incorporate more social interaction to get people away from their desks for a midday break. Colorful booths, high tops, pool tables or games, benches, etc. are just a few ways to create a space that makes eating lunch or having a snack a lot more social and fun.
Another key player in a happy work environment is lighting. No worker wants to be under bright, fluorescent lights for hours on end, especially while trying to focus. Office lighting has come a long way from the days of old. LED lights are not only extremely energy-efficient, but they offer a much softer light that creates a more enjoyable environment to work in. And with the variety of options available, it also gives employees the opportunity to personalize their space even more.
And hey, try to open up the windows and let the sun in more often. Studies show that natural light can improve moods, boost energy, and help productivity overall. Exposure to direct sunlight also helps our sleep schedules, and the more well rested employees you have, the better.
Optimize Wall Space
Bare walls are drab and boring — two words that are not associated with inspiration. Surrounding your employees with company branding or messaging, colorful artwork, or creative colors and imagery can help you embrace your company values which creates a more inviting place to work. Instilling company culture into small aspects like décor will help motivate your employees and make them proud of where they work.
Collaborative tools are another simple way to maximize wall space and bring people together. Cork boards and white boards can be used to provide employees the chance to show off their own pictures or art skills. This gives everyone a chance to create deeper relationships, blending both their home and work lives. The more they bond, the better their working relationships will be, and the more inspiration they’ll have to produce high quality work.
Upgrading your office doesn’t have to be difficult or costly, but it will have a big impact. If you’re looking for more information on how to update your office, contact Ethosource. Our design experts can help you find exactly what you need!