Embrace individuality for a healthier workforce

Christophe Clerc-Renaud, Sr. Director Sales EMEA West, Ergotron, discusses why working environments need to be assessed on an individual level

With employees spending 160 hours a month at work on average, it’s crucial that organisations provide a working environment that has a positive impact on employees’ mental and physical wellbeing. After all, this is what the new generation of employees are looking for from their employers. Today’s modern workforce is made up of health-conscious millennials, who are often better informed about wellbeing in the workplace than their predecessors. In fact, according to a recent survey, 87% of workers would like their current employer to offer healthier workspace benefits.

The value of getting this right can be seen across the whole business. Employees who feel valued and supported are likely to be more engaged and productive. Furthermore, this feeds a virtuous circle of happy, high-performing employees who stay with businesses, reducing the headaches of constant recruitment. It really is a win/win for employers, so how can they best go about creating this environment?

When looking at implementing individual wellbeing, there are three key factors that need to be considered – fitness, comfort and mind.

  1.   Fitness is about encouraging movement in the office as it increases blood flow to the brain. This gives people    a boost of energy and sharpens decision-making.
  2.   Comfort looks at introducing the correct use of ergonomics to lessen muscle fatigue and reduce the severity    of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
  3.  Mind looks at optimising employees’ emotional health with strategies such as offering choices about how and where they work.

By creating an approach based around these three key principles, employers will be on the right track to provide a healthier, more productive workplace. However, this can take time, and won’t be delivered overnight. But what does this look like in reality and what can businesses do to start making real change in their work environments?

Furniture fit for everyone

 A proven way of hitting this criteria is by ditching legacy office furniture, such as poor-quality chairs and desks, and providing your workforce with ergonomic equipment that allows them to move away from sedentary working and help improve their body posture. One example of this equipment includes sit-stand desks, which get employees on their feet and will quickly lead to better engagement and productivity. If your business is not in the position to incorporate sit-stand desks across your workforce just yet, it’s worth considering investing in converters, a quick, budget-friendly way to introduce sit-stand working. Table top converters sit on top of a standard office desk and lift a monitor, keyboard and mouse in unison, to the height the user chooses.

Another option for businesses to consider when looking to increase movement and promote healthy working in the workplace is mounted desk arms, which allow for adjustments to the monitor, keyboard and mouse, letting the user change the height and angle in more ways to suit them.

Individuals flourish and so does the business

All of these options provide benefits for employees when it comes to fitness, comfort and mental wellbeing, and allow employees to adapt their workspace to be the way they would like it. Users can choose when they’d like to use their ergonomic equipment and the flexibility works well in hot desking environments, as any individual can make adjustments and work comfortably.

Studies show that there is strong correlation between healthy workplace design and employee satisfaction. Creating workspaces that embrace individuality and foster a culture of healthy working go hand-in-hand with increased productivity and fewer sick days. All of this is good for the businesses and crucial for the individuals they employ.

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