When it comes to keeping your employees happy and productive, the fittings and furnishings in your office can make all the difference. After all, many workers may spend more time in the office than they do at home, so it’s important to make sure they are content with their surroundings. From cramped desks, to uncomfortable chairs, to distracting noise levels, there are all sorts of things that can get on employees’ nerves and distract them from their work. Luckily, some simple furniture upgrades and alterations are often enough to keep these niggles at bay. If you are looking to restore harmony to your workspace, here are five furnishings that can help you combat common office gripes.
- Ergonomic chairs
One of the most prevalent office bugbears is uncomfortable, poorly designed chairs. Not only can sitting for prolonged periods of time without proper support for the back, hips and legs cause a range of health ailments, but it can also hinder productivity. Workers who are uncomfortable can become easily distracted and frustrated, resulting in low morale and poor performance. If your staff are constantly shifting in their seats and complaining that they feel sore and stiff at the end of the day, the chances are you need to invest in ergonomic seating solutions.
Ideally, office chairs should be adjustable by height, have a tilting back function and padded seats. This will ensure that they provide sufficient support and fit users’ individual proportions. Chairs should also have a swivel function to ensure that workers can maneuver easily around their desks to carry out different tasks. You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference a high-quality, ergonomically designed seat can make to people’s overall health and happiness at work.
- Spacious desks
There’s nothing more irritating and counterproductive than a cramped workstation. If employees don’t have enough space to perform everyday tasks, it can lead to increased stress levels and, as a result, decreased efficiency. If your staff members’ worksurfaces are piled high in paperwork, their notes are spilling onto their neighbours’ desks and they have to navigate their way through clutter to find what they need, it’s time to invest in bigger designs.
Office desks should have enough space for key items, such as a computer, keyboard, phone and some extra room to take notes. Employees need to be able to move around the workstation freely and use the equipment without having to bend awkwardly or stretch to reach the things they need. If more space is needed, desks with incorporated storage solutions or under desk pedestals are a great option as they provide added room for everyday supplies without taking up valuable floor space.
- Office screens
Another common complaint from office workers is noise, especially in open plan workspaces. While open plan layouts can be an effective way to enhance collaboration, they can also result in higher stress levels and a low standard of work. Especially for tasks which require prolonged stints of focus, having the constant distraction of colleague conversations and ringing phones can be a recipe for disaster. One simple and cost-effective way to increase privacy and boost productivity is to use office screens.
Office screens are designed to split larger spaces into smaller, secluded work zones. Made from sound-absorbing materials, the screens help to drown out noise to make it easier for staff to concentrate on their tasks. If an employee has an important deadline coming up, or needs to escape the hubbub of the main work area for a few hours to knuckle down, office screens can come in very useful. You may also want to consider desk screens, which can be used to divide shared workspaces to create more privacy.
- Organised filing systems
Messy, unorganised filing systems are another gripe among office staff. When there is no order to the filing cabinet, people can end up putting documents and files in the wrong place simply because they don’t know where they belong. Not only is this infuriating for other workers who are trying to locate work, but it can also waste valuable time. To bring order back to your office and keep clutter to a minimum, you may need to re-think your office’s storage solutions.
One of the best things you can do is invest in a filing system which has plenty of space and integrated file holders that will keep everything neat and tidy. Files and documents should also be clearly labelled to avoid wasting time trying to track them down. As a general rule of thumb, filing systems should have an incoming, in-progress and outgoing section to help employees prioritise their workloads. It may also be worth getting a shredder or recycling bin to encourage staff to discard unwanted paper.
- Canteen/ break-out furniture
It’s well known that workers eating their lunch at their desks is among the most annoying office habits. A study which surveyed 2,500 UK office employees found that over half of them were irritated by colleagues who were noisy when they eat. As well as loud eaters, smelly food, leftovers and crumbs on the desk can also irritate staff and prevent them from getting their work done.
The good news is, these irksome eating habits can easily be resolved by providing canteen or break-out furniture and positioning them away from the main office area. This way, staff can prepare food, eat and chat to colleagues during their lunchtime without distracting other people who are trying to work. Even if your workplace is lacking in square footage, you can use space-saving, collapsible canteen furniture which can easily be stored away when not in use.
By showing your team that you have taken the time to improve their working environment with simple furnishing solutions like these, you should be able to boost morale, improve job satisfaction and create a far more productive office. If you would like inspiration on how to create the perfect workspace, why not browse the collection of high-quality, practical furniture on our website today?