There is a common school of thought in philosophy which states – the way you define things, is the way you will use them. This is remarkably visible in the way we define office furniture.
Ask yourself – how would you define office furniture? A depreciating set of assets, additional expenses you have to incur or just a way to keep the spirits high in the office? In the most pragmatic sense, office ergonomics play the role of a tool of productivity.
Many managers don’t ever think about it this.
Here are 5 often ignored ways office furniture and productivity are deeply related:
1. More comfortable the furniture, more productive the employees.
Let’s get to the very basics – why can’t people sit on the floors and work
Because it will make work unnecessarily tiresome and hamper productivity. It naturally makes sense to have a table and a chair where you can produce work that adds value to the company.
We all have worked or been in an office where a chair was not aligned or fit properly.
It would keep cricking, make noise which will distract everyone and the employee who’s using it – will end up spending half of her day fixing it. Hence, comfortable furniture is crucial because uncomfortable furniture serves as a great detractor.
2. The right pieces of furniture will add to the productivity of everyone in the office.
Pay attention to the word right pieces of furniture – right is defined by appropriate and synchronized. The furniture you are using in the office has to represent a healthy office environment as recommended by the Workplace Health and Safety guidelines provided by the Australian government.
And at the same time, the furniture should follow the tacit norms of the industry – tech needs collaborations, hence open offices make sense.
Banking and financial services need attention to detail, thus cubicles make sense – where employees can focus on their work.
3. Ideal office furniture will let the operator focus on things that are more important.
As a business operator, your primary goal must be to grow the business. And in order to do this, you have hired a series of managers who act on your behalf, so you may focus on the more strategic things.
But, what’s the point of any of this – if all you are doing is taking care of the dropping productivity levels or damage to office property, thanks to faulty furniture!
4. Good furniture will take care of the employees in the long run.
Beyond the Workplace Health and Safety guidelines, well-built and comfortable office furniture will take care of the employees’ health over the long run. It all starts with the very posture it helps them sit into.
If this looks a minute data-point – compound it to several hundred hours an employee would spend on the same workstation, and you will be able to see the impact it has on her/his productivity.
5. Office furniture is an essential part of the company’s culture.
What the skeleton and nerves are to the body, office furniture is to the company. This is the structure around which your team members will operate. All the formal, informal and value-adding work will be done here. People will collaborate and share information, based on the type of furniture in the office.
You put highly divisive cubicles, people will converse on emails. You make an open office plan, people will be distracted.