~by Adam Robertson~
The link between quality office furniture and productivity is an interesting topic of study. Research shows that employees spend 15% more time in offices with windows than in windowless suites. It’s also shown that having a screen around could raise productivity by up to 50%. On average, employees spend up to 4.3 hours a week looking for documents, which presents us with just how critical it is to have the most appropriate and best quality office furniture. Office furniture covers seating, entertainment, tables, desks, storage, and sets. So, how can office furniture improve productivity?
1. It Provides Comfort
The appropriate office furniture can add a lot of comfort to a worker’s environment. Spacious tables and comfortable ergonomic office chairs with back rests, good cushioning, and appropriate adjustments are very critical. Make sure the furniture is top quality and durable. Creaking tables, breaking chairs, and weak storage spaces are both a security risk and a hazard to workers in the office. Given that employees spend about 40-60 hours a week in the office, and sometimes up to 100, comfort is very crucial for long-term health.
2. It Facilitates Storage
In a typical office, there are lots of files, memos, tapes, and other types of items generated that need to be stored. Quality furniture should guarantee spaces where items can be properly stored. Both hardware and software infrastructure for storage has to be a central part of an office’s furniture design. Poor storage leads to damaged, lost, or stolen items in the office. It also translates to lots of time wasted trying to trace files. Lockers, cabinets, safes, and shelves are some of the essential furniture items for storage.
3. It Demarcates Zones
Furniture can also be used to delineate zones in an office. You can use furniture arrangements to designate spaces for meetings, departments, units, as well as professional space versus leisure area. Delineating spaces for different functions, teams, activities, and items make the office neat, accessible, and homey for the occupants. Simple furniture tricks can achieve such incredible designation in a way that the overall room is well utilized. Correctly placed furniture with signage eliminates the need for costly walls or prefabs.
4. Facilitates Movement
Poorly placed furniture constitutes one of the many hazards in typical modern office settings. That’s why it’s not enough to have quality furniture. They also have to be arranged in such a way that they facilitate movement from one point to another. Properly placed furniture ensures that meeting spaces are sound proofed and that storage areas are sufficient and accessible. Workplace injuries resulting from cluttered furniture runs into millions of dollars every year around the country. Ease of movement, in turn, translates to efficiency, safety, cooperation, and increased productivity.
5. It Gives the Office Personality
The personality or look and feel of an office are among the first things anyone notices when they enter an office. That’s why ambiance is such a critical part of office settings. Good quality and well-fitted furniture add life and vigor to an office. It’s not enough to have durable furniture.
Make sure the color scheme, design, and fittings match and complement each other. Different types and styles of furniture create different feelings and perceptions about an office space. Overall, office furniture is more than mere utility, it is also an art.
6. Creates Personal Space
Good office furniture creates both professional and personal spaces within an office setting. Simple techniques like seating arrangement, placement of lockers, water dispensers, and stationery go a long way in designating private areas. Even in an open office setting, it’s still possible to draw up personal spaces and ensure that no one feels like their privacy and personal space has been violated. This begins by allocating specific furniture to particular persons, teams, units, or departments. The allocation ensures responsibility, privacy, and a sense of ownership among the employees.
7. Controlling Lighting
When designating where to place furniture, you also have to think about lighting. An ideal office setting is one that makes use of as much natural lighting as possible. Therefore, choosing office furniture means considering their color and effect on light. Lockers mounted close to windows, thick sheers, and dark colored furniture might dull the mood in the office. On the other hand, brightly lit furniture might be useful, but only to some extent. Shouting colors can begin to induce headaches and irritation among co-workers.
8. Improves Communication
The biggest currency in any office setting is information. That’s why the office furniture should be designated in such a way that it promotes communication and cooperation. The furniture influences meetings, hierarchy, workflow, and record keeping. It also impacts confidentiality and a sense of safety among workers. The arrangement, quality and designation of furniture should be geared towards creating a design for free flowing information. For example, correctly designated entertainment areas and well-stocked kitchens make it easier for workers to interact in a non-office setting. This, in turn, influences relations, social cohesion, and the natural flow of power, which impact productivity.
Adam Robertson is a professional in the office furnishings industry. He works for Allard Office Furniture, an office furniture company which has 18 years of shared experience in office desks, chairs, supplies, and accessories.