Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ergonomic Office Furniture Design - One Sign For A Company Who Cares

By Philip Barker

The office interior is not complete without office furniture, and the latter should be in tune with the overall office design. The office furniture should also follow the rules of ergonomics so as to ensure that workers can go on making use of them for extended durations without any health hazards.

An average employee spends more than one third of his day in the office, and considering this, if the office furniture he or she is making use of is not comfortable and convenient to use, then the employee is likely to have recurring and possibly serious health issues. Therefore it is vital for employers to ensure that office furniture, especially office chairs, are designed to enhance employees' comfort.

It is crucial to check for a few features before buying office chairs. You must ensure that the chosen office chairs are steady, portable and optimally adjustable. The arm rests of chairs must fulfil their purpose well, and the height must be easily adjustable so that the occupant can adjust the chair according to his requirement. The chair must not cause any hurdle for the occupant with respect to mobility of hands and legs, as that might negatively impact his performance. The back support is the most significant element of an office chair. It should be sufficiently curved and padded to provide the back and the spinal cord maximum support and rest when used.

Office desks are the second most important office furniture items after office chairs. The desk should neither be too high nor too low, and must provide enough space to the employee to carry out tasks both on his desktop and with his office files. Small or cluttered office desks are a real agony for the worker and his body also has to make some unnatural adjustments during work that expose him to grave health risks at a later stage.

Another important aspect of office ergonomics is where the items of furniture have been placed inside the office. For instance, there should be sufficient alley space between workstations to allow for unhindered man and material mobility, such that it does not lead to any disturbance to an employee seated at a workstation.

If the office furniture is designed while keeping ergonomics in mind, the staff stay more effective and productive at work and also lead happier lives. An ergonomic workstation permits a worker to better organise and manage his work and also creates a pleasant and stress free ambience.

Office design must always be such that the physical discomfort is ideally absent or at least minimised for the employees. The office interior should be conducive to healthy working environment where a worker can go about his or her work without having to face any problems, so that his contribution to the success of the organization can be maximized.

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