Rethinking workplaces for performance and wellbeing

Technology has created a mobile working revolution. But for millions of workers, a desk, chair, keyboard and monitor is the fixed reality of work. It’s not healthy or productive, and it’s high time more businesses took proactive steps in addressing this issue.

Freedom of movement

More people are now aware that sitting is bad for them. Research proves that being sedentary for long periods of time increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic issues. It can also leave workers feeling restless and lacking concentration, which impacts productivity and morale. This should give any company pause for thought. Is a poor working environment a hidden contributor to underperformance, absenteeism and high employee turnover?

A pain in the neck

But it’s not just the long-term issues that get employees down. Daily niggles are often felt more keenly in the short term. For example, aches and pains are commonplace if workstations aren’t set up properly. One of the biggest culprits for causing headaches, tired eyes, stiff necks and aching shoulders is the fixed monitor. Tilting your head forward to look down at your screen places a surprising amount of strain on the neck. Day to day, it’s a pain. Over time, it can become a chronic problem. Bad for the individual. Costly to business with days off sick or time away from work having treatment.

The answer is within arm’s reach

Comfortable computing shouldn’t be a ‘nice to have’ in 2018. And there is a simple, effective remedy to the fixed screen – a desk monitor arm, such as one of the LX range from Ergotron. The monitor is fitted to a fully adjustable arm that’s mounted on the desk, giving the worker the ability to position the monitor at just the right height and angle. No more aching neck. Instead, the head is balanced on the neck in a ‘neutral posture’. And when the employee moves or stands up to work for a while, the monitor can move with them.

Small change, big results

Research shows that frequent postural change improves musculoskeletal and brain health. Even subtle movement – like standing – breaks up prolonged sitting and promotes higher HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) which in turn can improve blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attack. Moving regularly during the day and standing to work also promotes greater mental awareness, which leads to greater productivity and improved concentration. Amplified across the business, this makes a big difference to overall performance.

Moving to better collaboration

There is more to job satisfaction than the job itself. It’s about how people are able to work and interact with one another. Another benefit of ditching fixed screen and moving to monitor arms is the way it transforms collaboration. For example, when workers are brainstorming with a couple of colleagues at a shared desk, it’s simple to position the screen for easy interaction or viewing. Better still, you’re not limited to one monitor. With Ergotron LX monitor arms, dual monitors can sit side by side or stack one above the other. And this brings more flexibility than ever before.

For example, when presenting to a small group, the presenter can use one screen while turning the other to face the audience. Sharing information, co-creating and decision making can all happen faster. It’s easier to get the job done and people’s wellbeing is improved it’s a win-win.

From the lightest monitors to the heaviest at 18.1kg, there is an Ergotron product for each one. LX monitor arms are easily fitted to existing desks. Individual screens can be rotated from landscape to portrait mode – ideal for coders. And LX arms are as sleek as they are progressive, with cables routed under the arm to keep them tidy and leave the work surface free of clutter.

Investing in a culture of movement

Studies show employees who are provided with well-designed ergonomic furniture and are trained to use it see an average 18% increase in productivity. But there are more reasons to invest movement-friendly office furniture like monitor arms and sit-stand desks, such as attracting and retaining the best talent. Millennials and Generation Z employees are far more focused on the overall working experience and seek employers who promote the health and wellbeing of their employees. Businesses with office design and working practices that are set firmly in the 1970s will miss out on the brightest people. If you want to discover what good workstation design looks like, try Ergotron’s workspace planner. It will calculate your ideal workstation in a few clicks.


Make a success of it with the right partner

Fear of investing and not getting the promised ROI can make businesses jittery. We see it with new software investments, where ROI lives and dies on user adoption. Failure is doubly costly. All that money spent, no return to show and the business remains stuck in its old rut. This is where partnering with the right company makes all the difference. It’s about more than supplying the right furniture. Each level of the business needs to buy into the reasons for the change and feel confident that it’ll be money well spent. Ergotron has had over 30 years’ experience in optimising the use of technology in the workplace. With premium quality products, industry-leading warranties, a wealth of resources and technical expertise, Ergotron is the ideal partner to help businesses transition to becoming movement-friendly workspaces, with wellbeing and productivity at their core.

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