Wellbeing is high on the agenda for businesses as they look to provide healthier workspaces for employees. Central to this is enabling people to move more and sit less. And a fast, effective way to transform the workplace overnight is with sit-stand desk converters.
Free to feel good
The immediate advantage to sit-stand desk converters is that they enable organisations to introduce movement without a large-scale redesign. Placed on top of existing fixed-height desks, converters give workers the ability to switch easily between sitting or standing while staying on task. And the benefits start straight away. Research shows that standing more can boost metabolism, tone muscles and even reduce common aches and pains. It can also increase employees’ energy and productivity levels, lower stress and improve their mood(1). This is great for the individual and the businesses. Wellness and satisfaction go up, and sick days go down. It’s a win-win. And an investment that really does pay dividends.
Not all sit-stand convertors are up to the job
With more awareness around wellbeing at work, the demand for sit-stand convertors has definitely grown over the past few years. And that’s led to more low-cost, low-quality products flooding the marketplace. This makes it tricky for buyers to navigate through all the options. What’s more, making the wrong product choice can introduce risks into the workplace. So, what features should you look for in sit-stand desk convertors to help your customers avoid bad choices?
Safe, comfortable use of convertors relies on high-quality design. Firstly, adjusting the convertor between sitting and standing should be smooth and easy, not requiring force to lift or lower the worksurface. Look for products that make height adjustment intuitive, easy and instantaneous.
Truly ergonomic sit-stand workstations enable people to work equally comfortable in both positions, and this means ensuring the monitor, keyboard and mouse are always in a position that’s kind to the body. When assessing a product, the key dimensions to take into account are keyboard tray height, eye level from the top of the display and the distance between the keyboard tray and eye level. Features like a keyboard tray can improve ergonomics and minimise strain on wrists and hands.
Hunting high and low
Check the height range of the convertor. Organisations need models that are designed to adjust between the short and the tallest users. Cheaper models with a narrow adjustment range will be suitable for a smaller percentage of employees. This can lead to people working with desks that aren’t safe or comfortable, or to businesses having to source a different convertor from another manufacturer.
Also, avoid models that don’t allow independent monitor adjustment. Employees have many different tasks in the workplace. Their day can involve a mix of solo work, group collaboration and side-by-side sessions. The freedom to position one or two monitors independently can enhance productivity and performance.
Durability under duress
Professional environments make heavy demands on equipment. Businesses need to know that sit-stand desk convertors will provide years of service and be safe to use. When it comes to reliability, build quality makes all the difference. On cheaper products, components like joints, rivets, bolts and glides can fail. It’s worth avoiding gas spring lifts, which eventually lose their gas and sag. And watch out for thin, poor quality worksurfaces that will chip or warp.
Reputable manufacturers will put convertors through rigorous cycle testing, for example 10,000–20,000 cycles under fully loaded conditions. A good indicator of thorough testing is the warranty. Don’t settle for a year. Look for a three or five year warranty as this tells you the manufacturer has confidence in their product. This gives businesses the reassurance that their investment will be trouble-free and deliver the promised productivity returns. After all, an approximate failure rate of 5 percent each year in a 1,000-desk office can lead to replacing 50 workstations every year. Costly and disruptive.
Picking the right products also keeps employees and IT equipment safe. Poor design can mean issues with stability, leading to toppling risks for monitors. Some convertors require a lot of force to be used to adjust them. Others require users to bend into awkward positions. This can lead to injuries and back stress over time. Similarly, some designs have dangerous pinch points, putting employees at risk. Convertors also need to accommodate safe cable routing to stop cables being pinched in the mechanism and to avoid trip hazards around the office.
A broad portfolio is better
Although sit-stand desk convertors are often a later addition to the design of the workplace, they don’t have to look like one. Choose a quality brand with a large product portfolio capable of meeting the needs of all users, and there will be a shared aesthetic to across different convertors, creating a smart, professional look throughout the organisation. By contrast, trying to save money by sourcing from different vendors can create a messy, pick-and-mix look. Not to mention an admin headache with tracking down the right vendor if desks break.
Ergotron – sit-stand pioneers
Leading the way with unbeatable quality and breadth of sit-stand solutions, Ergotron knows what it takes to create a workplace that encourages movement. Ergotron’s products help people adopt active working strategies and engage with technology, improving their health, comfort and productivity. At the same time, Ergotron recognises that changing company culture is vital in order for everyone to reap the rewards of sit-stand working. So, they partner with organisations on this journey, providing tailored advice and a wide range of supporting tools and materials.
All of Ergotron’s products are fully tested for durability, safety and simplicity. And to help buyers get to grips with the various sit-stand options, there are a range of helpful explainer videos. You can see how easy convertors are to adjust. Discover which sit-stand desk convertor is best for different needs with product comparisons. And once employees have taken delivery of their new sit-stand convertor, they can learn how to get the best out of them on a typical working day.
A market with healthy opportunities
The global standing desk market is set to hit US$2.80 billion by 2025, exhibiting a double digit growth rate during the forecast period 2017 – 2025(2). Ergotron is perfectly placed to help you capitalise on opportunities, in partnership with Ingram Micro.
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