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Expectations from Workplace Furniture – An Honest Outlook

Ever heard a chair making an annoying squeak-squeak sound? Ever wanted to give a high five to the person moving that chair, with the chair? Yes? Well, don’t worry we have all felt that way at least once in our glorious lifetimes.

A typical office day can be taxing, consuming and mentally exhausting and a work area with bad furniture tends to add on to the stress. But does it have to be this way? No!  A simple overhaul of workspace furniture, wall colors or even changing the cafeteria menu can help in breaking the monotony associated with work. Everybody knows a satisfied worker who works happily will be happy in taking up more responsibilities.

Furnishings in an office can mean a lot when it comes to boosting the morale of an employee. On an average, any worker would spend anything between 40 to 50 hours a week in the workplace. This makes an office almost a second home. Comfort and convenience are necessary for productivity here. Changing a few basic office furnishings can do wonders to boost the work force mood. And the best part is that it really does not have to cost a lot.

Here are a few things which a typical employee expects.

Workstation

A white collar employee would spend around 6 hours on an average at his desk. It is very important to make sure that seating and working table is of top quality, with an ergonomic design.

The chairs should be such that the spine is straight and shoulders aligned. The cushion should be comfortable with special sweat absorbent material to avoid unnecessary discomfort and trips to the water can. Attention should be given to the wheels because a set of cheap wheels can cost a lot in the long run by leaving scratches on the floor surface or tears in carpets; they also tend to be noisy and grating on the nerves. Wheels should be heavy duty and easy to replace as and when they get damaged.

Tables are of prime importance because long hours spent working on a computer can lead to stiff shoulders and acute pain. This would again impact a worker’s productivity, which is not good for business. There are loads of wooden tables which come ready to assemble and do not cost much. These come in really helpful while moving and setting up.

Break time area

Breaks during work hours are extremely crucial as any human resource graduate will have you know. Decent long breaks actually lead to better performance and production. Needless to say this trick will backfire if an employee does not have good places to cool his heels and mind.

Usually employers and facility managers feel that cafeteria is a good enough option to double up as a play area. This line of thought is incorrect. Apart from obesity, forcing an employee to spend all his break time in a cafeteria will actually lead to more stress.

A play area needs comfortable couches and chairs, unlike their stiff backed work chairs. Fitting a pool table or an air hockey board might cost a little, but gives amazing return on investments in the long run. Not to mention the giddy thanks which employees would bestow on their management.

It is pertinent to understand that maximum brainstorming is done when an employee is actually not seated at his work station. Great ideas only come to relaxed and stress free minds as per Steve Jobs.

Waiting area

Every organization has a reception where visitors are asked to wait. This is also the place where first impressions are made by a potential employee during an interview. Gone are the days when employment was scarce and an employee would jump at any firm that came his way.

Employees want companies that care about them and make them feel special. What better way than a good seating area to establish this. It is important that adequate spacing is left between the seats as nobody wants to be squeezed next to a stranger. A good selection of seating as per the tone of work area is important. Upholstery should be given prime focus keeping in mind colors ofthe reception. Waiting area furniture should be comfortable yet professional looking and warm.

While an employee is waiting, he would judge the company by a number of things. His mood will be the prime instigator of his judgments. It is a given that before an interview everyone is nervous. Plush sofas and soft carpets can aid a lot in soothing the nerves of a person and he would only be thankful for such thoughtfulness. Free snacks tend to help a lot as well.

Cafeteria

 As an employee, you would expect wholesome food in the cafeteria which you can devour at peace on relaxed chairs. Food time should be stress free and a cafeteria should not feel industrialized. Also, because there is a lot of spillage where food is concerned, the table top should be fitted with an easy to clean surface.

As social beings, humans like to eat together, however not with strangers. The seating should possess adequate options for people wanting to eat in a group or individually. The chairs should be of adequate height and easy to move around. As a rule cafeteria does not have carpeting so as to minimize the damage caused by accidental spills. This is the reason why special attention should be placed on putting rubber endings on chair legs so as to protect the floor.

 Conference Room

 One of the most important areas in any firm, this is where projects are closed, decisions are taken and ideas are created. It is important that these areas contain a luxurious décor with a thoughtful impact so as to soothe the mind and jump start the brain. Conference rooms are highly professional places in most of the companies as top executives are the usual users. Plush chairs which scream power and a heavy set table make a good choice.

No matter what the designation or department, it is the right of every employee to get furniture which is relaxing and non-threatening. Also, it is necessary that furnishings be fitted to ensure no risk to the workers of a firm.

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