Is Work a Pain in Your Back?

Don’t let work be a pain in your back!

Poor posture is one of the biggest culprits for back injuries. Check out these 7 simple ways to improve your posture at work:

http://mashable.com/2014/05/27/posture-office-tips/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link

How Well Does Your Office Chair Fit?

desk chairs fort wayne office furniture at Workspace Solutions

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We’ll also add a #8. Make sure your desk chair is comfortable, the correct size for your frame,  and provides the correct support. There are many different types and sizes of chairs. If your chair doesn’t fit your needs, contact one of the Workspace Solutions offices today in Fort Wayne, Warsaw, Indianapolis, and South Bend to find the best office chair for you.

 

WaveWorks by National Captures Your Imagination in Metal

 

Remember metal desks?  Probably not in a good way if you do, but you had to admit, they lasted forever, and were very cost effective.  What if you could combine the durability of metal with a great modern style?  Too late, it’s been done.  Take a look at WaveWorks metal furniture from National Furniture.

National Wave Works from Workspace Solutions photo 1

Let your metal imagination run wild with the flexibility of WaveWorks Metal and the unlimited options of WaveWorks Laminate surfaces to create incredibly durable, beautiful configurations. The blending of woodgrain, solid or patterned laminates with the sleeknessof metal delivers an awesome, enduring aesthetic. Combine all this with National’s extensive seating line, and you now have a single source for sustainable solutions to oblige all your metal desk and storage applications and footprints.

National Wave Works from Workspace Solutions photo 2

Enjoy the long-lasting appeal and ease of ownership of WaveWorks from National. Contact us here at Workspace Solutions to learn more about Wave Works from National, just one of the many hard working, professional lines we carry, sell, and install all over Fort Wayne, Northern Indiana, Central Indiana, and Indianapolis.

Natinal WaveWorks at Workspace Solutons showroom in downtown Fort Wayne, IN

Natinal WaveWorks at Workspace Solutons showroom in downtown Fort Wayne, IN

 

 

Listening to Music while Working at the Office…Good Idea, or Not?

Listen While You Work: Productivity Killer?

Music at the OfficeHere at Workspace Solutions, we work hard every day coming up with ways to increase your office’s efficiency.   There is no doubt our offices have changed over the years, and so has the debate about office workers listening to music while on the clock.

Years ago, this issue may have been decided by the boss who could control the lone office radio, or the office speaker system.  Most office music in those days consisted of instrumental selections since it was believed adding a vocalist would break worker’s concentration.  There was even a paid music service, called Muzak back then, that “scientifically” programmed its music to increase worker productivity.  Not sure how good that worked since this service is no longer available.

A small device called a “Walkman” was developed by Sony in 1979.  This device played cassette tapes and popularized the use of headphones.  Workers could now listen to their favorite tapes without disturbing anyone around them.  They were free to move around the office as well, without taking off their headphones.   When CD drives began showing up in our PC’s, it was an easy way for employees to plug their headphones in and start listening.  CD drives are not as common as they once were, and listening habits and technology have moved on.

Today, there are several ways an employee sitting at a computer can listen to music.  They can use their phones or mp3 players to feed their tunes to their ear buds, and they can use their computers to stream music from the internet.  This allows workers to choose their own taste in music, selecting sounds they feel help them work more attentively, or cutting fatigue, both things that music seems to be able to do.

So, now that you’ve lost control of the old office radio, should you let your employees listen to music at work or not?   The most logical way to decide this is on a case by case basis. Judge each employee on their own merits. If a worker is productive and accurate, then who cares if they listen to music or not.  If they are not doing their job successfully, it may be time to suggest they pull the (ear) plug, and try it without the tunes.

Does Music Kill Collaboration in the Workplace?

A few other issues should be noted.  One, as we move to a more open office environment, where collaboration is important, an employee can use their music to create an artificial barrier.  With ear buds or ear phones on, they may not be able to get into the office conversation, since they can’t hear it.  Others may not approach them since they know they are listening to music, and won’t hear them anyway.

The opposite of this occurs if one worker’s music is playing too loudly and distracts co-workers.  If you did a quick survey of musical tastes of your employees, you would discover they are all different.  What motivates one worker can irritate another.  So, if you allow music in the office, it should remain personal.  Speakers or loud headphones should not be allowed.

It does seem that listening to music while working can be a positive work habit for some workers, while not that good for others.  It’s one of those things you’ll have to work out so that everyone wins.

Share with us.  What is your office policy about music?  And what are your favorite work sounds?

Which type of Worker is most likely to Develop Chronic Back Pain from Work?

Which of these two people are most likely to develop chronic back pain later in life?

A. Lumberjack

B. A Secretary in a modern office

The answer, of course, is B.  An office secretary, or business executive, or anyone who spends most of his or her time at work sitting, is far more likely to develop back and neck pain than a physically active worker.

Here are three of the major workplace contributors to back pain:

  • Slouching forward in your chair
  • Holding your telephone between your ear and your shoulder
  • Lack of movement during the work day

So, why are you still just sitting there. Get active now!  Here are some ideas from San Francisco State University’s Dr. Erik Peper

1.)   Support the natural curve of your spine! Office chairs should have lumbar support, a natural forward curve at belly button level. You can also put a pillow or rolled up towel behind your back to achieve this effect.

2.)   Adjust the height of your chair so you can keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at 90-degree angles. You can also rest your feet on a prop, like a footrest or even a phone book, for extra support. Crossing your legs tightly reduces circulation in your legs and causes varicose veins, which look dark blue on your skin!

3.)   Remove or lower the armrests so your arms are at 90-degree angles. This will encourage you to hold your shoulders low, which your good for your upper back.

4.)   Keep your monitor about an arms length away and at or slightly below eye level. This will encourage you to sit back, instead of lean forward and reduces neck strain.

Stand Up and move around

Sitting (or even standing) in one position for an 8 hour workday can be very hard on your body!

1.)   Take short breaks, once every hour to use the restroom, get a glass of water, walk down the hallway, or just stretch. Sitting for long periods of time will weaken the muscles in your back. Stretching for just 60 seconds will counter the bad effects of long periods of just sitting.

2.)   Research suggests that about half your hours at work should be spent standing up. If you have a sit-stand workstation, alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.

3.)   Strengthening your core muscles with exercise, such as yoga, pilates or sit-ups works  your stomach as well your back, which naturally improves your posture and reduces pain.

Workspace Solutions in Fort Wayne, IN, has ergonomic chairs, workstations and office desks that can help keep office workers healthy and happy.  Contact us to discuss how we can help your employees avoid the long term health issues that come from sitting all day long at work.

What ideas do you have for keeping active and not just sitting at your desk eight hours every day?

Take a Stand at Work. You’ve Got Nothing to Lose but a few Pounds

Well, it was good enough for Ernest Hemingway, but you still need more convincing.

We’re talking about standing up while your work, at least standing up for a few hours every day.  The evidence seems to keep mounting for how bad sitting all day is for your health, but now there is a little evidence that shows the benefits as well.

According to a British exercise scientist, Dr. John Buckley, as quoted in the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, staying on your feet an extra three hours daily would burn off eight pounds of fat each year.

Standing for three hours, Dr. Buckley notes, will burn 144 calories.  It’s also good for your circulation.  Sitting for long periods slows down your metabolic rate as well.

New adjustable desks and counter tops are being designed every day that allow you or your employees to spend part of the day standing while working.  Workspace Solutions works with dozens of the best office furniture companies in the world, and can help you design a work space that can help workers gain health and productivity, while losing weight at the same time.

Creating an Office Space for Collaboration with Hon’s new Flock Collaborative Solutions

Everyone today is talking about collaboration, bringing employees together to share and discuss their ideas.  It improves communications, cuts down on paperwork, and helps spark new ideas.  Collaboration is likely to happen anywhere, or not at all, depending on the layout of your work place.  It is more likely to happen if you encourage it with proper office design and layout.  Since collaboration is still a new concept for many, the nations’s top office furniture companies are just starting to offer specific products that they have designed and tested to increase the collaboration process in your office space.

The Hon Company, sold inFort  Wayne and Northern Indiana by Workspace Solutions,  has a new line entirely dedicated to collaboration.  It’s called Flock Collaborative Solutions because the idea is that workers will flock to these areas to share their best ideas.  In the same way as cubicles naturally keep people apart, collaborative areas must lure people into their spaces.  They must also facilitate the needs of the collaborators, or the desired collaboration won’t take place.  Companies like Hon, and office designers like Workspace Solutions, have been carefully studying what type of furnishings and designs not only bring people together, but help them work together to create the desired results.  At the same time, they are aware that such spaces must still fit the décor and decorum of your office.  Many companies have learned that their collaboration area is useful as a recruitment tool, since perspective employees are excited about the prospect of a strong collaborative environment, and are even already experienced these in college.

So the bottom line is, it must function properly, and it must look great, or it just won’t work at all.

With the incredible rate of change driven by technology, it shouldn’t’ be surprising to find our workspaces are changing as well.   Hon’s new Flock Collaborative Solutions, from Workspace Solutions shows how we continue to innovate to keep your work space up to date and running at maximum efficiency.

What if you designed furniture with the goal of keeping just the essential elements of function and form? You’d probably wind up with the Clarity seating series from AllSteel. Nothing extra, just what you need. The result is a chair that adapts to any space you put it into, and any type of work you are doing.

Workspace Solutions is proud to be an AllSteel dealer for Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis and most of Northern Indiana. AllSteel has been quality, innovative office furniture now for almost one hundred years.

 

When you sit on the Clarity chair, the mesh seat and back adjust immediately to you, providing instant comfort that actually anticipates your posture. Your comfortable at your desk, or anywhere you sit, and no matter which office task you are performing.

Contact us and learn more about the latest in seating, the Clarity Series Chairs from AllSteel and Workspace Solutions.

 

Treadmill Desk the next big thing in Office Furniture?

(Salo LLC/NPR)

First, there was the standing desk, where instead of sitting all day, you worked standing up, a much healthier alternative.  So, it didn’t take long to make the next leap of faith to create the treadmill desk, where you not only stand, but work out while your working.

The creators of the treadmill desks claim that this process actually increases productivity.  It certainly helps you find the time to get in your daily walk, and that should make you a healthier, happier worker for the long run, anyway.

According to NPR, the idea belongs to a Mayo clinic doctor, who believes it’s not only healthy, but also a great way to lose weight, while working.  The Doctor warns people not to jump on and walk eight hours a day to start.  He suggests a half hour on, then a half hour off for three or four days a week to get started.

What would you think if you came to work and found your desk was now a treadmill?

Ideas Flock together with new Flock line from Hon and Workspace Solutions

The current trend in office design encourages people to get up from their desks occasionally, to spend some time together collaborating and creating new concepts.  To make this work w need inviting spaces that welcome employees to work together away from their desks or workstations.  This fall, Hon Office Furniture and Workspace Solutions, your Hon dealer for Fort Wayne, and northern Indiana introduce Flock.  Flock supports collaboration and creates an environment of how people want to work and where they want to work.   Instead of making team members “make do” for group activities, Flock lets you dedicate zones where teamwork comes naturally.  As with all office furniture at Workspace Solutions, Flock from Hon is made for work.  It’s tough, hardworking, yet great loopking office furniture designed to last a long time and get the job done.    Flock by Hon becomes available this fall at Workspace Solutions in Fort Wayne, IN.

Google’s new London Office Offers us a Sneak Peak at the Future

Google has been  a trend setter in style and management over the past several years. So, when Google builds a new office (this time in London), the rest of us check it out to see if there’s any great new ideas we need to borrow, or at least to see what our office might look like in another ten years or so.  If Google’s London office is any clue, we’ll be seeing more padding on the walls, and a continuation of the trend to encourage employees to collaborate and work from many different parts of the office, technology freeing us from being tethered to our desks.

For fun, anyway, take a look at Google’s new London office in this web article by the website, digital trends.  Click here

What Google ideas would you like to see in your office?