Workplace happiness once seemed unimportant. Workers came in to do a job. Whether they were happy about it or not was irrelevant. However, it actually turns out that happiness in the workplace matters a great deal. Psychology Today indicates that it can have a direct impact on everything from productivity to worker retention and profitability. Smart employers need to ensure that their workers are as happy as they can be. While that doesn’t mean you need to “coddle” them, it does mean that smart businesses should take certain steps. Below, you’ll find eight important tips to improve workplace happiness.
1. Focus on Family
Your workers split their time between the job and their families. Of the two, their families are ultimately the most important. Show that you care and put the focus on your workers’ families first.
2. Build a Community
Your workplace should be more than just a collection of different people busily going about their duties. There should be a sense of camaraderie, a feeling of togetherness. Your workplace should be a community itself. Inspire a feeling of community by encouraging mutual goals, group events and fostering connections between your workers.
3. Share the Spotlight
Your employees work hard for you and you need to give credit where it’s due. If your firm experienced a jump in profitability, share the credit with the departments and employees responsible (after all, your company didn’t jump up in the ratings on its own; someone had to put in the effort).
4. Lead by Example
If you routinely take time off, or ask employees to do things that you wouldn’t do yourself, you’re creating a negative workplace. Lead by example. If you ask your employees to follow certain policies, do so yourself.
One of the factors affecting your workplace’s level of happiness might actually be the layout of desks, cubicles and equipment. Be open to change. Look into alternative layouts that foster better traffic flow, let in more natural light and open the space up.
6. Encourage Hobbies
Let’s be realistic. Your employees aren’t all work and no play. In fact, chances are their true personality shines through in their hobbies and extracurricular activities. Encourage your employees to explore other interests and don’t denigrate hobbies and other pastimes in the workplace.
7. Stock Snack Machines Smart
Most offices have some sort of vending machines on the premises. Chances are yours are full of soda, cookies, crackers, chips and other junk food. Make a shift and encourage healthier eating. Bring in vendors who can supply high quality snacks and healthy foods/drinks, and your employees’ morale will rise.
Break time equals less productivity, right? Wrong. If you actually encourage your employees to take periodic breaks, stretch, exercise and unwind a bit, they’ll be much more productive when they return to the job.
Following these simple tips will help you create a happier, healthier workplace and you might even be surprised at just how much that benefits your business.
What do a traditional office chair, computer, keyboard, and desk all have in common? These are all long-established, staple products found in almost every home office in the United States. A desk is a key component for any home office as a surface to work on as is a computer and keyboard for getting your work completed. This being said, one would assume the same should hold true in the case of having a traditional office chair to sit on while getting your work completed. While this might have been true in the past, there are now many alternative seating options available to choose from for your home office that offer many distinct benefits that regular office chairs do not offer including affordable pricing, improved posture, and a unique sitting experience.
It is important to discuss what constitutes an alternative seating solution before discussing the benefits these chairs have to offer. An alternative seating solution is a unique piece of office furniture unlike any traditional office chair that you are accustomed to seeing in both design and functionality. There is not one standard alternative seating solution; there are many different makes, models, and designs available for purchase with each offering similar benefits. Most alternative seating chairs are quite different from your typical office chair with most having a backless design and require you to focus on how you are sitting throughout the day. They can be used as your primary seating solution or be used in conjunction with your current office chair. Some of the most common alternative seating solutions include kneeling chairs, saddle stools, ball chairs, rocking stools, sit stand stools, and balance knee chairs.
Alternative seating chairs are generally much more affordable in price compared to an ergonomic office chair designed for sitting up to eight hours a day, typically on average costing between $75-$200. Higher end options that include memory foam or a specialized design might run a little more than the average price, however almost any alternative seating solution will be less than $400 in price. This is considerably less compared to a typical high quality ergonomic office chair that can cost upwards of $600. If you are wary about purchasing something other than a traditional office chair to sit in, consider trying a cheaper kneeling chair to test out. This leaves little risk and a lower return cost than if you were to splurge on a more expensive knee chair or active stool, and you can always upgrade in the future.
Perhaps the greatest benefit that will be gained by sitting on an alternative seating chair is improved posture and core strength. The primary purpose of alternative seating chairs is to force the individual to sit in an upright position and also makes it more apparent when slouching or hunching over. This is mostly attributed to their unique backless designs that deliberately teach you how to maintain proper posture while sitting for extended periods of time. A health benefit that is gained by sitting with proper posture is reduced back pain which is a prominent reason why people make the switch from their standard office chairs or why they may take a break for a few hours at a time by switching to an alternative seating chair.
Sitting in an alternative seating chair is a unique experience that will be unlike your previous experience sitting in any other office chair. You will have the freedom to move around and stretch throughout the day which is often forgotten when sitting in an office chair, and you will see improved posture over time. Your spine is also forced into proper alignment when sitting correctly leaving you with less aches and pains that are normally experienced when sitting for extended periods of time. While these chairs do take some getting used to, especially if you have been accustomed to sitting in an office chair for years, and require you to start sitting for only a few hours a day gradually making your way up to a full 8 hours as the weeks progress.
Home office users usually spend only a few hours a day sitting while at home, which will be a nice break for your back if you are required to sit in an office chair all day at work and then will be coming home to work even longer. Home office users also have the freedom to choose the exact furniture they want in their house rather than having to adhere to corporate specifications in their work environment. Alternative seating chairs also have a smaller footprint over a regular office chair allowing for space-saving which can be useful especially in smaller home offices. No matter what reason you have for considering making the switch from an office chair, there is little risk and much to gain from trying an alternative seating solution.
Think back to when you got your first desk job. What were you sitting in while you were working? Most likely, your response is an office chair, and this is probably true for about 99% of the United States population. Think of what you are currently sitting in now at your work. My guess is your answer has not changed and you are still sitting in a standard office chair. The same probably holds true for your home office as well. While most of us are still sitting in a traditional office chair, a few have begun to make the switch to kneeling chairs, a revolutionary way of sitting that is making its way into more homes and offices all across the country.
Many are unfamiliar with how to use a kneeling chair and how it can be beneficial to your health. Kneeling chairs were designed upon the ergonomic concept that “a strong back is a healthy back.” While only recently have kneeling chairs become more recognized in the business world, they were actually first designed in Northern Europe during the 1970′s and are recommended by health professionals around the world. By promoting good posture, these chairs strengthen the lower back muscles helping proper spinal alignment while keeping your back positioned correctly. Kneeling chairs are an alternative form of sitting, that can be used interchangeably with your current office chair if you are looking to give your back some relief. When sitting in a kneeling chair, you will find that you are essentially forced to sit with correct posture and will notice when you begin to slump or hunch over, a bad habit that is easy to miss in a typical office chair.
The first time you use a kneeling chair it may feel uncomfortable and awkward which is only natural after years of sitting in a conventional office chair. Your body will need time to adapt to its new seating experience because your muscles and bones will be accustomed to sitting in one particular position. With this being said, it is perfectly normal to feel awkward when first trying out your kneeling chair and you may even experience some stiffness. It is recommended to start off using your new kneeling chair for thirty minutes the first day, then work your way up in increments of 30 minutes each day the first few weeks until you can comfortably sit in it for eight hours a day. Once you get used to the seating position of a kneeling chair and the many benefits it offers to you, it will become effortless and seem completely natural.
There are various kneeling chair models out there, some come with back rests while others allow for a rocking motion, but all encourage sitting with an open posture. In a conventional office chair you are typically sitting at a 90° or less, however an ergonomic kneeling chair encourages you to sit at a 110° angle. The benefit of sitting in an open angled position is this allows your back to readily form to your natural curvature and relieve compression of your spine and its discs as well as tension in your lower back and leg muscles. Another benefit of adopting the kneeling seating position is that it allows your diaphragm to move efficiently and promote better breathing and blood circulation
It is important not to let the name kneeling chair fool you. You do not want to have most of your pressure on your knees and shins as this will only lead to health problems and soreness. Your bottom should be carrying most of the weight, as it would on an office chair; the knee pads are only there for support for your shins. It is best to begin by sitting on your kneeling chair’s seat pad, followed by sliding your knees into the knee pads forming a kneeling position. It is a good idea to keep your original office chair to begin with when first getting a knee chair to alternate between the two as you get used to your new seating experience. Some people like to continue alternating between the two even after awhile, which is completely normal. Ultimately, it is up to the individual whether they believe a kneeling chair would work for them, but it can not hurt to try especially if you are looking for a way to relieve some back pain or you just want to try a different way of sitting.
If you are interested in kneeling chairs, visit SitBetter.com for all the latest and most ergonomic kneeling chair options.
When people are at work sitting at their desk for 8 hours or more a day, most would assume they are sitting in an office chair while doing so. The same notion goes for the typical person sitting at their desk at home surfing the internet or finishing up some work before an important deadline. It would not even cross ones mind to think of any other seating solution besides an office chair because that is what we are accustomed to and what almost everyone uses. What most people do not know is that there are alternative seating solutions that can be very beneficial to sit in when one is at work or at home.
Many people around the world have trouble with pain in their lower backs, which is not surprising considering the amount of time spent sitting in office chairs throughout a lifetime. Slouching and slumping at a computer desk for 8-10 hours daily is unnatural for the body and will cause wear and tear over time. When people sit for long periods of time, it puts stress on the lower back which is why a kneeling ergonomic chair was made as a way of repositioning the body into a less stressful stance. The kneeling chair was created to force the hips forward and take the pressure off of the spine to create lumbar support. They also improve posture, along with the main benefit of reducing back pain. People are often afraid to try out this chair because of the unfamiliar look and they are unwilling to give such chairs a try.
Ergonomic stools are another option for seating that functions by minimizing stress on the upper and lower back. Ergonomic stools have comfortable seats that conform to your body while still providing support and forcing you to sit in proper seating position. As a result, the stool can help increase worker productivity by ensuring that employees are distracted from pain in the lower and upper back while maintaining proper posture. By promoting proper posture, the opportunity for back and spinal problems to develop is significantly decreased.
When people spend most of their day working and are exhausted by the time they come home, it gives them little incentive to want to hit the gym and work out. Also by sitting in a chair for 8-10 hours a day there is little time to get any exercise in, which can cause people to start becoming less healthy. Switching to an exercise ball chair could be a great solution to both of these problems. Sitting on an exercise ball chair, your body is constantly making small adjustments with the postural muscles, abdominals, gluteals, and leg muscles. It is a form of active sitting that, like other chairs aforementioned, promotes proper posture that can’t be gained from going to the gym or going on walks. When starting out using a ball, you should begin with a half hour or less and build up your use each day in other to maximize your personal comfort.
Overall, alternative seating solutions are just as effective if not more effective than sitting in a regular office chair. Posture will be greatly improved in everyday activities, worker productivity will be increased, work related back pain will be decreased, and in some cases you can even exercise while you work! While these chairs are not for everyone, it is worth a try when all the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.