Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ergonomic Accessories-The Add-on’s that really add on!

In addition to great office furniture, what else can add to your comfort, & productivity in your workplace?

Getting the right accessories! There are many options like keyboard trays, task lighting, center drawers, laptop drawers that lock, desk mounted stands for 1 or multiple monitors, CPU holders, and more.

Here are just a few of the most popular to consider:

1) Keyboard Trays

Depending on your job type and how many hours you will spend on a computer, you can determine whether you need a basic pullout tray or one that adjusts.

For a home office or job where you are using the computer for only an hour or two at a time, a simple pullout tray with wrist rest should be sufficient.

For a job that revolves around the computer, having an ergonomic tray that locks, lifts, and tilts, you will have more flexibility and less arm & back strain.

Try several styles when shopping to see what fits you the best.

For laptop users, a riser might be your preference. For a more permanent application & added security, locking laptop drawers are also available.

2) CPU Storage

For office furniture that does not already have CPU storage, there are mobile options that can roll under a work surface for easy access, and accessibility for minimal cost. Most are adjustable to accommodate different size equipment.

Also available are CPU Stands that mount to the side of a work desk. These look more like a part of the furniture for a fixed solution. Some can be ordered in different colors to match the d├ęcor of the space. With finishes like silver or Black, generally they will look better with more modern furnishings but if they are mounted under a desk even in a more traditional setting, typically they aren’t seen anyway from the approach side.

3) Printer Storage

These options will be similar to the CPU options. Mobile options allow it to be shared. Especially if printer is wireless, this is a handy solution.

1) Lighting

Task lighting can help reduce eye strain. It illuminates the area evenly to give overall light and ambience.

Lamps or LED lights are also a great option and can add some design element to the space.

These are just a few of many ergonomic products that are available to keep you and your staff working smarter, not harder.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Buying A Chair 101

Buying a good chair is like buying a good mattress. It is very important what you sit in, especially if it is for a 40 hour work week, and even more essential if you work longer.

Here are a couple questions that will help you to determine how to buy 1 chair or multiple chairs:

1) What are your work habits?

If you are using multiple work surfaces, adjusting to different heights or spend hours at a time seated, you will need a few different levers to allow you the flexibility for your chair to work as hard as you do and to accommodate your needs. Also adjustable arms reduce the risk of carpal tunnel and back strain.

If you are at the desk just a couple hours a day, you may just need a simple height adjustment and/or tilt tension lever. You may be able to find more options in the budget arena for this application.

If you are tall, you might like to have a seat depth adjustment. This lever will allow you to sit farther back in the chair to reduce leg strain. Also, if the back adjusts up and down, you can ensure that it will hit the lumbar area of your back just right to give you the support you need.

2) Who is using the chair?

If the chair will have several users, is in use 24 hours a day or is for a Big & Tall user, spend the extra & get one that is rated accordingly. The up charge for the better ratings will pay off in the long run with the better warranty you will get and the higher quality materials & controls.

For Big & Tall users, the chair will have a more ample cushioned seating area and a better mechanism and base to ensure that it accommodates the user comfortably. Most are rated for up to 450 lbs but it’s a good idea to check the weight capacity and also to confirm what warranty is available. There are manufactures that offer chairs in multiple sizes of seat and back combination's so that a Big & Tall chair will blend in the other chairs needed and not stick out like a sore thumb. If you have ever shopped for these, you will know why that is important!

3) Where are you using the chair?

A chair used in a home office or for occasional use will not need to be the same quality as something for the commercial environment. There are some good options for home office that are well priced. However, you will find that you typically have better selections for your wood/fabrics/leather options if you stay in the commercial seating options.

Chairs for a conference room may not need to have as many controls as a chair for a primary user in an office for 8 hours at a time. However if the meetings are long, getting cushier seats and a mechanism that allows the user to lean back can make the hours at a meeting more comfortable.

So, wrapping it up, it’s important to get the right seating for the application you need. Getting a good warranty will help you enjoy your seating for years to come. Talking with an experienced salesperson can help steer you in the right direction and help you narrow the choices.

Bottom line: You really do get what you pay for. And sometimes for just a little more!