Forget the Australian Tax Office (sorry, accountants). If there’s one thing you should be focusing on this tax time, it’s your people.
By looking after staff, you are looking after the bottom line. Employees who feel happy, healthy and engaged are more motivated and focused. They are also more innovative and creative, and more likely to stick around.
Of course, the reverse is also true. Research suggests the direct financial impact on Australian business of mental health issues is around $11 billion every year due to absenteeism and reduced productivity. Let’s stop and think about that for a moment – $11 billion lost due to poor wellbeing.
The good news is you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on wellness programs – gyms, health funds and yoga classes – to make a difference. Getting the best out of your people (and your budget) can be as simple as making small yet valuable changes to the physical environment.
Ergonomic furniture is a great place to start. By investing in items that are flexible, adaptable and supportive, you will create an environment where people are happy and want to work. At the end of the day, it’s about building an office to fit your team, not the other way around.
Sit comfortably with adjustable chairs
Let’s start with your seat. We all know that poor sitting posture results in back and shoulder pain which in turn leads to lost time and productivity. We asked Osteopath & Ergonomist, Andrew Wilson, for tips on how to improve our posture at work.
When setting up a new chair, try and have your feet flat on the floor, your hips slightly higher than your knees (with a forward slope on your thighs). There should be no pressure points on the seat that restrict your circulation. The back rest should support your lower back and pelvis and up to your mid back. The back rest should be used while you are in your usual working posture. The desk should be at elbow height with your arms relaxed and alongside your trunk.
This tax time, invest in ergonomic office chairs that can be adjusted to support you as you work. Andrew Wilson recommends the Buro Metro Task Chair or the Buro Roma Chair, both fully adjustable 3 level chairs with comfortable seats and no pressure points.
Take a stand with sit-stand desks
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you already know that too much sitting is bad news for Australian workers. Being sedentary for long periods has been blamed for everything from neck pain and lower back problems to obesity, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. That’s why sit-stand desks are a must-have product for 2018.
A desk-top sit/stand unit is a winner when it comes to flexibility as you can move the desktop around the office, or embrace the full effect with an electronic sit/stand workstation. And why not lift your meetings to new heights with a sit/stand meeting table?
Take the pressure off with a new keyboard
When it comes to good posture, it’s amazing the difference one small change can make. Take the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Wireless Desktop Kit. The negative tilt and inward angling of the keys automatically guides your hands into the most natural shape as they rest on the keyboard. It actually makes typing a pleasure!
Pull up a seat with perch stools
In the age of quick catch-ups, we have become masters of “perching”. So much so, there are now perch stools designed to relieve the stress on your musculoskeletal system while you perch! Genius.
The end of financial year isn’t just about getting everything sorted for the Australian Tax Office (though that’s obviously important); it’s the perfect time to focus on your employees. You’ve got a great team, now support them with ergonomic furniture to ensure they work at their best and finish 2018 with gusto!