Have Reopening Office Questions? BBE Can Help
7 Great Ways to Boost Your Team's Morale
Are you noticing a decrease in energy and excitement among your team? Are you hearing more sighs and seeing more rolled eyes than usual? Are your team members taking a sloppy approach to simple tasks?
If you’re answering yes to any of these questions, your team might be suffering from low morale. More than just a passing bad mood, low morale stems from a waning sense of job satisfaction, and can be due to any number of factors—increased pressure from management, a round of lay-offs, a particularly miserable client, and more.
But no matter what the cause, low morale requires a proactive response from you, as a manager. And while you may not be able to change what’s going on in the broader organization, you can foster an environment that’s more productive and rewarding for your own team. Get started with these tried-and-true tactics.
1. “Good Job” Goes a Long Way
Busy days turn into busy weeks, which turn into busy months and years—which means we often forget to stop and celebrate small successes. But taking a moment to recognize your team members for a job well done in their day-to-day work is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to boost morale.
That said, it’s important to recognize people the right way—you shouldn’t just hand out meaningless compliments. Take notice when someone has improved or gone above and beyond, and tell her that you were genuinely impressed with the particularly good work she did.
Also make sure to find opportunities to highlight the individual contributions of your team members in front of others. Giving recognition in front of higher-ups, clients, or at staff meetings can go a long way to making team members feel valued.
2. Set (Fun) Team Goals
Setting team goals is the backbone of every good management strategy. But while project goals, yearly performance metrics, and department-wide deliverables are all great motivators, they can also be hard to relate to on a daily basis.
So, work with your team to determine some immediate goals. They can be work-related, or they can even be goofy things like reaching a team bagel consumption goal or competing to find the weirdest daily news story. Giving the team something to work toward in the short-term (and rewarding them with prizes) is a great way build excitement.
3. Confront Frustrations Head On
Even with well-deserved compliments and concrete goals to work toward, it’s completely normal for your team members to experience moments of low team morale. But instead of waiting for these periods to naturally pass, use moments of frustration to seek feedback and look for solutions. Proactively find out from your team members why they’re feeling down and what you could do to better manage them. These conversations can be awkward at first, but they’re also a great way to get honest and helpful feedback.
To break the ice, try sharing a personal story about a time you were feeling frustrated with your workload or with a past manager. Also emphasize to each employee that you’re seeking her help in boosting team morale, and encourage her to make suggestions on how to improve the team dynamic.
4. Don’t Disrupt Schedules
Office morale often suffers if team members are feeling like they can’t meet their personal, social, or family obligations outside of work. As a manager, you should set up your team for professional success—but also help team members achieve goals in their personal lives.
An easy way to do this is to talk regularly with your team about their preferred weekly schedules. Find out which employees have standing appointments—book club on Wednesday evenings, yoga at 6 PM on Tuesdays, breakfast with a mentor on Mondays—and make it priority to accommodate those schedules. No, you won’t be able to work around everyone all the time, but if you’re helping your team members maintain a happy life outside of work, they’ll bring a better attitude to the office.
5. Learn From Each Other
When managing a group of people, it’s crucial to remind your team that it’s made up of individuals who bring diverse skills to the group. This, of course, applies to workplace skills—Excel, PowerPoint, public speaking—but don’t forget about the perhaps underutilized creative talents of your employees.
Every few weeks, try hosting a rotating “skillshare” (you can base it on the Skillshare model of learning anything from anyone) where a team member presents an untapped skill to the entire group. You never know—you might have a secret wine connoisseur, art history buff, or mini golf champ among you! Encouraging people to share their talents and interests will not only give them a chance to work on something they’re really excited about, it’ll also help the group to unwind together.
6. Go For Random Acts of Kindness
When new hires join the team, ask them to fill out a short questionnaire about their “favorites” (favorite candy, favorite flower, favorite magazine, favorite sports team). Keep this information on file, and use it when people could use an extra pick-me-up.
When someone’s been working late all week, surprise him with his favorite candy on Friday. Or, on someone’s birthday, get her a bouquet of her favorite flowers. Everyone appreciates random acts of kindness, but these gestures are more meaningful if you’ve put time into investigating and remembering gifts that they’ll actually enjoy.
7. Lead By Example
It’s impossible to be cheery 100% of the time, but stress and negativity are incredibly infectious. If your team is headed into a busy season or tough project, it’s important to come to work with a good attitude every day and to be diligent about minimizing your complaints in front of team members.
Remember, others will look to you to understand how to approach what’s going on in the organization and visualize the big picture perspective, and your outlook can set the tone for your entire team’s attitude.
Above all, remember that you as a manager need to make your team’s morale a top priority, and you need to be consistent and strategic with your efforts. One-off pizza parties are not the ticket to good morale—but regularly communicating with your team, actively responding to feedback, and recognizing accomplishments will go a long way.
And don’t forget to enjoy the process! After all, boosting morale will ultimately create a fulfilling and challenging work environment not just for your team, but for you, too.
10 Ergonomics Dos and Don’ts for Those Now Working from Home
Tips for making sure you stay safe and comfortable in your temporary workspaces
In an effort to stem the number of coronavirus infections, millions of Americans are now working from home, transforming kitchen tables and bedrooms into temporary home offices. Many are working under less-than-ideal ergonomic conditions—a kitchen chair that’s too low, a table that’s too high. You get the idea. Poor ergonomics can make or break your work-from-home experience.
With that in mind, BU Today reached out to Carolyn Herkenham, a Boston University Environmental Health & Safety senior specialist and industrial hygienist, and licensed physical therapist Kelly Pesanelli (CGS’94, Sargent’96,’98), a Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences lecturer in health sciences, for some tips and tricks to help you create an ergonomic workstation at home.
DON’T hunch over your laptop
Fit the backrest curvature of your chair to the small of the lower back to avoid lumbar discomfort. Illustration by EgudinKa/iStock
It’s easy to work on your laptop for a few hours on the weekend, but doing so for 40-plus hours a week can lead to back, shoulder, and neck strain. If you can, use an external monitor or laptop stand (with an external keyboard and mouse) to prop up your screen. When looking at the screen, your eye line should be level with the address bar on your web browser.
DO work at an appropriate height
Find a working height so that your elbows naturally fall flush with your table/desk height. This will promote better wrist alignment rather than impingement or carpal tunnel stress.
DO use an office chair if possible
Adjustable features on an office task chair will save you from lumbar and neck discomfort.
When sitting or standing, elbows should be at a 90-degree angle to make wrists as straight as possible. Illustration courtesy of Humanscale Consulting
DON’T give up on your current chair
If you don’t have the option of an office chair, there are some household items you can use to help you adjust. Putting a firm cushion or tightly folded towel under your buttocks will raise your hips and increase the curve of your spine, making sitting more comfortable.
DON’T let your feet dangle
Place your feet on a few books or boxes under your desk, so that your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor and your hips are slightly higher than your knees. This will reduce stress on your lumbar spine.
DO follow the 20/20/20 rule
For every 20 minutes spent looking at a computer screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at something else 20 feet away. This gives your eye muscles a break and helps reduce eye strain.
An image illustrating the 20/20/20 rule. Illustration courtesy of JustStand.org
DON’T turn your couch into a workstation
As tempting as it is, the couch is not an optimal place to work at your computer for the entire day. Although it may be comfortable, having your legs or full body in a vertical position can lead to muscle numbness and discomfort.
DO customize a space to fit you
Try to set up a workstation that you can make entirely your own. Sharing a workstation means you need to adjust your computer height, chair, and furniture every time you sit down. Often, you may choose to skip adjusting the workstation altogether. If you are the only person using the space, customizing will reduce the time and discomfort of sitting at a station that does not fit you.
DON’T skip lunch and make sure you stay hydrated
It’s easy to snack throughout the day instead of eating like you did in the office. Making a meal and staying hydrated gives you the opportunity to stand up, walk around, and let your eyes have a rest from the computer screen.
DO make sure you get up and walk around
The goal is to get in as many steps as possible during the day, even if you are at home instead of on campus.
If you are interested in speaking to a BU Environmental Health & Safety professional, you can fill out an ergonomics self-assessment here.
April 1, 2020
Work at Home Tip...
find whatever niche or corner of the house you can leave your items
by having a designated working area you can piece together the essentials for your home office
you'll save a ton of time by not relaying out materials and will be able to start to build positve ergonomic changes to your station
The Cubicle Is Back.
Blame (or Thank) the Coronavirus
As businesses reopen, social distancing rules will lead to new partitions between workspaces, reminiscent of the fabric-clad dividers of the 1980s.
The cubicle is making a comeback.
As thousands of companies contemplate restarting operations, executives are weighing how best to reconfigure workspaces that have, by and large, been designed to minimize cost and foster the face-to-face interactions that can spread the deadly coronavirus.
Some companies are looking at high-tech approaches to enforce social distancing and track interactions, with location-monitoring apps and badges, artificial intelligence surveillance cameras, and high-tech health checks. Other innovations will be simpler: stickers to enforce 6 feet of distance between coworkers; staggered shifts that allow for more spacing; more regular cleanings; and of course oodles of hand sanitizer.
But one of the most important innovations may turn out to be cardboard or plastic dividers that turn open-plan offices into something more reminiscent of the 1980s.
“You’re gonna see a lot of plexiglass,” says Michael Boonshoft,
a spokesperson for Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate company that has drawn up guidelines for reopening office spaces. “Having that divider will make people feel safer. That shield between desks will be really important.”
Cushman & Wakefield is importing innovations from offices it operates in China, where it has helped more than a million people return to work. Besides temperature checkpoints, masks, sanitizer, and wipes, the guidelines recommend rearranging desks and meeting room seating to ensure social distancing, having workers use disposable desk covers, and installing dividers between workspaces.
“Companies aren't going to have a ton of time and money to create a whole new office concept in a month,” Boonshoft says. “So these are quick- and inexpensive-to-implement ideas.”
WeWork, the on-demand office space company, has kept some sites open to support essential businesses during the pandemic. Last week the company shared with members a blueprint for maintaining safety at its locations. Measures include rules on social distancing at shared desks and in meeting rooms and kitchens, regular cleaning, and modifications of air-conditioning systems to reduce recirculation that might spread the virus. But a representative says the company is considering other steps, including installing partitions in what had been open office spaces.
“Partitions are really hot right now,” says Ben Waber, president and cofounder of Humanyze, a company that analyzes digital and physical communications between office workers to gauge productivity and collaboration.
Humanyze is working with clients including Panasonic in Japan to determine how to redesign office layouts to minimize potentially dangerous interactions without cutting off communication. The company measures workers’ movements inside buildings using anonymous data from smart ID badges.
Waber says a key challenge will be balancing new safety measures with opportunities for productive interactions: “At the end of the day, the only reason to be in an office is to collaborate.”
Cubicles appeared in US offices in the 1960s as a way to encourage personalization, movement, and meaningful interactions among office workers, according to Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, by Nikil Saval. Robert Propst, a designer at Herman Miller, came up with the idea for a modular, low-cost, cubicle-filled space as an antidote to the rows of typing desks that were common at the time.
“Partitions are really hot right now.”
Ben Waber, president, Humanyze
Over the following decades, however, the cubicle ironically became associated with regimented, monotonous, and depersonalized office life. It fell out of favor early in this century, as Silicon Valley startups embraced open offices to encourage collaboration, and companies elsewhere mimicked the idea.
Some businesses are eyeing more high-tech tools for ensuring social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.
Smart cameras may be one way to guard against unsafe worker behavior. SmartVid.io, which makes AI surveillance systems for identifying unsafe situations at construction sites without identifying individuals, last month developed software to warn managers when workers fail to maintain safe distances from each other. CEO Josh Kanner says it is working on an upgrade that will detect whether workers are wearing masks.
Inside buildings, some companies are touting efforts that use smartphones to identify possible new infections. The consulting firm PwC has developed a contact-tracing tool for office buildings, which it’s testing in its offices in Shanghai. Some countries and US states are considering using smartphone contact tracing on a much larger scale, although the approach is controversial.
PwC’s approach involves mapping the radio signature of an office so that an app on employees’ phones can record where they are more accurately than GPS or Bluetooth. If an employee tests positive for Covid-19, the tool can then identify other workers who may have been exposed and should be tested and quarantined.
Another means of social distancing will be staggering workers’ shifts. Appian, which makes apps for workforce management, recently developed one that monitors workers’ health and risk through questionnaires, then determines who should come into an office.
Matt Calkins, founder and CEO of Appian, says it may be some time before offices are full again. “There's no way we're just gonna flood back to work at the first moment and crowd our offices and sit right next to each other,” he says.
Partitions can be freestanding and up to 6ft in height or added onto the existing walls of a cubicle or desk
harder surfaces such as laminate and plexiglass are easier to disinfect
maybe a freestanding whiteboard can add functionality and divide space for your area?
10 GOOD REASONS FOR A HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE DESK
WHY STAND-UP DESKS
ARE THE OFFICE WORKSTATIONS OF THE FUTURE
Height-adjustable desks are becoming increasingly popular in the office. And rightly so: height-adjustable desks allow for an uncomplicated change of working posture, from sitting to standing and back again. The investment in height-adjustable desks pays off as it can avoid preventable back complaints, increases performance, concentration and motivation of employees, and minimizes downtime. The smow furnishing experts have assembled essentials to consider when selecting in a sit-stand desk, and why they are so enormously advantageous for employees and employers.
By nature, the human body functions best when it moves; however, especially in everyday office life, stationary sitting is the predominant position and this all too often leads to stiffening or joint wear and tear. It has long been established that well-adapted, ergonomic office chairs are essential in everyday office life; however, it is also important to regularly stand up in the course of the working day, including for prolonged periods. This does not mean that you should only stand, not only is that not necessarily healthy, but moreover it is not always possible. Much more, frequent changes of position is recommended, changes from which the body and brain profit. The occasional change of position and posture is essential for a lively mind. Some experts recommend sitting for 60 % of the working time, 30 % standing and actively moving during the remaining 10 % of the working day; others propose 50:25:25. Regardless of your preferred option it is clear that a healthy combination of sitting, standing and active moving should be encouraged and undertaken.
The LASI (Länderschutz für Arbeitsschutz und Sicherheitstechnik) manual “Ergonomic design of continuous standing work" (LASI (ed.), LV 50, March 2009) lists numerous design measures to make the workplace more ergonomic and health-promoting, including, for example, changing tasks, alternating between standing and sitting work, active break times, appropriate work postures, and therefore options not only in the employees control but which also underscore the responsibility of the employer. Standing-sitting desks have an extremely positive effect on workplace ergonomics - and that without the need for major alterations. Following a quick transition period, you and your employees will realise the many advantages a height-adjustable desk can bring in so many areas.
If a desk cannot be height-adjusted, and the work process is extremely monotonous, a number of problems can arise:
OVERVIEW: HAZARDS OF MONOTONE SEATED WORK
Dissatisfaction and irritability
Tensions and chronic bad posture
Declining quality of work and concentration → inefficiency
Motivation problems due to monotonous physical stress
10 ARGUMENTS FOR
A SIT-TO-STAND WORK ENVIRONMENT
A HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE DESK ...
1. ... REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE
While it is understood that regular exercise can compensate for sitting during the working day, if you sit for many hours every day, over time sport alone will not be able to fully compensate. Physical activity in the workplace is essential. If you stand up while working you are doing your health a service: studies have shown that prolonged sitting has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. In particular the so-called HDL level (high density lipoproteins) decreases when sitting, and the risk of heart attack consequently increases. The reason is that HDL transports excess cholesterol to the liver in order to keep the blood vessels free; however, if this function is restricted because the productivity of the HDL level has been reduced, it can lead to calcification of the arteries. In the worst case, this can lead to deadly diseases such as heart attacks or strokes, which are still among the most frequent causes of death in Europe. Height-adjustable desks and thus a healthy HDL level through sufficient movement during the day can thereby positively influence your health.
2. ... PROMOTES HEALTHY MUSCLES
Regular standing and exercise are important; however, standing up all day alone is not a solution. Much more it is essential that the regeneration capabilities of the spine remain activated. This is the case when the spine and muscles regularly move and thus stay supple. It is therefore important to regularly change position, and for all to stand, because when you are sitting, the muscle activity in your legs is virtually zero. Over prolonged periods this can result in muscle breakdown and negative consequences for the musculoskeletal system. In the worst case scenario this can result in bone degeneration, something that is very difficult to reverse. In addition, the back and neck muscles relax significantly when you regularly switch between a sitting and standing position.
3. ... PROTECTS SPINE, ANKLES, AND KNEES
As far as the spine, ankles, and knees are concerned, a height-adjustable desk is a contemporary and ergonomic solution: breaking the length of the sitting period not only keeps body and mind busy over the entire working day - and beyond - it also keeps you healthier in the long term, as the spine, ankles, and knees are significantly protected. Complications of the back, neck, and shoulder area as well as in the joints are quickly reduced with a height adjustable desk. Acute back problems, which are becoming increasingly common at ever younger ages, can be caused by stress, mental problems or, very often, the wrong posture. Stand-up working solutions can help!
4. ... PROMOTES UP TO 20 % MORE MENTAL ACTIVITY
In the working day there are regularly situations in which important decisions have to be made quickly. Ideally, the mind should be alert and focused to react quickly. According to experts, when standing up human brain activity increases by up to 20 % resulting in significantly faster, higher-quality decision-making processes, even at the end of a long, tiring working day. A stand-up desk is therefore of great advantage if you have to work in a very concentrated fashion for many hours. In addition, employees generally become fitter, more open-minded, and more flexible through a height-adjustable desk.
5. ... PREVENTS CHRONIC ILLNESS
Both in terms of preventing back problems and cardiovascular disease, height-adjustable desks can be very positive. In addition, they can also promote long-term health: studies have shown that regular long periods of sitting restrict the body's ability to break down glucose with the help of insulin: when muscles are not used regularly the muscle cells become insensitive to insulin, resulting in less sugar utilisation and thus less energy. Such a lack of exercise can therefore be a contributing factor in the development of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. If you switch to a sit-stand desk, you boost energy production and glucose breakdown.
6. ... PROTECTS AGAINST OBESITY
While sitting, the human body consumes only about 1 kcal per minute, while in parallel, leg activity decreases and the blood levels deteriorate temporarily. In contrast, a stroll during a lunch break consumes at least three times as many calories as when sitting, which is why occasional standing and exercise phases are strongly recommended. For this, stand-sit desks are perfect: they also make a valuable contribution to health beyond the break, and can prevent you from becoming overweight while at the same time working more efficiently.
7. ... CREATES TIME
Increased efficiency through highly productive work saves time in the long term. It has been estimated that height-adjustable desks increase efficiency by at least 10 %, resulting in a good deal of extra time in the year. In addition, absenteeism through visits to the doctor due to conditions caused by permanent sitting is reduced, resulting in renewed working hours. This means that investing in a stand-up desk is not only an investment in the health of the employee, but also in efficiency of the company!
8. ... SAVES MONEY
Where employees can fully concentrate on their work, and are not constantly distracted by fatigue, neck tension or back pain, they will work more efficiently. Both the employees and the company benefit from this: according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering in Stuttgart, German companies incur an annual loss of 35 million Euros due to absenteeism and reduced productivity caused by back problems alone. Reduced absenteeism on account of better health thus also serves the profitability of a company. Therefore investing in height-adjustable desks saves money in the long term.
9. ... ENABLES MEANINGFUL DISCUSSIONS
A study by behavioural researchers at the University of Missouri indicates that people communicate significantly better when standing than when sitting. At standing meetings, the voice is fuller, more dynamic and thus more convincing, which significantly increases the overall performance of meetings or telephone calls. The impact of standing up, moving, and smiling - whether in a meeting with business partners, talking to customers or engaging with colleagues - should never be underestimated.
10. ... MOTIVATES
Fewer external complications leads to less stress, frustration and chronic pain, which in turn creates more motivation in the workplace. If an employee feels healthier and fitter, if work progresses quicker and they achieve what they set out to do, then they also enjoy working more and can create more ideas and concepts and implement them with increased motivation. More exercise through standing up regularly leads to more employee satisfaction and efficiency.
FOR WHICH TASKS IS A STANDING HEIGHT DESK APPROPRIATE?
At a standing workstation you can perform more tasks than you might expect: in fact, most of the work in the office is as easy to do at a high desk as it is at a low desk. However, it is advisable to get used to the change between sitting and standing while working. In the beginning activities such as telephone calls, research, mailing or brainstorming can be done while standing, so that gradually a change of habit can occur and the switch between standing and sitting work soon becomes habitual. Once you get used to working standing, it will soon be quite normal to complete all working tasks both seated and standing.
ELECTRONIC HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE DESKS
Electronic height-adjustable desks are particularly suitable when quick and uncomplicated switching between a low and a high desk is required. On the one hand, manual cranking does not always prove to be ergonomic, on the other hand, manual adjustment is time consuming, especially when carried out several times a day. In addition, the motivation for a change decreases where this is associated with effort. The height adjustment of the desk height should proceed quietly, easily and as quickly as possible: in this respect, electronic height-adjustable desks are considered the most useful and ergonomic.
ALTERNATIVE: THE LECTEREN
If the conversion to a height-adjustable desk is not possible, an ergonomic lectern can be used as an alternative to allow for an appropriate level of change between sitting and standing. In addition it allows for the necessary physiological and psychological variety: changing the position not only keeps the muscles supple but the brain on the go – a, literal, new perspective on a task may well lead to new ideas or the long-sought solution to a problem. Breaking from the monotony in front of the screen by the occasional change to a standing workstation stimulates the circulation and helps you concentrate on a task over a longer duration. So it is not only useful in ergonomic terms to occasionally stand.
BASIC RULES WHEN ESTABLISHING A STANDING WORKPLACE
Standing desks should always be tailored to the respective employee in terms of height and requirements. This is the only way to ensure that the change of position brings an actual benefit. A few points to note:
Ensure an upright posture
Upper arms should hang vertically downwards
Right angle between upper and lower arm
Head and eye tilt should add up to about 30 to 35°
There are 2 kinds of ways to give yourself a height adjustable desk
the first is buy a height adjustable desk; we recommend getting an electric one
the SECOND way is buying one of these height adjustable converters, they can fit any desk and with the push of a button give you the flexibility you crave
Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Actually Work?
Find out if these lenses are worth the hype & extra bucks
If you’ve ever felt like your eyes were dry and tired after a
long day of staring at a computer screen – you’re not alone.
Digital screens emit blue light, which can have negative consequences on your peepers, including strain, dry or watery eyes and irritated eyes. Blue light is also known to sabotage your sleep schedule because it messes with your circadian rhythm (AKA your internal clock that tells you when it’s time to sleep or be awake).
Unfortunately, most of us can’t escape having to use computers, tablets and phones in our everyday life. So how do we handle the negative consequences of digital screens? (Besides suffer in silence as we continue to type and scroll away.)
Enter blue light blocking glasses as the latest wellness trend.
What are blue light glasses?
Blue light blocking glasses have specially crafted lenses that are said to block or filter out the blue light given off from digital screens. The lenses claim to protect your eyes from glare and can help reduce potential damage to your retina from prolonged exposure to blue light.
But are blue light glasses worth the hype?
It may surprise you, but many eye issues that are caused by digital screens aren’t due to blue light.
Ophthalmologist Rishi Singh, MD says many people experience eye discomfort from digital screens, but most of the issues actually fall under a term called computer vision syndrome (CVS). (It’s sometimes also referred to as digital eye strain.) CVS is a broad range of eye strain and discomfort issues. Your eyes are constantly shifting focus and moving while looking at the screen. Plus the glare and contrast can be tough on your eyes. So although you may be experiencing eye irritation from a long day working on your computer, your eye discomfort is not directly from the blue light itself.
“When we stare at a digital screen or device for too long, we’re not blinking very often, which causes the cornea to become dry and irritated,” says Dr. Singh. “When we focus our eyes on something close up, like a screen or even a book, our eyes are strained and contracted, which can cause eye discomfort. But if you look ahead to a distant object, our eyes relax.”
So instead of running out to purchase blue light blocking glasses, Dr. Singh suggest trying these tips for your screen time instead:
Practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. (This will help your eyes relax.)
Use eye drops throughout the day to help keep your eyes lubricated while you work at a computer.
Sit an arm’s length (about 25 inches) away from your screen. Most people sit too close to the computer and experience eye strain.
“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of research done with blue light blocking glasses,” explains Dr. Singh. “And of those studies that have been done, they’ve been too small and it’s not the same thing we’d see in clinical practice.”
Your best bet is to save your money and practice good screen habits throughout the day instead. But blue light has been shown to affect sleep, so make it a habit to turn off all digital devices at least one hour before bed
So there is a little science for you to consider but at the end of the day maybe they just make your eyes feel better and are worth the $20 and maybe they don't....
let us know if they work for you!
And please don't get these blue light filtering glasses confused with the amazingly effective 80's infomercial product...BluBlockers
Online or Live
The outside of most blue light filtering glasses has a reflective coating...
meaning people might be able to see what you see in your glasses
just food for thought
The Definitive Guide to Choosing an Office Chair
By Gear Patrol Reader Patrick Jobin
If the average business person or desk bound fellow were to determine how much time they spend in their office chair, they would be surprised. At 40 hours per week, they’d rack up approximately 1900 hours over the course of a year. Multiply that by the average number of years a person works, and it’s easy to see that a large portion of one’s life is spent in an office chair.
In spite of this calculation, more money is often spent purchasing a desk than is spent on the chair. The same can be said for home office setups. Some people are spending more time in front of a computer than they spend sleeping. It only makes sense to have an office chair for both the office and the home that is comfortable and supportive.
There have been many ergonomics studies done and it has been shown that a supportive office chair increases productivity and maximizes the efficiency of the person sitting in it. A bad office chair, on the other hand, can lead to back strain, leg problems, and carpal tunnel, all of which cause lost time at work and send turn send productivity spiraling.
So, instead of losing money due to employee absences, it is important to spend money on good office chairs that promote back health and keep employee from missing work due to injuries. The cost of the chair is more than made up by fewer absences.
What to Look For in an Office Chair
Office chairs are a part of the décor of any office and so many people try to make sure they look good without worrying about the health influences the chair will have on the person who uses it. The design or ergonomics of the chair should be considered above everything else.
Lumbar Support: A good office chair will have support for the lower back. Some of the better ones will even have an adjustable lumbar support that allows the user to fit the chair to their lower back. This is important in preventing back strain that can worsen and become sciatica, a condition which can be debilitating.
Adjustability: Almost all office chairs have a height and arm adjustment; however, these are not the most important adjustments to look for when shopping for an office chair. The best office chairs have at least five adjustments with some having up to 14 different adjustments.
Important features that should be adjustable include lumbar support, arm width and height, seat back width and height, seat and back angle, and tension control. Many of the supports are dial controlled while a few are controlled with a hand-held bulb pump, similar to a blood pressure cuff pump.
Wheel Base: Nearly all office chairs have a wheel base; however, if the office is carpeted it may be necessary to get a chair with wheels specifically made for carpet. Rolling is important in preventing strain due to reaching across a desk to retrieve items that are out of reach.
Swivel Base: All office chairs should swivel freely to allow for easy access to various parts of the desk. If the chair doesn’t swivel freely, arm fatigue can result from over extending to reach various items.
Fabric: The fabric should be breathable to keep the chair from becoming hot and uncomfortable after hours of sitting in it. In addition, it should have enough cushion to support the person sitting in it without feeling the base of the chair through the cushion.
Why Is a Good Chair Important?
There are many benefits to having a good office chair in addition to having less back strain. A good, supportive office chair prevents fatigue and discomfort that can come from siting in the same chair for hours on end.
Studies have shown that comfortable employees are more productive and contribute to a more positive work environment than uncomfortable employees. Finally, having the correct, comfortable office chair reduces the number of breaks the employee will need to take due to being uncomfortable.
Trying on a Chair
Office managers should attempt to have their employees try on the chair they plan to purchase before buying it to insure that it fits the employee well. It is important to know how the chair should feel in order to make a wise purchase. Many office supply companies will bring a variety of chairs to the office so employees can sit in them and decide which one fits them best. Chair owners should look for these things when purchasing new chairs:
The backrest should be adjustable and follow the shape of the spine. It should also support the curve in the lower back.
Feet should rest flat on the floor comfortably. If not, adjust the chair height or add a footrest.
Arm rests should be close the body and allow the shoulder to relax.
Arm height should be adjustable and match the height of the desk. This will prevent strain to the shoulders.
In a sitting position looking forward, the center of the computer screen is what should be seen.
The back of the chair should come to the middle of the shoulder blades in order to provide adequate support, above the shoulders is even better.
The seat of the chair should be long enough to put two or three finger lengths between it and the knee.
If possible, the cushion should be memory foam. Other cushions wear out quickly and make the chair uncomfortable.
Finding the right chair that is comfortable and keeps strain and injury from occurring is important to having happy, healthy, productive employees who aren’t out sick with back injuries.
Make sure the chairs in the office are doing their part to increase productivity by having employees try on various chair types before purchasing them.
Do you have a favorite office chair or tips to share? Let us know and we can share it with our followers.
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The more your chair lets you customize the support features the more control you have over the positioning of the chair and your body
thus maximizing both comfort and safety
Entail is available in mesh or fully upholstered in either Smoke or Black frame finish.
Entail's integrated seat slider comes standard with a thick, supportive seat to improve posture and comfort.
Optional dual functional arms with adjustable height shift to the needs of any user.
From the company All Seating...
this chair is called the Entail
From All Seating...we have the You chair
With its sleek profile, distinctive cast aluminum outer back and an innovative back suspension system, You is the chair designed with you in mind. Turning the activation dial causes the flexible internal frame to straighten or bow, providing the necessary support and lift to create the ideal convex curve that conforms to the user's back.
HEALTH- Smart, Safe & Secure
The Post Pandemic Office
The need to protect those in shared spaces and healthcare environments is quickly evolving. BBE has many solutions that can be delivered fast. We can help you create an environment that promotes safety and wellness by choosing from a variety of product solutions with materials that are quick to setup and easy to clean.
At BBE we carry transaction screens, screening booths, sneeze guards, pop up booths and work areas that help keep your employees safe, and are easy to clean. Let us help you temporarily modify your existing counters and workstations without hurting the function and aesthetic of your furniture. But our team sees these modifications as short term solutions. The post pandemic office will change the way we think about office design into the future.
But what will the post pandemic office look like? Well for starters, the smaller footprints we have been using for cubicles may have to expand to provide more elbow room for users. In addition, shared work spaces, once used to small division screens, or low partition walls may start increasing in height in order to provide better privacy and social distancing between users.
Cubicle walls once covered in fabric are being redesigned and reintroduced in bleach cleanable laminates. Our Axel System from Artopex Furniture as an example provides our customers complete ability to change heights, materials, and overall design of their workstations. For instance, with Axel, you can take a panel that is now 48" in height, and simply add a stack unit to make it 72" in height. If you currently own panels upholstered in fabric, Axel allows you to change those panels in the field to a bleach cleanable laminate without having to purchase a brand new cubicle system. If you want to learn more about how Axel can help your post pandemic, contact us for a free consultation.
In addition, we expect to see a trend of more and more organizations having employees work from home. With the current pandemic situation, more employers are learning that day to day business activities can resume with employees working at home. IT companies have done a fantastic job to scramble to setup computer workstations that connect and function the same as if a user was in the office. In addition, improved teleconferencing technology software such as Zoom Meeting and Webex allows meeting remotely to be productive and seamless. Here at BBE Office Interiors, our team can help you setup comfortable and efficient workstations for your employees working at home. We keep ergonomics in mind and have a variety of new, used, and clearance solutions from our Clearance Corner to suite every budget. If you're looking for tips on ergonomics for your home office, visit our article from last week's newsletter here.
During the pandemic, if you need us for anything contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to help with no obligation to buy anything. We believe in the power of community and together we will get through these times. From all of us at BBE Office Interiors, stay safe and please stay healthy.
Axel Stackable Panel System with bleach cleanable laminate tiles and glass stack tiles for additional privacy and division.