Sit Better Feel Better

The 'WELL Building Standard' & designing for health & wellbeing

Posted by Simon Wyatt on May 5, 2017 11:58:28 AM


On Thursday May 25th, Simon Wyatt, Health and Wellbeing Director at Cundall, will be joining us in our showroom for a special talk as part of Clerkenwell Design Week. A pioneer in workplace wellbeing, Simon will outline Cundall’s experience of delivering the first project in Europe to achieve WELL Certification, as well as a number of other case studies where health and wellbeing has been at the centre of the design.

Ahead of his appearance, Simon gives us insight into the current state of wellbeing in the workplace, and a brief introduction to what the WELL Certification means for the future of office environments.

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Topics: Productivity, Wellbeing, Design, Ergonomics, Sustainability, Facilities Management

Annual event unites human factor specialists - Next week!

Posted by Richard Ferris on Apr 19, 2017 9:27:37 AM

 

Do plants improve office wellbeing? How do you effective deal with health issues in the workplace? How do you measure it? These are just some of the questions being asked at EHF2017, the annual event held by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors, sponsored by RH.

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Topics: Productivity, Ergonomics

How the way you sit can change the way you work

Posted by Richard Ferris on Apr 5, 2017 12:44:32 PM

One of the biggest barriers to productivity in the workplace is a breakdown in communication. Without regular dialogue, teams can lose focus on the bigger picture, strategies can get muddled, and individuals are more likely to be misunderstood. Whilst recent advances in technology have made it easier than ever for people to communicate quickly and across vast distances, it has reduced the amount of face-to-face contact people have, and in the workplace multiple studies have shown this to have an adverse effect on productivity. Productivity isn’t the only benefit of Face-to-Face time. Getting people talking in real life can increase happiness and creativity, and instil a sense of belonging.

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Topics: Productivity, Design

How to make your working routine healthier

Posted by Richard Ferris on Jan 16, 2017 10:45:00 AM

Since the start of the year, several alarming reports on the state of health in the UK have come to light, most notably the recent report from The Health Survey for England, which shows that over 15 million Brits are living with long term health issues.

“The demands of modern day living are taking their toll on the heath of the nation” said Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical adviser to Public Health England, the government organisation responsible for the survey, continuing "Busy lives and desk jobs make it difficult to live healthily. And it’s those in middle age that are suffering the consequences most, as their health reaches worrying levels.”

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Topics: Productivity, Wellbeing

Office Amenities: Making the right decision for your workspace

Posted by Richard Ferris on Jan 11, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Given the choice, most people would not go in to work today. For almost everyone, a job is a means to an end; an income source to pay for all the requirements life entails. True, a lot of people enjoy their work, and some even love what they do, but it’s not necessarily the actual work that creates this feeling, it can often be the environment the employer creates for them.

And with bleak forecasts for incomes into the foreseeable future, having the right strategy for workplace amenities could be vital in ensuring a workforce which is not only happy and productive, but one that is loyal.

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Topics: Productivity, Wellbeing, Design, Ergonomics

Workspace Inspiration: Collaborate. Innovate

Posted by Richard Ferris on Dec 20, 2016 9:29:31 AM

Collaboration has always been an integral part of working practice. Through social connection and engagement, ideas are expanded and people begin to challenge themselves and each other to produce better output. An increasing body of research has shown that traditional collaborative workspaces are not providing the necessary atmosphere to harness maximum productivity. A move towards more versatile environments has been shown to improve productivity, wellbeing, and quality of work.

Continuing or workspace inspiration series, we turn to working environments for group activities, and what it takes to create a successful collaboration space.

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Topics: Productivity, Design

Workplace Inspiration: Focus. Work.

Posted by Richard Ferris on Dec 6, 2016 2:34:51 PM

If the thought of another day in the office leaves you feeling dejected, it might be time to reevaluate your surroundings. We all suffer from a lack of inspiration from time to time, but our environment shouldn't necessitate this, it should cultivate ideas and be a springboard for our minds. A recent study shows 67% of office workers feel drained by their office environment by the end of the day. If you are one of those people, this article is for you.

Continuing our new blog series on workplace inspiration, today we will be exploring how you can make your workplace work for you and help foster new ideas and new ways of working in your office.

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Topics: Productivity, Wellbeing, Design

The way we work : What separates the offices of Scandinavia & the UK?

Posted by Richard Ferris on Nov 25, 2016 9:34:43 AM

It's often said that Scandinavia is ahead of the curve when it comes to attitudes towards work. Gender equality, welfare, holidays, take your pick; it’s usually a Scandinavian country that tops the polls. But it’s not just in these easily quantifiable areas that Scandinavia stands apart.

At a recent seminar held at our London offices, Chris Moriarty, UK Managing Director of Leesman, shared with us some interesting data which indicates a startling difference to how the UK and Scandinavia view what work is and how best to do it, which throws up important questions that could help us all improve the way we work.

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Topics: Productivity, Wellbeing, Design

workSpace Invaders - How do Gen Z see the office in 2025?

Posted by Kieran Dowling on Mar 30, 2016 10:54:17 AM

You may have seen our workSpace Invaders project in the press recently. It has been covered by a number of publications including Design Curial, FX Mag, On Office, It's Nice That and The Spaces.  The coverage received points to uniqueness and intrigued stirred by an innovative approach to looking into the future workplace. 

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Topics: Productivity

What HR managers should consider when choosing an office chair

Posted by Kieran Dowling on Mar 9, 2016 2:52:25 PM

The role of an HR Manager is to look after the welfare and wellbeing of their staff. This can also include choosing the most appropriate and comfortable office chair.
If you have ever had to put up with a cheap, uncomfortable and non-adjustable chair you will already know the reasons why; a poor chair makes for an unhappy team member. Problems such as back ache, neck trauma and pain in the shoulders can become common-place, affecting both health and happiness. As far as the HR Manager is concerned this can equate to days off work, lengthy periods of sickness and even a decline in performance.


Things to consider

So given all of this, we can see that selecting the best office chair is crucial, but what elements should HR Managers consider before they make their final decision? They need to take time to do their research and focus on key factors. After all, having a good chair to sit in can result in increased productivity and, long-term, the success of the company.


There are really four key factors that come into play; durability, comfort, mobility and adjustability.
Three of these are all pretty easy to assess when examining a range of chairs as robustness, types of adjustments and ease of movement can be ticked off a check list. But what about comfort? This is a much harder element to judge, so we have broken this down into several key areas that HR Managers need to examine:

Backrest for back support – This is absolutely essential as the lumbar support needs to be adjustable to provide a good structure for the curve at the base of the spine to rest against. It needs to be curved to match the spine and easily adjustable to suit different heights. It should also not be too narrow; a width of anywhere between 12 – 19 inches is fine. Ideally it should also tilt so that as you move in the chair, the lumbar support follows you.

Seat – This should be sufficiently wide enough to be comfortable when you sit in it with a least a one-inch gap on either side. As far as depth is concerned, there should offer between 2 and 4 inches of space when measured from the back of the knee to the chair edge when your back is right up against the backrest and feet flat on the floor. Make sure that there is a seat lift to give correct height; when sat in the chair, your thighs should be parallel or with a gentle slop from the hips to the knees. A waterfall edge also gives better comfort while reducing pressure on the blood flow.

Armrests – should support both arms and be fully adjustable, not getting in the way when the chair is against the desk. If they are too high or low, you will end up with neck and shoulder problems.
Base – look for a five pointed star shape as this gives the most stability; metal and wood will be sturdier than plastic. Casters should be chosen for the type of floor where the chair is placed.


Conclusion


Finally, you should look at things like weight capacity, a nicely padded seat and back, a robust fabric or leather cover and a good pneumatic or mechanical lift for the seat. Controls should be easy to access when seated. You may need a chair that swivels if the user will be using a traditional office desk. Finally life expectancy and manufacturers guarantee are very important as these influence the true cost of the seating solution chosen.
Pay attention to all of these factors, choose a well-designed office chair and have happy staff that are comfortable all of the time - from 9 ‘til 5!

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Topics: Productivity