There are certain investments in business that just make sense; equipment, property, personnel, and supplies are some of the most common and well-known. Top managers and CEOs know that spending large sums for these assets adds value to their business and builds a high payoff in the future. However, there are several investment-worthy opportunities in businesses that tend to go unnoticed and their potential goes untapped. Perhaps the most notable of these is investing in ergonomically sound furniture. Though it may sound odd, the office chair your employees sit on has the potential to save your company upwards of thousands of dollars a year.
Investing in ergonomic and high caliber chairs for your company has repeatedly been proven to quickly and drastically improve worker productivity and quality production, as well as reducing hefty unforeseen worker’s compensation and healthcare costs in the long-term.
An ergonomic chair promotes comfortable and healthy seated positions for users. Short term, this reduces aches, pains, and strains on their muscles and joints, leading to less stretch breaks, less frustration, better sleep, and a clear state of mind that is optimal for effective and quality work. In the long run, providing workers with good seats significantly reduces the risk of injuries from sitting for prolonged periods of time. The health effects that long-term office workers suffer from are extensive, varying from mild to severe. Ultimately, this means businesses can spend upwards of thousands of dollars per employee in workers’ compensation insurance to pay for the work-related injuries and medical care needed. An ergonomically designed chair effectively curbs and cuts down this cost by reducing the risk of injury.
So, it comes as no surprise then that many of the world’s biggest businesses have decided to buy into the opportunity.
Take Google for example, a company which has long since attracted potential employees in large part due to their dynamic and comfortable work environment. The office layout provides workers the option to choose from a large variety of chairs and sitting locations that best suit their needs, creating a prime environment where individuals can focus on putting their best efforts and talents forward. The company prioritizes the comfort of their employees, even when they’re not in the office. When coronavirus first became widespread in 2020 and forced businesses to work from home, Google offered $1000 to every worker. They did this so everyone could purchase ergonomic chairs and desks in the name of ensuring they had the essentials to be productive and comfortable. As a result, the workplace culture is ranked as the gold standard with a high percentage of job satisfaction and low stress.
Apple has also traded traditional office chairs for new, adjustable ones. Purchasing thousands of top quality, ergonomically designed and sleek seats provides their workers with comfort and aesthetics to create a highly motivating work environment. The business has repeatedly stated that they value their employees just as much as their customers, and the results speak for themselves.
But you don’t need to be one of the biggest companies in the world to invest in your employees’ comfort. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries compiled 250 case studies to compare examples of the costs and benefits that ergonomic business investments have had. The companies consisted of desk and office environments in multiple different fields who decided to redesign their workstations with new adjustable chairs, arm supports, lumbar supports, and much more, hiring ergonomists to analyze and evaluate the outcomes. The results were astounding, with several companies reporting up to 80% reduction in worker’s compensation costs, up to millions in savings, and less time lost to illness and sickness. All companies reported high percentages of productivity and quality increases.
The smartest business investments are those that yield high results and savings right away and continue to do so in the long-term. Though something as simple as a chair may not seem like it would be particularly effective, it has proven extremely worthwhile by the highest-ranking businesses in the world. By taking a page from their book, you can ensure similar successes for your company, because investing in the comfort and health of your employees just makes sense.