HERE AT MILLIKEN, WE’RE BIG PROPONENTS OF THE SIT-TO-STAND OFFICE
By making a few simple changes to their office environment, pioneering organizations are bucking the trend of sedentary working, and improving the health & wellness of their employees - both inside and outside of the workplace.
6 WAYS TO GET STARTED WITH SIT-TO-STAND WORKING
Thankfully, getting started with sit-to-stand working doesn’t require a radical culture shift, or a huge investment of resources.
Seated working is a habit, and like any habit, it can be difficult to break. Instead of making an overnight shift to sit-to-stand working, try encouraging employees to stand during informal meetings, or on their next phone call. Any additional amount of activity is an improvement, and 10 minutes standing for every 50 minutes sitting can go a long way towards improving health.
ELECT CHAMPIONS AND CHANGE AGENT
When you feel ready to roll-out sit-to-stand working throughout your entire organisation, make sure to nominate a handful of impassioned sit-to-stand evangelists. These change agents will be able to help motivate their co-workers, regularly switching from seated to standing working, and setting a precedent that’s easy to follow.
SECURE EXECUTIVE BUY-IN
Speaking of change-agents: visible buy-in and support from senior executives can work wonders for encouraging the adoption of sit-to-stand working.It sends a clear message that health and wellness is a core company value, and that sit-to-stand working is more than just a passing trend - it’s a commitment to creating a happier, healthier working environments. These change agents will be able to help motivate their co-workers, by regularly switching from seated to standing working, and setting a precedent that’s easy to follow.
TACKLE NOISE AND PRIVACY ISSUES HEAD-ON
Noise and privacy concerns are two of the biggest barriers to adoption of sit-to-stand working. Thankfully, they’re both easily fixed. Privacy concerns can be remedied by:
- Holding a privacy talk to discuss any concrete concerns employees hold.
- Providing screens and dividers for employees that work with sensitive information.
Noise issues can be tackled by:
- Maintaining “quiet spaces” for heads-down working.
- Softening-up hard surfaces with soft furnishings and plants.
- Choosing sit-to-stand desks with a low decibel rating.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIT-TO-STAND DESK
There’s a wealth of sit-to-stand desks available, ranging from simple adapters to fully-motorised workstations. Your choice of furniture will have a lasting impact on the success of sit-to-stand working:
Ease of adjustment
How easy is it to switch between seated and standing working? Are hand-cranked desks viable, or should you choose a motorised desk?
Costs are similarly variable, so it’s worth working out how much of an investment you’re willing to put towards sit-to-stand; and how many employees will take it up.
The space required of a sit-to-stand desk can vary from role-to-role.
Desks have a surprising impact on the look and feel of the working environment.
INSTALL WELLBAC™ CARPET TILES
Even a few minutes of standing working can take its toll on legs and feet unused to sit-to-stand working. To help overcome these aches and pains, many organisations invest in standing mats - sheets of cushioned padding that help to alleviate strain on tired legs. But standing mats can be more hindrance than help, preventing chairs from moving effectively, and even causing a trip hazard. Instead, it’s better to use the opportunity to install cushion-backed carpet.
A cushion-backed carpet tile can improve the comfort and well-being of standing workers, encouraging them to stand longer and move around more. This improves heart rate and helps burn calories. Leg muscle fatigue is reduced by as much as 24%, and heel impact loads by up to 30%. This translates into fewer aches and pains and real benefits for those employees that either have to, or choose to, stand for large portions of their working day.