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Office mistakes which could be costing you more than you think

According to the Health and Safety Executive around 36.8 million working days are lost in the UK due to work related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries.


Stress, depression and anxiety are the biggest causes of sick days, with mental health issues causing each person suffering to take an average of 18.6 days off work a year.


Musculoskeletal injuries caused by anything from unsupportive chairs and office furniture to heavy lifting are the next major cause of time off.


Although some sick days are inevitable as even the healthiest employees can fall victim to a bug from time to time, there are steps that can be taken to reduce excessive illnesses and injuries which leave businesses out of pocket and under resourced.


We look at five ways to reinvigorate your office and boost productivity to keep staff healthy and injury free.


1. Maximise space

It may sound simple but keeping the office clear and free from hazards is one of the simplest things you can do. As businesses grow it is all too easy to squeeze an extra desk space in rather than reorganise the layout. Taking time to look and reassess the office design and spacing can really help to boost productivity.


Can staff move freely around the office? Are amenities easily accessible or difficult to reach and not logically placed? Does every desk have enough storage so that boxes and paperwork aren’t blocking walkways?


Slips, trips or falls equate for 30% of the 565,000 non-fatal injuries reported last year. Advances in office designs means there are lots of space saving furniture options available now. It means you can maximise desk and storage space while still allowing plenty of space around the office.


2. Reduce clutter


The average person can waste up to 4.3 hours a week looking for papers due to a disorganised office!

Over-flowing filing cabinets and jam-packed cupboards not only reduce productivity but can add to a stressful working environment and even cause tripping hazards.


Look at how you can create more space with clever storage solutions. Under desk drawers, magazine holders, desk tidies and storage units all offer a great solution to keep clutter at bay. Make a list of all the documents, items, equipment, and stationery you need and then look at whether you have the right storage solution for each item to make sure that everything has its own place.


Concerned about how to banish distracting clutter? For more helpful hints read our seven top tips for banishing unproductive clutter in the office.


3. Calming colours and artwork


Don’t underestimate how the finishing touches and colour schemes you use can have a calming effect on your office. Think about how you can add your own style to make employees feel more relaxed and inspired by their surroundings. At LG Davis our staff are encouraged to share their own positive messages and affirmations which we have created into wall stickers to add a bit of inspiration and team spirit in each office.


Plants, photos and artwork are a great way to turn a blank canvas into an inspiring and fresh space. Try to keep colours neutral for a calming and less distracting feel or where you are looking for a bit more inspiration maybe look at a more vibrant design.


If you are looking for ideas, ask one of our sales team for inspiration.


4. Comfort over cost


Although budget will obviously have to come in to how much you spend on office chairs and furniture, budget ranges aren’t always the cheapest option in the long run. Last year, 7.3million days were lost at work due to musculoskeletal disorders.


Back ache and shoulder pains caused from poorly fitted chairs and badly positioned desks could be leaving your business out of pocket with excessive sick days due to repetitive strain injuries and muscular pains.


Probably one of the easiest ways to reduce sick days is to take some time to regularly review each of your employees’ work stations. Make it part of your annual performance review with staff.


Are the work stations offering the right level of support? Do staff find themselves struggling to reach the keyboard or are they poorly positioned in their chair? Simple solutions such as wrist and foot rests as well as orthopaedically designed chairs or standing desks all offer protection to keep staff working safely and injury free.


5. Time for a Spring Clean?


Germs and bugs harbour in dust and on work surfaces across the office. Recent studies show that your desk could actually be dirtier than the average toilet!


Regularly deep cleaning workstations will help to cut down the bugs and prevent germs being passed around the office. Wipe down communal office equipment such as telephones, photocopiers and printers to prevent the spread of infection and implement a tidy desk policy to reduce areas for dirt to fester.


Looking for inspiration on other ways to spruce up the office read our Is it time to Spring clean your office post.


A happy workforce is often a productive one so choosing your office furniture and designs could be more important than you realise in preventing costly sick days and injuries.


In need of advice, our friendly sales team are happy to offer a free audit to see how you could improve your working environment and if there are any better solutions for your business.


Don’t forget we also offer a free recycling service for all your old furniture as well making an office refurbishment an easy solution to improve productivity.

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