The benefits of flexible seating in the workplace

By Fordhay

|News|Mar 2020


Remaining in one position at work all day can be really destructive to your health. Spending nine hours a day sitting down can lead to poor posture, eye strain and neck and back pain. As most of us spend upwards of 40 hours a week at work, movement around the office is vital for a healthy lifestyle. We should be able to move around the workplace so our bodies and minds can remain engaged throughout the day. But this can be difficult if your office environment is restricted by poor design and limited space. Flexible office seating could be the addition your workplace needs to improve employee mental and physical wellbeing. Not only does flexible seating improve health, but it also does great things for your workforce productivity.

What is flexible seating?

Flexible seating is a practice that allows your employees to choose where and how they work. It challenges the norm of being glued to your desk for the entirety of your workday and enables workers to move from area to area. Flexible seating with a creative design enables workers to get up and move around the office. Instead of staying stationary, you can alternate between desks, meeting rooms, conference rooms, quiet rooms or breakout rooms.

Flexible seating isn’t limited to desks and office chairs. It’s a range of seating options including, benches, sofas, armchairs, swing seats or cushions. But looking great isn’t enough – to justify implementing flexible seating in your office it needs to serve a purpose. Introducing seating where there doesn’t need to be seating can do more harm than good by disrupting your team’s workflow. Specific team and departmental needs must be improved with creative seating. Each office seating area that has proximity and purpose will provide your workforce with the right resources to improve their work and communication.

How does flexible seating work?

Flexible seating isn’t just another term for hot desking. While hot desking is great for businesses that like their employees to mix and network, it does have its downsides. Hot desking can make workers feel like they don’t have a base. Without an assigned desk, it’s difficult to settle down during the day if you don’t have a consistent workstation for all of your belongings. Flexible seating is the introduction of additional workstations. Your workforce keeps their assigned desks but has the option of working wherever and however they want in the flexible areas.

What are the benefits of flexible seating?

1. Improve productivity

Modern offices that are bright and comfortable are more successful at stimulating your employees’ minds. With flexible seating around your workplace, your employees will feel inspired and engaged in their everyday activities. They can move freely from space to space and collaborate with team members easily. With the freedom to work in different exciting environments, your employees can choose the time and place to focus. With an improved mood and greater concentration, your employees will become more productive and efficient. Flexible seating can help your business stay agile and become proactive in the busy work environment.

2. Encourage autonomy

Flexible seating is built around trust. By giving your employees the freedom to work where they want in the office, you can grow positive relationships. Autonomy is key to ensuring your employees feel in control of their working day. You don’t want to feel restricted by the confines of a desk or small room as there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Your employees’ needs are all different so require different ways of working. With flexible seating, you can choose where you sit, how you work and who you work with to get the job done as best as possible.

3. Improve wellbeing

We all need to move around during the day. When we can’t stretch our legs and exercise our bodies we lose focus. Without focus or drive, we can become distracted and even disruptive towards other people’s workflows. If you feel agitated, you have the freedom to get up and move to another area of your workplace to concentrate or relax. Your physical wellbeing and comfort can be greatly improved with flexible seating. Moving from a rigid desk chair to a comfortable sofa or cushioned bench can reduce neck and back pain. With comfort comes productivity, positivity and focus.

4. Increase retention

A supported workforce is a happy workforce. With further autonomy, improved wellbeing and increased productivity, your workforce is likely to stay loyal to your business. By supporting your employees with the resources they need to be proactive and collaborative, your business will benefit from improved retention. A workplace with a strong support system, culture and great design is a big selling point for individuals. As everyone would still have their own desk, but with the option of working where and how they want in the flexible areas, you can establish reliability and stability within your workplace.

Flexible seating can do wonders for your workforce. Creating a modern office that reflects the needs of workers in the 21st Century will lead to greater employee satisfaction. With the autonomy to work where and how you want, you’ll become more productive and efficient. As flexible seating provides the option to move somewhere more comfortable to relax or focus, your workforce will benefit from improved mental and physical wellbeing.

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