Your company may be losing money by not investing in ergonomic office furniture. Nowadays, many companies are taking into consideration the ergonomics of their workplaces, because they know about the benefits for employees. For example, sit-to-stand desks reduce the strain of having to sit all day, which leads to less back pain and better posture. And while the benefits of ergonomic office furniture for the employees are clear, you may not realize that it’s beneficial to the bottom line of your business, too. Between the increase in employee productivity and the decrease in costs, the investment in ergonomic office furniture pays off quickly.
Employee Time Saved
Obviously, an hourly employee earns more money for the company when they can get more accomplished within that hour. Therefore, when your employees finish their tasks sooner, your company benefits financially. You don’t have to come up with elaborate productivity-based bonuses to encourage your employees to save time. Investing in ergonomic furniture may just do the trick.
For example, an automotive manufacturing company invested in ergonomic tables and chairs for their office employees and reported an average of 3 hours per week saved. Depending on the hourly rate of your employees, this may be at least $30 per week per employee. The ergonomic improvements will end up paying for themselves sooner than you think, and your company enjoys increased earnings for a long time afterwards, too.
Seemingly small changes to your employees’ workstation setup can already have a big impact on productivity. State Farm employees saw a 15% increase in productivity after changing employees’ desks and chairs. Blue Cross Blue Shield also enhanced their employees’ environment to be more ergonomic. As a result, the company was rewarded with a 4.4% increase in employee productivity.
Reduced Workers’ Comp Claims
Increased productivity is only one advantage of ergonomic workplaces. Your company may also see a reduction in worker’s compensation claims. That’s because employees are less likely to be injured when their workplace is set up properly. For example, a sit-stand desk reduces back pain, bad posture, and injuries resulting from extended periods of sitting down. And since medical bills can be expensive, this cost reduction is often substantial.
One study from 1996 measured the results of redesigning employee’s workstations at Blue Cross to include fully adjustable chairs and desks. The company only had 26 worker’s compensation claims over a period of 3 years. This low rate of claims prompted their insurance company to pay them a dividend of $1 million. And you can expect the savings to continue in the future, because the ergonomic improvements are staying in place.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas reported similar results. New workstations and ergonomic training reduced injury claims related to cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) from 103 cases in 1991 to only 52 cases ten years later. The cost of claims went from $526,000 down to $137,000.
Absenteeism costs your company money every year. When employees don’t show up, the work doesn’t get done, and profits are lost. On top of that, you may be paying them sick pay. Fortunately, absenteeism can be reduced by making your employees’ jobs easier with an ergonomic redesign of their work environment. How much money does your company lose due to absenteeism right now?
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is a case in point. The company invested in redesigned workstations and ergonomic equipment. The result was 241 fewer missed workdays in 2000 compared to 1999. That was a 70% decrease in lost workdays overall.
Ergonomic furniture also benefits assembly workers. A study from 1993 saw a 99% reduction in lost workdays over the period of one year after providing adjustable chairs and footrests for 156 employees. In one study, 4,000 office employees were given ergonomic furniture, which had a positive impact on absenteeism, error rates, productivity, and reduction of discomfort. In this case, employee absenteeism went down by 75%, and productivity was increased by 40%.
Increase in Productivity & Employee Satisfaction
Happy employees are more productive, and increased productivity leads to higher earnings for your company. When your employees are satisfied with their work, they’re also less likely to quit, resulting in lower turnover, which is a big expense for some companies.
A study from 2003 involving 87 employees of the State Dept. of Revenue added highly adjustable task chairs to their office setup. Coupled with ergonomics training, this led to an increase of productivity that was measured at $354 per worker per day. Considering that these improvements are long-term, permanent changes, the benefits greatly outweighed the initial cost of the ergonomic chairs.
Sit-stand workstations were added at the offices of United Parcel Services in 1994. Their employees’ body part discomfort decreased by 62%. You can probably imagine that reduced discomfort in pain leads to happier employees. UPS also saw a 50% decrease in costs associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), which are injuries affecting the body’s movement.
Redesigned workstations have led to greatly improved morale at a newspaper publishing company, according to a study from 1996. The redesign involved the addition of adjustable workstations, positioning the keyboard at elbow height, adding wrist rests, padded edges, and enlarged work surfaces. They also invested in adjustable chairs. There was a tangible, financial upside as well: medical costs and temporary disability payments were reduced by 80%. Even better, only 19 employees reported repetitive motion disorders, down from 50 the year before.
One office spent $1,578,000 in new office furniture and layout over a period of 10 years, but their earnings increased by $5 million because of the increased employee productivity. That means the company earned more than $3.4 million as a direct result of designing an ergonomic workplace.
Reduced Energy Consumption
Another thing that contributes to employee productivity is setting up proper lighting in the workplace. Instead of the harsh lights commonly seen in big offices, some companies are investing in dimmable LED light panels that reduce glare for your employees. While you may certainly notice employee morale improve, improved lighting can also have a positive impact on your energy consumption.
For example, investing in better lighting resulted in a 65% reduction in energy consumption for the Control Data Corp. Because of these savings, the new lighting was paid for within 23 days. Superior Die Set saw similar results after improving the lighting in their drafting area. The resulting 11% increase in productivity and reduced energy consumption paid for the cost of the new light fixtures in 24 days.
Are you interested in designing an ergonomic workplace for your employees? Adding ergonomic desks, chairs, and lighting can have a positive impact on your bottom line, not to mention boost employee morale, which is priceless. Contact Office XYZ to find out how our office solutions can help. You can also browse our products and see for yourself how your employees can benefit.