Your employees are not at their best if they're suffering from backaches, carpal tunnel syndrome or other aches and pains typical to office workers. Ergonomically friendly workstations can eliminate those problems, but getting top-notch ergonomic desks, chairs and accessories to suit everyone's needs can get expensive.
Luckily, there are often lower-cost solutions to help each employee. Here are four budget-friendly ideas:
1. Find Alternatives to Standing Desks
Sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health, and a growing body of research shows that standing at work can supercharge productivity. Yet combination sit/stand desks — especially the hydraulic models — can easily exceed your budget. Instead, create your own standing workspaces. Lower-cost laptop stands or monitor and laptop mounts can be added to workstations, or you could add a few standing stations in the office that are open for anyone to use. These provide your team with the choice to either sit or stand whenever they want.
2. Embrace a Wide Range of Ergonomic Seating Options
If your team works on computers, some sitting is unavoidable. Look for chairs that provide ergonomic support: Mesh chairs were once famous for having a high price point, but more economical versions are available today. Other employees might prefer using exercise balls or stability disks to maintain a healthy, neutral posture while working, so you might stock these to use as needed.
3. Invest in Good Computer Ergonomics
Are workers' monitors at eye level? If they're not, look at monitor stands. A monitor stand allows users to raise the monitor to the height needed and helps eliminate muscle and eye strain. Ergonomic keyboards and mice also help users who have to type all day keep their arms in a relaxed and neutral position, minimizing issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.
4. Search for Small Accessories that Solve Bigger Problems
Adjustable desks are often used to compensate for overall user height, but before investing in a new desk to help make sitting more comfortable, try an adjustable foot rest. Keeping feet on a higher level can relieve pressure on the worker's legs and back, and these foot rests cost very little.
Use that same mindset to solve other ergonomic complaints. While it may seem like an expensive solution is the only way, there are plenty of handy, low-cost products that might solve the issue just as well.
These ideas can help solve most problems, but be sure to have a plan for when an employee has special requests. For example, an employee with back pain might need a full standing desk: Ask that they bring a signed recommendation from their doctor. When purchases are considered on an as-needed basis, it's possible to meet your team's requirements while keeping expenses in check.
Ergonomics are important — they keep your team comfortable, healthy and productive. But they don't have to break the bank. It's possible to make systematic improvements while staying in line with your budget.