How-To: Use Spreadsheets to Organize Your Office

Let’s make this as simple as possible: if you are not using a spreadsheet to help manage your office or business, you are making a huge mistake. We understand that the thought of a spreadsheet–the thought of even turning on Microsoft Excel–makes you want to curl up in a ball in the corner and start gently sucking on your thumb. Well, enough of that crying! Spreadsheets are nothing to be afraid of! In fact, after you are initiated into all the power they possess, you will wonder why you didn’t make friends with the green monster long ago! Without further ado, let’s talk a bit about all the things a spreadsheet system can do to make your office more organized and your life happier.

Organizing Your Tasks


And here you thought spreadsheets were only good for crunching numbers! Absolutely not. Spreadsheets can be used for a variety of functions that have nothing to do with accounting or budgets. Making a “to-do” list is just one of the great things a spreadsheet can help you with. You might still be stuck in the old ways of making a “things to do” list. Sticking little post-it notes all over the place, or filling a notebook up with items to be done.

There is a better way. All you have to do is use the first row to make headings that spell out all the tasks you need to get done. You can then use the columns to organize and separate these tasks into categories, orders of importance, and so on. In this way, the list becomes interactive and gives you a lot more freedom to manage things in an efficient way. Of course, if you still want some handy ways to keep little notes for yourself, Fellowes makes some very interesting monitor organizers that can help keep you from swamping your computer area with notes.

Keep Track of Your Passwords

Are you one of those people who has a hundred different passwords for different sites on the internet, and various programs you use on your desktop? If so, a spreadsheet can be an easy way to keep track of all those passwords. Even if you are a person that tries to basically use the same username and password for everything, you will likely run into problems with trying to implement this.

Certain sites require certain combinations of numbers and letters, some have length requirements, and with all of these variations, you are likely to have at least a few different passwords and usernames out there. Create a spreadsheet and use the headings to write Website (or software program title), Username, and Password and then your information will be there for you when you need it.

You can even password protect your spreadsheet, so that prying eyes won’t have access to all of your sensitive information. Of course, then the catch-22 arrives. Where will you store the password for your spreadsheet? But that opens up a field of paradox we are not quite ready to delve into, so let’s just move on, shall we?

Marketing

A spreadsheet can also be a great way for you to keep track of customer data. Perhaps you have been thinking about sending out a mailing list, either through snail mail or through email. These lists can be a superb way to drive traffic to your website, and increase business for your office. Using a spreadsheet, you can keep easy track of all of your customers’ information, such as their mailing address, the type of product they’ve bought from you in the past, and their email info. With modern spreadsheets, you can even create hyperlinks, so that it will be possible for you to open up and send email directly from a click of your spreadsheet!

If you have been afraid to open up your spreadsheet program because of the mathematical connotations, be afraid no more. What we have talked about is only a small sample of the things you can do with these powerful processors. Take the time to play with your spreadsheet program today, and you’ll find that they aren’t as complicated as you might have thought. If you have trouble, there are plenty of tutorials on the web that will help you get the basics down pat. Once you’ve achieved this, you’ll be able to use your spreadsheet program to do just about anything you can think of. Don’t let it sit there and collect virtual dust any longer!


How-To: Take Control of Your Office Scheduling

It can happen to the best of us. Maybe it was the holiday season, or the dog days of summer. Maybe there was a rash of employee absences. Whatever the reason, the office schedule has slipped off track. Possibly that was acceptable for a while, but now it is threatening to careen off the side of a mountain to a fiery demise two hundred feet below. You have to get your office schedule under control, but you feel as though it may be too far gone. Perish the thought!

 

It is never too late. It will take some hard work, cooperation, and determination, but you can have the well oiled office machine you once had. The tools are right here. All you have to do is put them to use. Here are some things you can do to get things started today.

 

Start With Your Desk

 

One of the things you may have noticed slipping under the radar is your own backlog of to do items. If this is the case, then you need to start with yourself and your own desk. Start clearing out all of the things that you have been putting off for one reason or another. This serves a dual purpose. For one, it is much easier to get organized and start a new plan if you take care of yesterday’s garbage. That means taking a look at every sheet of paper in your inbox and cluttering your desk and getting rid of it one way or another. And no, this doesn’t mean just slipping it into a bottom drawer. If there are things that need to be done, now is the time to do them. Secondly, producing a clear desk gives you a clear head and helps your office start to get back on schedule. Most likely, your delays in getting things done has put someone else behind schedule as well.

 

Create a Resource Folder

 

You can do this not only on your computer, but encourage your employees to do the same on theirs. A resource folder is something that you set up that you keep all your important resources within (who would have guessed!). You can even go beyond making a simple folder, and create folders within that. Then you can really get down to the nitty gritty. Separate your documents, internet bookmarks, and programs according to your needs. You can also save articles and interesting pages you come across on the web or through email in one of those folders. This way when you want to share it with someone else (as you inevitably will), you won’t have to spend half your morning trying to find it again.

 

Do not overlook the power of creating a folder like this in the real world, either. Computers are great, but sometimes you come across resources and files that aren’t electronic. This is why it’s great to duplicate your resource folder with the real thing. Smead and Universal both make quality folders that can be used for just such a purpose. If you come across magazine articles or newspapers clippings you want to save, this is the place to do it. This would also be a great place to store memorandums you’ve sent out or received about company policies.

 

Schedule Weekly Efficiency Meetings

 

No one likes to go to boring meetings, this is for certain. But if you can make your employees understand the importance of staying on a schedule, perhaps they will come to the meetings with ideas under their belts, ready to help out. If you notice that certain employees don’t like to participate, then you know which ones to keep a close eye on when it comes to keeping on schedule and increasing productivity. It might be time to trim some of the fat.

 

Enact Some Customer Relations

 

In the time that your office schedule has begun slipping, so might have your contact with your most important asset: your clients and customers. Take the time to give a shout to all of your important customers and make sure they still know you’re around and still appreciate your business. Find some nice, but inexpensive trinket or token of appreciation to send to all of them. The important thing is just to keep your business in their minds. The next time they need a product or service that you sell, they’ll be sure to come back around rather than go to the competition.

 

 

 

Efficient Time and Billing Management

Far too many offices and business fail to recognize the importance of strict time and billing management. This is especially true for small businesses, sometimes made up of only one person, selling a service. If you take a look at your office and see that billing has become lax, now is the time to get it back on track. Lost billing time is lost money, pure and simple. You need to implement changes right away, and watch how much more efficient and profitable your office becomes. Stress the importance of proper billing to all of your employees, and most of all, learn it for yourself. If you are not sure of the best way to go about changing or improving your billing system, read on for some tips. These strategies and programs have been used by some of the most efficient companies in the world to turn their time into money.

 

By The Hour

 

Different companies use different methods of billing for their time. If you are the type of office or self contained company that charges by the hour, billing should not be much of a problem. It is just a matter of keeping strict control over the amount of time that is being worked, and then collating that into a format in which you can charge correctly for that time.

 

There is robust software that can do this for you, and the best programs are not that expensive, so you should not hesitate to pick them up and install them. After all, the amount of money you will save being free from billing errors will undoubtedly pay for the software many times over. There is even some web based software that is free and does a pretty good job of handling hours billed. Once you get to the end of the month, you only have to transfer your billing information into your invoice program and everything else will take care of itself. You do have an invoicing program, right?

 

Charging by the Day

 

The software we discussed before can also help you out if you are charging by the day, or the half day rather than by the hour. Some companies find this a much more efficient way of billing, and even offer their clients discounts for accepting this type of billing system. The great thing about billing by the day or half day is that you can keep track of it using a spreadsheet program that is most likely already installed on your computer. If that program has been gathering dust for some time, now is the time to bring it out of the mothballs and put it to use. All you need to do is set up a spreadsheet for each client and keep track of the days worked, and how much this should bring to bear in the billing cycle. You can use this same spreadsheet to keep track of any expenses you’ve incurred for each client as well.

 

Outsourcing

 

If you find it would be less efficient or wise for you to handle your own billing, there is good news! There are many freelance billing specialists that can help you collate your billing system, and will not cost you an arm and a leg in the process. In addition to individual freelancers, there are established companies that do the same thing. These companies will likely charge you more, but you may have more peace of mind as to who you’re handing your records over to and entrusting the proper billing be done.

 

In order to choose the best company to do your billing, take the time to research and find out a bit about their practices. Make sure they have handled billing of your type in the past. If possible, get some references. In fact, if you have friends in the industry, it might be better to get a recommendation than to try to pick a company out of the phone book. If you decide to go with a freelancer, references are doubly essential. Talk to people and find out what the median pay is for these types of services so that you don’t wind up getting taken for a ride. On the other hand, you don’t want to hire someone who will do it for dirt cheap. There’s always a reason why someone is undervaluing themselves.

 

Whether you choose to do it yourself or outsource, billing and time management does not have to be an impossible mission. If you’re having trouble keeping everything tidy and on schedule, At-A-Glance makes quality desk and wall calendars you can use to get organized. Follow the steps above, and you’ll find that your company will soon be making the money it deserves.

3 Foolproof Ways to Clean Up Your Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping, properly done, is one of the most often overlooked aspects of a new business or office manager. It always seems like a task that can be put off, or perhaps never completed at all. After all, what’s really wrong with the way you are doing things now, right? Sure, it may be a little messy, and yes, you can’t always find what you need when you need it, but that’s still preferable to spending all day and night trying to organize all the clutter.

 

You may want to re-think this perspective on organization. You could be spending a large amount of manpower and time on chasing down receipts and paperwork, and you may not even realize it. Think about how much time has been wasted in the last month, for instance, looking for paperwork that should have been easy to find in seconds. Now multiply that by the amount of time you have been in business and see how this kind of wasted time can add up. And the worst part is that with a situation that you have now, paperwork and receipts can become easily lost. This paper trail is essential for a business. Imagine if you get audited by the IRS. It only makes sense to organize your bookkeeping, which is why we have devised a simple plan for you to do so.

 

Time is a Critical First Step

 

The first thing you need to do is set aside a chunk of time in order to accomplish this task. How long it will take will depend on how disorganized your bookkeeping is. No matter how messy your system has become, however, there is no reason it should take more than a day or two to set things right. If you need to, have one of your assistants come in on a Saturday and see if you can work as a team to get things in order in one day without interruptions. Grab a large three ring binder, such as those made by Cardinal, and get a hold of some divider cards to help make the transition smooth. Get some letter sized paper, a stapler, and some plastic folders. The only other thing you’ll need is your business receipts and paperwork. All of your invoices, scrap pieces of paper that important things are written on, and anything else you think needs to be better organized than it is. Head out to the coffee shop, grab a big cup, and set to the task of making your office run more smoothly, and making your life a lot easier.

 

Getting Organized

 

Okay, you’ve got your coffee, you’ve got your assistant, and you’re bravely taking time on a weekend to make things right. Trust us, it will be worth it in the long run (although your assistant may never see it that way, so hopefully you’ve bought him/her a coffee, too.) The first thing you need to do is organize your binder into separate sections. The first section will be for invoices that have not yet been paid. This will most likely be invoices from your suppliers or vendors. Write at the top of the invoices the date on which they are due and then organize them in such a way that the one that needs to be paid first is on top. The second section will be for your paid invoices. Receipts, in other words. Since many receipts and invoices don’t come in a handy letter size format, staple those that don’t to a sheet of paper for easier storage. Write at the top of each of the invoices the method you used to pay them. The next section is for unpaid invoices that you have sent out–money that is owed to you. Then a section for invoices you’ve sent out that have been paid. Finally, make a section for bank statements.

 

Keep It Organized

 

After you have accomplished this wonderful task, you do not want things getting back into disarray. This can happen more quickly than you might expect. You’ll want to set aside a day each month (or even more frequently if you feel it needs it) that you revisit your bookkeeping binder and make sure that things are still working in the way you set up. In fact, you may find it easier to simply gather your invoices and receipts in a folder and then add them to the binder on that scheduled day each month. Either way is acceptable, and the latter way may save you some time on a day to day basis.

 

Bookkeeping Basics

 

Now that you have everything nice and tidy and neat, you have two options at the end of the year. You can either take out that binder and use your own savvy and some accounting software to see where you are at, or you can just hand the whole folder off to your accountant. Either way, your new bookkeeping system should make things a lot easier to deal with come the end of the year, and come tax time.

 

 

 

How to Ensure the Safety of Your Mailroom

In a day not that far removed from the anthrax attacks of 2001, people are genuinely concerned about the safety of their office mailroom. After all, businesses, perhaps even more so than people, have a way of attracting attention, and not all of it will be positive. Of course, dangers can not only come through the mail, but internally as well. This is true not only of the mailroom, but of all aspects of the office or business you work in. As workplace safety should be a paramount concern of any office manager or executive, we have devised an article which will help you to ensure the safety of your workers, and particularly that of your mailroom.

 

Make Sure Your Security Procedures Are Current

 

One thing that tends to fall by the wayside in any office or business is security and safety procedures. Put someone in charge of making sure the handbook is up to date, and make sure all employees have a copy. Observe the employees and make sure they are following all securities procedures to the letter. With time, this is one of the areas that tends to get lax. Make sure that if this is the case, that it is remedied. If necessary, put someone in charge of specifically maintaining all security and safety procedures. In addition to this, it is always a good idea to make sure your mailroom is using up to date equipment to ensure safety as well as efficiency. Safco and Fellowes, among others, make high quality mailroom equipment that can be used in conjunction with a well oiled mailroom.

 

Give Proper OSHA Training

 

Ensure that your employees are well versed in the procedures to follow in case of fire, waste spillage, or the encounter of chemicals in the mail they sort. It is better to be prepared for the worst then to assume that nothing will ever happen. In all likelihood, of course, nothing ever will. But at the same time, it pays to be alert and careful, and know what to do should a bad situation arise. This includes following OSHA guidelines, which can not only keep your office mailroom within the letter of the law, but contribute to a safe working environment and produce less risk of having a workman’s comp claim down the road.

 

Communication Is Vital

 

It should be standard to issue all of your mailroom employees either walkie talkies or cell phones (or both) in order to maintain communication in the event of an emergency. These employees need to be in constant contact with their superiors, even if they do not have a supervisor overlooking them at all times. If an emergency does arise, it should be easy to contact someone through the use of these devices.

 

Enforce Access Restrictions

 

All mailroom employees should be issued a badge or a security code in order to access the mailroom. You don’t want any part of your office or business open to intruders, but the mailroom is an especially vulnerable spot. Once your access system is in place, make sure it is followed without question. This is another area where companies tend to relax after a few years, but it’s a better idea to stay vigilant.

 

Be Wary of Suspicious Deliveries

 

Finally, make sure your employees know what to look out for when it comes to deliveries they handle. Do not accept deliveries from carriers that do not have proof of the organization they belong to. In addition, have them be aware of what constitutes a package or delivery that could be suspicious. This includes packages that have much more than the needed postage, and addresses that are sloppily written. Any packages or envelopes that are stained, or lacking a return address are also worthy of caution. None of these signs inherently mean there is something menacing about the package or delivery, but they are telltale signs that something could be wrong. On the other hand, any delivery from unknown origin is worthy of suspicion, and your employees should be aware of this as they work through the mail.

 

In all, mailroom safety is no different from safety in all aspects of the office. Making sure all procedures are followed and your employees are well educated will help to make your workplace run smoothly and reduce the risk of threat or danger.

Five Ways to Reduce Office Stress

Stress is one of the leading killers and causes of illness in our society, and most of it is due to the working environment. Executives and those in authority seem to suffer from this stress most acutely, as the pressures of meeting deadlines, pleasing the boss, making the bottom line make sense, and the responsibility inherent in employing others can get to the most calm of individuals.

 

In this article, we will take a look at five things you can do to relieve some of that stress that has been accumulating over the years. Each day brings its own challenges, but it is up to you to find ways to deal with those challenges without letting them make you miserable, or even sick. Without further ado, here are some techniques you can put to work right now to start melting the stress away.

 

#1. Get Your Office Clean

 

It is amazing how much stress can build up just by being surrounded by clutter and confusion. If this rings true for you, it might be time to take a full scale, dedicated day to clean up your office and get things organized. ACCO folders are a great way to get your papers in order and clean up the confusion that you might have regarding your own filing system. A lot of stress can be manufactured by not being able to find what you need when you need it. If you have a quality filing system with parameters that make sense, this stress can be eliminated. Even if you can’t afford a full day spent reorganizing and cleaning your office, make it a point to do one thing per day that will get you on the right track. Change your filing system, rearrange the furniture, etc. It might even be worth it to stay after hours to do this, as the benefits will outlast this temporary inconvenience.

 

#2. Do Stress Relieving Exercises

 

About a half hour before you go home each day, take the time to get rid of the stress that has built up since that morning. An easy way to do this is by practicing a few proven stress relief techniques. The worst thing you can do is go home with all of that stress intact. Then it begins to affect your family life and your free time. These techniques do not have to be anything outrageous or complicated, just some light meditation and stretching should do the trick nicely. Roll your shoulders, close your eyes, and visualize the boulder of stress and responsibility falling off of your back. Then, when it is time to go home and leave work behind, you can do just that.

 

#3. Start on Tomorrow’s Work

 

If you have the time (and most people find that they do), a great way to relieve stress is to get some of the next day’s work done today. You will come in the next morning and not be overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to get done. We know, we know, it’s a trick–if you do this every day, then nothing has really changed in terms of your daily workload. Still, you will perceive it differently. Plus, there will always be that day when you just do not feel motivated. On that day, you will be glad you have less work, and you can skip out on doing any of the next day’s tasks.

 

#4. Aromatherapy

 

Many men scoff at the healing powers of aromatherapy, but it might be worth a try. Pick some candles or scents that you enjoy, and light them up in your office. See if it doesn’t make a little difference in the way you perceive the day. Anything you can use to let yourself feel calmer is a good thing.

 

#5. Remember To Laugh

 

Finally, the key to a happy workplace is laughter. Even if you have to force yourself to laugh a little throughout the day, it will do your mood and your stress relief some good. If you don’t find much laughter in interacting with your coworkers, find a funny website and visit it at least a couple of times a day to get a laugh. This can do wonders for your spirit and it may just give you the extra help you need in finishing out the work day.

Why a Safe Is Essential For Your Office


The business of office management can leave even the most calm executive frazzled. So many details to manage, so many employees to worry about, and deadlines to make, it can leave one in dereliction of some very basic procedures and security measures that should be done. One of these measures is the procurement of a safe for your office. Do not let this important security step go undone any longer. If it is something you have been meaning to do but have put off because of money issues, you should know that a safe does not have to cost a fortune in this day and age.

 

A Sentry Safe, for example, can be available for under a hundred dollars. Money is no excuse, especially SentrySafewhen it comes to something as important as this. If you haven’t been planning on buying a safe, and see little reason to have one in the office, perhaps the following information will change your mind.

 

Employee Theft

 

A survey of office employees recently put out by Harris Interactive stated that 58% of said employees have admitted to committing some kind of office theft in their lifetimes. Think about that statistic for a moment. Now, granted, the details of the survey revealed that the vast majority of these items were low cost, expendable items such as pens, pencils, staples, and stamps, but some of them went far beyond that.

 

A few of those surveyed admitted to stealing plants, and even paintings off the walls and the furniture itself! You have to consider that employees who would feel comfortable stealing even the smallest thing from the office (which, according to this survey, over half of your employees likely do) would have it within themselves to steal something valuable should the opportunity arise. It may never happen, but it’s better to be prepared and not need it, than to be caught unaware. A safe may be your best answer.

 

Robbery

 

Let’s face it–we live in dangerous times. No matter if your office is located in downtown New York City, or a sleepy burg in northern Montana, you have to have your guard up against potential crime. It could happen anytime, anywhere. If your valuable office items and cash are not locked up in a safe, they are just waiting to be stolen. Now, we’re not talking about someone coming into the office with a gun, obviously, because a safe won’t do you much good in that instance. No, we’re talking about after-hours robbery, where a thief slips in under cover of darkness. Maybe he even got an inside tip as to where the money or valuables were hidden. Whatever the case, he will find them, and they will be his, if you don’t take the time to purchase a safe and lock those items away.

 

Prying Eyes

 

Of course, one of the most practical reasons to get a safe is simply to keep your important papers and documents out of the hands of snooping employees. This isn’t related to theft or protection, but simply privacy. Your company undoubtedly has documents in a filing cabinet (probably unlocked) that has information you don’t need your employees seeing. Well, why take the chances of something being seen and then discussed among the employees? Put those documents away in a safe and give the combination only to those you trust and those who have clearance, so to speak, to view those documents.

 

Insurance

 

Simply put, insurance premiums are more likely to be low when you can prove that your valuable office items are hidden away in a good safe. Also, insurance companies are more likely to pay out a full sum if it can be shown that you took reasonable measures to protect those items.

 

Disaster Protection

 

Fireproof SafeFires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes. Depending on where you work, any of these could happen, and your important documents and office valuables could be lost forever. By purchasing a fire proof safe, you’ll protect yourself against this possible occurrence, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve done all you can to keep those things safe. Disaster doesn’t give you a warning before it strikes, so consider this the warning. Buy a safe for your office, and you’ll be protected for certain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office Redesign: How to Choose Your Furniture

The suit may make the man, but it is the furniture that makes the office. When deciding on what furniture to buy and where to put it all, one can become quickly overwhelmed by many options out there. Now more than ever, the old phrase, “a desk is not just a desk” is very obvious once you get out into the market and take a look at the available options. For every conceivable piece of office furniture, there are a million different choices. The question is: without the aid of a professional designer, how do you decide?

This article is designed to help you along that path. There are considerations to be made with every purchase, and once you take everything into consideration, you will find each purchase naturally follows in kind. Once you realize that everything has its place, and every place a thing that is begging to put there, you will see that randomness has nothing to do with it.

Set a Tone

The important thing to consider when redesigning your office is what kind of tone you want to set. This will be up to personal preference, and the function of your office. If it is the type of office where customers and clients will often be dropping by, you will want to set a welcoming, friendly tone. Unless your business is overly catered to either men or women, you’ll want to do your best to set a gender neutral tone to the office. No pinks or blues, in other words. Stay with more neutral colors. Bolder colors can have unpredictable effects on different types of people, so you want to stay away from them if possible. You never know what a bright red or a bright yellow might say to the individual. On the other hand, light browns and grays and off whites are relaxing and provide an atmosphere of professionalism. You do not have to be boring with your design of the office, but you should not get too outrageous, either. It is, after all, an office and not a game room.

The Desk

Within any office, the desk is the focal point. This means the largest percentage of your consideration should go into choosing the right one. That doesn’t automatically mean you should go out and get the nicest, most Corner Deskelaborate and expensive desk you can find. You should choose a nice one, but a desk that is too big could give off an air of arrogance and power that might intimidate clients. Then again, this might be exactly what you are after. In any event, the desk will determine a lot about the rest of the furniture in the office. It is best to choose function over form in this instance, though there is room for some stylistic leeway. Choose a desk that you’ll feel comfortable at day after day. Some people choose a hulking desk and then find themselves overwhelmed by the immensity. It may seem silly, but that is how psychology works. If you’re to have visitors in your office, make sure you provide chairs in front of your desk that are comfortable.

Setting The Comfort Level

Speaking of comfort, you want to set a balance. Don’t make the furniture in your office so comfortable that employees (or yourself) do not care to do anything once seated. At the same time, you will be spending the majority of each day in the office, so furniture that will cause your neck and back discomfort after thirty minutes is not appropriate either.

Take your time when picking out the furniture. If you feel as though you want to go to sleep just looking at a particular chair, it’s probably best to skip over it. On the other hand, a metal folding chair is probably a bit too sparse and uncomfortable.

Shelving and Filing

When perusing furniture you will want to direct your attention to your filing system. Companies like HON make filing cabinets and shelving that can fit the decor of almost any office. Many times, filing cabinets stick out like ugly sore thumbs in the midst of an otherwise beautiful office. There’s no need for this to be the case. Filing systems come in too many varieties for you to feel as though you’re stuck with one particular choice.

Creative Storage Solutions for Your Office Space

creative-storage-solutions-for-your-office-space

If there’s anything universally true about the office, it’s the fact that it can become a cluttered mess in a hurry. Perhaps you’re dealing with such a situation right now. Everything you want to file or have organized is in disarray. A tornado could strike tomorrow and would be able to do no further damage to your wild system of storage and filing. Continue reading

Choosing the Right Ergonomic Chair

Sitting in an office all day and working at your desk can simultaneously be a tedious and rewarding expenditure of the daylight hours. Rewarding because of your position in the company and your desire to do a good day’s work for your employer, but tedious because your job may be the kind that demands the same duties of you day in and day out.

You may not realize, however, that this tedium is far from the worst part of your day. The worst part may be a factor you haven’t even realized, or may have noticed, but not ascribed the proper importance.

It is the effect all day sitting has on your spinal column, joints, and other parts of your body. More than simply filling you with discomfort by the end of the day, this constant sitting can produce real, long term problems most might not associate with a sedentary lifestyle. Some of this can be offset with exercise, but some of it cannot. Your best bet is to go with an ergonomic chair.

What Is An Ergonomic Chair?

Ergonomics is used to describe the way in which our posture is affected by the furniture and appliances we use. You’ll see the word written about keyboards, mouse pad designs, power tools, and especially, the point in case before us, office chairs.

Ergonomics simply mean that the piece of equipment is designed in such a way that it does not fight our natural body posture. Rather than causing us to slouch, sit too straight, or hold our wrists in an unnatural position, the ergonomically designed appliance, chair, or other office supply works with our bodies so that we can be comfortable and avoid long term injury.

Bad ergonomics, found in the vast majority of cheap office chairs on the market, can not only lead to feeling discomfort at the end of a long day, but can actually produce results in the long run that would best be described as undesirable. This could range from advanced back problems, chronic neck pain, and even headaches.

How Does One Benefit from Ergonomic Chairs?

Beyond the obvious elimination of these undue chronic problems, studies have shown that office workers using ergonomic chairs increase their productivity by up to fifteen percent. This is quite a large jump in productivity just by switching office chairs!

The increase in productivity results from reducing the need to stand up and take extended stretching breaks when using a poorly constructed chair. In addition, employees can concentrate more on their work, instead of “why does my neck hurt constantly?”

The simplest benefit of ergonomic chairs is being able to get up after a long day in the office and feel as though you don’t need to take a salt bath just to relax. The chair has allowed you to relax and, simultaneously, achieve your greatest concentration throughout the entire day.

What Separates One Ergonomic Chair From Another?

Good question! There is no shortage of chairs out there calling themselves “ergonomic,” but do they all really fit the bill?

There is no industry standard that dictates how you can label a chair ergonomic, and thus, you can expect chairs that claim to be ergonomic when in fact they are not. And this is exactly what you find. Though they have the temerity to charge much more, many of these so-called ergonomic chairs are no different from the chair you have now. Make sure you go with a brand you can trust, such as HON Chair, when searching for an authentic, real ergonomic chair.

Making The Choice

Once you’ve decided which trusted brand is right for you, it’s a matter of finding your price point and then deciding which features you’d like. You’ll find chairs that have various levels of swivel and height, different fabrics, reclining features, armrests, and much more. You only need to determine which features you need , and then pick a chair based on a combination of which one provides the most desirable features for the right price.