DATE: 02/22/2016

The 40-hour work week is a myth.

Though widely regarded as the national standard for full-time employment, the number is hardly accurate. According to Gallup, full-time U.S. employees work an average of 47 hours per week. Four in 10 say they work at least 50 hours. So, what’s the deal? Do today’s employees really have that much more work to do?

A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll, found U.S. employees at large-sized companies spend only 45 percent of their time on primary job duties. A reported 14 percent of their work week was spent on email and a whopping 40 percent was spent on meetings, administrative tasks and various “interruptions.”

Though it’s unclear exactly what constitutes an interruption, we would argue it’s any perceived distraction that makes it difficult to focus on primary tasks. Thus, interruptions fall into two categories: Mental and physical. Though you, as an employer, have little control over mental interruptions (ie. the interaction your employee had with his mother that he keeps playing over and over in his head), you absolutely have control over the physical ones.

Office layout and furniture can hinder or help employee productivity. An obvious example would be an employee who begrudgingly sits in an office chair everyday that doesn’t ergonomically fit her frame. A less obvious one would be an employee who has been struggling to write the same paragraph for 30 minutes because of nearby noise distractions. Both employees may or may not inform the HR Department of their grievances. But both will surely log more hours than actually worked!

With this in mind, here are 4 furniture solutions you can implement in your San Antonio office.

Use Acoustic Furniture

We love the idea of open offices, and we’re sure you do too. Unfortunately, many businesses have had trouble successfully translating the idea to reality. Noise privacy routinely ranks as the no. 1 complaint among employees surveyed in open offices. Our brains seem determined to process nearby words spoken, even if we’d rather focus on the task at hand.

While there are many solutions for camouflaging such chatter, one of the best is acoustic furniture. From wall panels to “think pods,” these pieces are specially designed to absorb noise. Though they won’t eliminate it entirely, they can effectively create a muffled background sound that improves concentration.

Be Tech-Friendly

Another common hindrance is a lack of appropriate tech options. Archaic operating systems, inefficient email programs and outdated word processing software should all be updated. Also, studies show employees get more done when given the option of choosing when and how they work. With this in mind, selecting modern furnishings with integrated electrical outlets is wise.

Additionally, consider providing several location options – lounge areas, conference rooms and private workspaces – that allow employees to work from laptops or tablets when desired.

Use Adjustable Height Desks

While not every employee will take you up on standing at work, some will.Whether they’ve just read a media report on the health dangers of sitting or are simply curious as to whether standing really could diminish that “end of day” back pain, you’d be surprised at the number of employees who eagerly gravitate toward such an unconventional option.

Since most experts don’t actually recommend standing all day, an adjustable height desk is the perfect solution. Consider surveying your staff to determine how many are interested in standing options, before designing a “first come, first serve” adjustable-height work area to test the concept.

As you can see, there are many ways to make your furniture work harder so your staff can work smarter. Ready to get started? Click Here to set-up a free consultation.