In the previous articles, we talked about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace and what happens to your body when you sit all day (see https://humbleworks.uk/horrible-things-happen-sit-long/). Since employees’ welfare remains a hot topic among businesses in 2018, we would like to signify how much it costs your company NOT to buy a standing desk.
Let’s start with the overall wellbeing of employees. If their jobs involve them spending long hours sitting behind a desk, then I could begin to wreak havoc with their health if they don’t dedicate some time to exercise and maintain healthy eating habits. Wellbeing isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ along with growth strategies and hitting targets anymore. It should be fully integrated with any company’s agenda. The truth is that if you’re not looking after your employees, you can’t expect them to look after your company and your customers. Ignorance is mutual, and it is higher managements’ job to set the example. It can be seen that many companies have started seeing wellbeing programmes seriously. 2017 was a milestone year as 70% of US employers introduced them from 58% in 2015.
Physical health is the main reason why wellbeing at work matters as their 64% of adults in the UK are classified as overweight or obese. Both cases have a significant impact on absenteeism because of which many companies lose a lot of money each year. Furthermore, staying fit helps to develop a sharper memory which makes one a faster learner, as well as can result in prolonged mental stamina.
Companies which introduced wellbeing programmes strongly benefited in recruitment and retention. By offering their employees additional perks, they are standing out among the competitors when it comes to attracting top clients. It simply improves company’s reputation.
Having said that promoting physical activity among employees can drive several benefits for the business, unfortunately, we must note that exercise cannot offset the risks of sitting… Standing up for just 10 minutes every hour, on the other hand, can.
According to a 2017 survey out of the Society for Human Resource Management, standing desks are the fastest growing benefits trend. 13% of employers provided or subsidized them in 2013 and 44% did so in 2017.
Why you’re asking? 2014 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that standing desks reduced the sedentary time by more than three hours a week, they increased the sense of wellbeing and gave energy, as well as decreased fatigue and appetite. Another study conducted by Texas A&M University at a call center found that productivity increased by 46% when using standing desks in comparison to colleagues who didn’t. Furthermore, in both studies, employees felt less trapped by working in an office.
“Once you get used to using a standing desk, there’s just no going back- now I can stand for hours on end, and sometimes have to remind myself to give my legs a break. I feel restless and lethargic if I have to sit down all day” – Rachel Krantz, Senior Features Editor at Bustle.
It might be difficult to answer the question what are the costs of not buying a standing desk for your business with a specific number as it depends on the size of your company, employer’s salary, etc. However, not having at least one in your office can lead to missing all of the above benefits. Remember happy employees, happy customers, profitable business.