The average office worker in the USA spends up to 15 hours a day sitting in an office chair at a desk or cubicle, whether that office furniture is at home or in a workplace. And while the issue of how sitting affects our health is a very important one, few people are aware of the health risks associated with what we’re sitting on. What are our chairs, desks and flooring made of? How are they fixed together? What chemicals have been used in their construction? And are they creating opportunities for COVID-19 and other viruses to live and transfer onto other individuals? What we’re really asking is, is our office furniture safe?
Why Do Office Furniture Materials Matter?
When we’re looking at office furniture quality, it used to be that we’d look at construction quality, ergonomics, and cost. Now, those factors haven’t fallen by the wayside – they’re just as important as ever – but you need to add one more to the mix: materials.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how easy it is to transfer bacteria and viruses to other people in our environment in a way that hasn’t really resonated with the public before. After all, we all read the report saying that our computer keyboards are covered with more bacteria than the average toilet seat, but exactly how many of us have really taken steps to properly clean and sanitize everyday office items? That’s what I thought.
COVID-19 is a completely different beast, one that has changed our lives in ways we could not imagine before, and that includes making our offices and workplaces exceptionally hygienic. Office furniture materials play a vital role in creating a safe and healthy workspace. This is because the virus can live on surfaces for a long time, with some materials like stainless steel and plastic preserving the virus for up to 72 hours, and cardboard and porous fabrics for up to 24 hours.
And we’re just talking about one virus here. Substandard office furniture also carried other health risks, including toxic oil-based finishes, formaldehyde and lead paint. Chrome furniture can release chromium VI, a recognized carcinogen that impacted workers during the manufacturing process, also pollutes groundwater and contaminates soil. These chemicals and products may sound frightening, but the reality is that they are everywhere, especially in the particleboard, medium-density fiberboard, cheap dyes, paints and plastics in low-quality office furniture, dividing walls and ceilings.
Healthy Offices Need Quality Office Furniture and Regular Sanitization
The answer to a healthy office means bringing three elements together:
- High-Quality Office Furniture – Choosing office furniture of high quality, specifically investing in non-toxic office furniture that meets ANSI and BIFMA standards, immediately eliminates certain toxic elements from your workspace.
- Green Office Installation – Think past your office furniture to your walls, carpeting and ceilings. Choose low-VOC, eco-friendly paints, non-toxic wall systems, structural elements that can be thoroughly and easily sanitized, and air purification systems to help remove viruses, allergens and pollutants from the air.
- Regular sanitization – It’s also best to consider items that are easy to clean and sanitize on a daily basis. Some items are already made from antibacterial materials to help support your clean, healthy environment. Everything in your workplace, from your walls and flooring to reception surfaces, desks, chairs and communal spaces, needs to be able to withstand regular sanitization – and still look great!
BE Furniture – Making Office Spaces Healthy and Productive
At BE, we’ve always been passionate about empowering our clients and helping them to make the best decisions for their office space and their budget. Our goal is to create a space that is as healthy and functional as it is productive, placing an emphasis on office furniture quality to ensure your furnishings are both safe and durable. Contact us today about our office furniture installation and design services, and find out how our team will go the extra mile to create a post-COVID workspace that helps your business grow and thrive. Don’t settle for less – we don’t!
To learn more, visit our website at: https://bebuilds.com/