The Benefits of Orthopedic Office Chairs

Orthopedic office chairs are a great business solution, and providing them (along with training on how they’re best used) can help show your staff how much you appreciate them. There are lots of reasons you might need to think about the back care of your employees, but the solution is always the same: if the work space is not set up correctly, then the chances are someone might end up getting hurt through their job. Who thought offices could be so dangerous?!

Not only can an injury lead to work absence, and workload not getting done (or someone else having to pick up extra work load), as an employer you are also liable for your employees health whilst at work – and if they sustain injuries due to malpractice in the workplace you could end up paying for a lot more than just an orthopedic office chair.

Back pain is actually the most frequent cause of sick days, accounting for more time off than childcare, and coughs and colds. It’s surprising when you think about it – and the solution is so simple it’s really surprising that many employers just don’t bother.

An orthopedic office chair for each of your employees can prevent short time absence, as well as longer term, recurrent problem. It’s also a good idea to encourage your staff to get up and walk around when they can, as this will help keep those muscles in check. If you don’t sit up your tone will lapse and you’ll find that you can’t sit straight even if you want to.

Correct desk set up is a key part of keeping everything in check and making sure back health is at maximum. When sitting at your desk, your feet should be flat on the floor, and your calves and back should both be straight up. Your elbow should rest on the arms of the seat, and again, this should be straight and not angled. Your forearms will be doing most of the work, so whilst neutral they should be parallel to the ground, though not resting on the desk.

Simple training will make your employees more aware of their posture, and this can prevent injury. It will also mean that you’re covered – if they don’t follow guidance given but you can prove you provided it then it is their error and not yours. Adjustable desks which can be used whiles seated in an orthopedic office chair but which are also suitable to use standing are an ideal – although this is a much larger investment.

Treat your staff well to avoid workplace injuries and you’ll find your staff are much more inclined to work hard!

James works for Norwich based Lockwoodhume. They offer a huge range of office furniture and office supplies – providing stationary and furniture for home offices, corporate businesses and retail environments.

Is It Time to Give Your Business a Good Spring Cleaning

I’m sure you’re aware of the old term, “spring cleaning”? Mother nature reminds us that before you add more to your life, it’s always a good idea to let go of what no longer serves you. Like the leaves that fall from trees in autumn, room is made for the new growth that occurs every spring.

I’m finding many women entrepreneurs feeling this way right now (including yours truly: -)). Evaluating your business is a smart move, as long as you’re willing to ask yourself the right questions and give yourself honest answers:

1. What’s Working? So many times, we can forget to look at what’s going well in our business as we have the tendency to focus on problems or challenges. Look through the lens of appreciation and make a list of what is working well. For example, do you have an assistant or team support that is inspired by your business vision and committed to doing their best? Is your business profitable each month?

2. What’s Not Working? Spend some quality time making a thoughtful list of any challenges or concerns one-by-one so you can visually see areas that need improvement. You’ll also want to identify what I call the “gaps” in your business – the place where some sort of breakdown is happening. For example, if your cash flow is inconsistent, either your marketing isn’t attracting potential clients or your sales conversations aren’t converting people into becoming paid clients. Or maybe, you’re chained to the desk, working way too hard and on the way to burnout. In either of these examples, it’s time to take a serious look at making some changes.

3. What’s New? This is what entrepreneurs love! We are creative beings that enjoy new products, programs and services. The blood rushes through your veins at an electric pace when you are creating! This is where you need to be careful. There’s this affliction that entrepreneurs suffer from called “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome” that can wreak havoc with your business (and income) if you aren’t careful. It’s great and necessary to stay up to date on the trends and come up with new, fresh ideas BUT, in the process you want to make sure you don’t eliminate those products and services that your clients love and pay you for generously!

If the arrival of spring has given you an itch to shake things up in your business, set aside some time and ask yourself the three questions above and really give honest answers. Appreciate the great work you’re doing and all that’s going well. Give some serious thought to what’s not going well and set a deadline to get the issue resolved. Finally, get your creative juices flowing and design a fresh, new service or product that you know your ideal client is craving.

Problems at Work Are They All in Your Head

Every day in every workplace, there’s bound to be differences of opinion, disagreements or even full-blown arguments. Most offices have a standard HR procedure for dealing with serious conflicts, and may even seek to change their policies if something simply “isn’t working” as it stands.

The problem is that in most cases, leaders and HR professionals take workplace issues at face value, and their demands for behavioral changes often provide only a temporary fix. Looking beyond the surface and getting to the psychological root of a problem may actually be more helpful in solving it for good.

“What goes on in the workplace is intensely psychological,” said Shelley Reciniello, psychologist and author of “The Conscious Leader: Nine Principles and Practices to Create a Wide-Awake and Productive Workplace” (LID Publishing, 2014). “We focus on behaviors and try to change them instead of looking at why [we exhibit those behaviors]. If we understood why, we wouldn’t have to have these big change initiatives that don’t really work.”

Understanding the “why” behind people’s behaviors at work begins with recognizing the unconscious preoccupations that each person brings into the workplace every day, Reciniello said. [The Leadership Mindset: How to Get There]

“People have personal preoccupations [such as] financial, health, family, etc., that all come into work with them, and we’re conscious of that,” she told Business News Daily. “It’s what we’re not aware of that causes problems in the workplace — fears, anxieties, unresolved issues, complicated emotions like anger and guilt. People don’t leave their psychological selves at the doorstep.”

So how can leaders address these issues that are unwittingly affecting their employees? The first step is to become conscious of your own psychological tics — and accept the fact that there may be some things you need to work on.

“One of the biggest problems leaders have is self-delusion,” Reciniello said. “If you’re not aware of your own [problems], where you come from, your secret buttons, you won’t make a good leader. [Leaders] need to really get to an understanding of who they are.”

Reciniello advised seeking feedback from a trusted friend or colleague, or even a business coach to give you honest insights into your behavior with others in the workplace.

“How do people act toward you?” Reciniello said. “Are they inspired by you or afraid of you? Do your employees trust you with their lives and futures? There’s a lot of soul-searching [involved]. Leaders need to grow in consciousness every day and demand that of the people who work for them.”

Once you’re able to understand yourself and your own motivations, think about the motivations and needs of your staff, and take them into consideration when you’re working together, whether as a team or as a company. Reciniello noted that many organizations operate in silos where one department doesn’t think of what the other ones need. Leaders of different departments should collaborate and do away with these silos, as they are not helpful to an organization, she said.

To make the workplace function more smoothly, it’s important that leaders learn to view any conflicts and situations that arise from a psychological perspective, and handle them accordingly.

“The tenets we use in therapy are applicable to everyday life, and we should be applying them because we are all psychological beings,” Reciniello said. “[Leaders need to] learn to deal with conflict, anger and power. If you don’t deal with them, these forces will swallow you up whole.”

Bring Your Own Network Is Your Business Data Secure

With the widespread adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) policies and remote work arrangements, employees are able to access company data from anywhere there’s an Internet connection. Certain files and access points may only be available through a corporate connection, but in many cases, “bring your own network” (BYON) has become the new normal for today’s workforce.

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The benefits of being able to work without being tethered to one’s desk are obvious, which is why employers have been increasingly supportive of BYOD and BYON in recent years.

“Individual users can easily set up their own access points with pretty standard technology and cheaper data plans,” said Carlos Montero-Luque, chief technology officer of enterprise mobility management platform Apperian. “The convenience, lower cost and ease to set up one’s personal network anywhere, anytime is very appealing to road warriors, even without deep technical expertise. Companies also benefit from the increased availability of their workforce, which is why they want to support and secure remote connection, rather than prohibit it.”

Of course, you don’t need to be an IT professional to realize that there are also some very serious security implications that come with BYON. It may be relatively secure for employees to log in to corporate programs from their password-protected home network, but public Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile carrier networks, as well as any data accessed through these channels, are unsecured. [Remote Workers’ Success Starts With IT Support]

“With BYON, people are utilizing corporate data and applications that may or may not be secure,” said Sarah Lahav, CEO of IT service management provider SysAid Technologies. “It takes everything that once lived happily in your secure corporate firewall and puts it at risk to hackers and viruses.[It also] allows employees to bypass corporate networks to access an array of services and applications that may have otherwise been prevented by IT.”

“When an employee is on an employer network, they’re far more inclined to follow legitimate company practices, but when they’re on their own network or device, they’re more likely to do personal things,” added Tim Francis, enterprise cyber lead at Travelers, a provider of cyber insurance. “If they’re accessing apps and software not vetted by the company, those [programs] are more likely to bring malware with them.”

While banning BYON entirely may seem like the most logical way to keep company data as secure as possible, such a policy is difficult to enforce and simply doesn’t make sense for most companies at this point. Today’s employees have come to expect anywhere, anytime access to their work files, and Francis noted that offering BYON as an option may be important to employee satisfaction and retention.

In terms of practicality, productivity and business costs, it’s better to allow BYON than restrict all outside access to corporate files and programs, Montero-Luque said. The question then becomes how to ensure that these external networks are being accessed in a secure way. Here are a few ways to balance the benefits and risks of BYON.

Risk assessment

Before you set concrete rules for your BYON policy, you must first assess your company’s current level of risk. Consider the networks and devices your employees use to access corporate data, and based on that, determine what security gaps need to be filled in.

“Take a look at how you currently address data protection,” Lahav told Business News Daily. “Remember: You want to be protecting the data, not so much the device that it sits on. Ensure that your firewall can identify unapproved networks as well.”

Francis advised having a series of conversations with your employees about BYON to help you determine what shape your policies should take. He also recommended speaking with your insurance provider to see if any of your current BYON risks can be mitigated with the right coverage, such as cybersecurity insurance.

“Your insurance coverage [should be] sophisticated enough to keep up with the fact that there could be compromises within the company network, but also on an employee’s personal device transmitting data through a private network,” Francis said.

Secured, targeted access

Implementing Virtual Private Network (VPN) access outside the corporate network is a smart, practical solution to some of the risks of BYON. Not all programs and applications an employee may use require an encrypted corporate connection, but determining which ones do based on your risk assessment can help you choose the right VPN solution.

“Device-level VPNs are both difficult to set up and inconvenient in terms of battery use, as well as unnecessary for things like basic personal browsing,” Montero-Luque said. “The use of in-app VPNs via solutions such as app-wrapping enables easy, targeted encryption of sensitive communications.”

Montero-Luque noted that encryption of data at rest in the device is also a key component of securing mobile-based content outside the corporate network. The use of tools to encrypt app data using certified encryption libraries, such as FIPS 140-2 certification, provides an additional layer of security that can be applied specifically to an app and its associated data.

Most importantly, consider your company’s password management and login systems for corporate applications.

“Make sure that access to apps and content in a device for corporate use is limited to corporate identities that are subject to company-wide policies, such as password strength and change rules,” Montero-Luque said. “The use of dynamic authentication policies extends these capabilities to deal with changes on those corporate credentials automatically and provides conveniences like shared authentication for wrapped apps and session timeouts for additional security.”

Employee education

Perhaps the most important thing any employer can do to protect itself and its data from out-of-network risks is to make sure employees have a clear understanding of BYON policies. Once you’ve figured out the best course of action for your company, be up-front with your staff and ensure they understand what can and can’t be done on noncorporate devices and networks.

“What are the security questions from an IT, user and HR standpoint?” Francis said. “Understand what works, what can and should be done on a private network, and what must never be done on a private network. IT needs [the right] resources and tech solutions in place. Some things are too important to a company’s bottom line to be allowed to be vulnerable and compromised in an unencrypted network.”

“BYON is like anything in the world of IT — you need to ensure that you understand the security risks out there,” Lahav added. “Take the time to understand and educate yourself on the dangers and how to protect yourself against them.”