When you’re running a laboratory, it pays to think in utilitarian terms. Your lab space needs to be clean and efficient, there needs to be enough lighting for people to do their work, and you need to maximize your space for productivity by installing plenty of laboratory tables and workstations.
But it’s also important to consider comfort as a factor, not just in terms of productivity but also in terms of people’s well-being. The way you furnish and organize your lab can even influence safety.
About 60% to 80% of workplace accidents are attributable to stress. By making your laboratory a more comfortable physical environment, you’ll have a better chance of reducing stress-related laboratory accidents and increasing productivity.
Naturally, one of the best practices for improving workplace comfort is to invest in quality furnishings. Here are a few ways to create a comfortable workspace in your lab.
Use Adjustable Laboratory Workstations
An adjustable laboratory workstation allows a worker or technician to work the way they want – when they want. If you’re familiar with adjustable standing desks, an adjustable workstation takes the same concept and applies it to the laboratory.
Workers can raise and lower the workstation so they can work while sitting or standing up. This type of ergonomic solution is ideal if you have multiple operators working at your workstations or if your workers spend long hours in a single location and need to be able to stretch their legs.
Build Customized Workstations
A customized laboratory workstation can be assembled based on the needs of the lab, but they can also be customized for specific individuals.
For example, a custom lab bench could come equipped with custom drawers or cabinets, enclosures, cooling fans, adjustable legs, mobility solutions, and even special lighting. By creating an ideal workstation for your workers’ needs, you’ll help to reduce stress and create a more streamlined work environment.
Invest in High-Quality Laboratory Tables
Just like your most advanced piece of laboratory equipment, your laboratory tables are an investment that will have a direct impact on the workplace. Tables made from cheap materials may be cost-effective, but they are less resistant to wear and tear. They may even be less comfortable for your workers.
To create a more comfortable lab space, always deploy lab tables of the highest quality materials. Pick tables which are built for the task at hand and consider customizing laboratory tables to your specific needs.
Don’t Forget Breakrooms
Finally, in building a more comfortable lab space, don’t neglect your breakroom and meeting areas. A table and a few chairs may be all you need to furnish them. However, consider the fact that your employees will be relying on these spaces to brainstorm and decompress every week. Small design choices can have a big impact on employee morale.
According to Marie T Dasborough, Professor of Management at the University of Miami, who studies work climates, “Common spaces where employees can come together to work and collaborate have positive long- and short-term outcomes for companies.” She continues: “Redoing a space… can evoke positive emotional responses, such as gratitude and pride as well as create a space where employees can connect with each other, improving overall satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.”