In the height of pandemic-related restrictions and work-from-home requirements ended, employees got used to the flexibility of working from home or on the road. Now, many businesses are considering the hub-and-spoke model to allow for multiple satellite offices to suit their employee’s needs.
However, just because your company is making or considering the switch to a hub-and-spoke model doesn't mean you should forget about office ergonomics.
Ergonomics is essential in this kind of office setup because satellite offices host an ever-revolving staff of all shapes and sizes. The right ergonomic office furniture and equipment will ensure that everyone has a comfortable place to work.
What Is a Hub-and-Spoke Model?
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably seen the hub-and-spoke model in the supply chain of several industries. It’s been very successful for quite a while now, so it only makes sense that it’s expanded into the office sector.
If you consider the main office as the central hub of a business, the satellite offices are located along the spokes. A satellite location might be:
- An employee's home
- A coffee shop
- An actual branded office that may use a hot desk design for its constantly changing staff
According to the International Workplace Group (IWG), this decentralized system results in shorter commutes for most employees, more employee satisfaction, higher productivity, and better overall performance. It's an ideal middle ground between commuting to a busy central location and working in isolation at home.
A hub-and-spoke system also reduces the expenses involved in maintaining a large, centralized “headquarters” in a prime, downtown location. With more employees working at satellite locations, you won't need as much of that expensive real estate!
Essential Ergonomic Features of a Hub-and-Spoke Model
It's hard for employees to do their best when their back, neck, or wrists are screaming in pain! Even slight pain can be distracting enough to affect productivity. As a solution, ergonomic essentials for your hub and spoke office design provides support where it’s needed most.
Ergonomic furniture and There are three main areas to consider when choosing ergonomic furniture and equipment for your hub-and-spoke office.
- Desks and chairs
- Computer accessories like monitor arms and keyboard trays
- Storage for office supplies and employees' personal items
A sit-stand desk that lets each user set a code for their ideal height saves time — as well as wear and tear on the sit-stand mechanism. No more wasted time spent fiddling with buttons looking for that elusive sweet spot!
Adjustable chairs are a must when one user might be a petite 5' and the next a towering 6'8"! You should also train employees on proper posture for their back, wrists, and screen height.
An ergonomic monitor arm allows users to position screens so they can see them easily without eye or neck strain. Even more so than the chair, an articulating monitor arm ensures all shapes and sizes can work productively and happily.
It also allows the user to adjust the monitor to the left or right as needed -- particularly useful for a dual-screen setup.
It's important to maintain a negative tilt while typing. An ergonomic keyboard tray keeps an employee's arms, wrists, and hands properly aligned to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Rolling supply carts make it easy for employees to get the stuff they need without hurting their backs in the process! Give your employees lockers to secure their personal belongings despite their lack of a permanent workstation.
Durability and Cleanliness Matter
Hoteling workstations are highly trafficked areas that get a lot of wear and tear. Choose durable materials that can stand up to the stress. If that material is easy to sanitize, even better!
People who are just now stepping back into an office are going to be especially concerned that the space they're sharing is clean and safe. Durable materials like steel, phenolic, polypropylene, leather, or vinyl can stand up to both heavy use and frequent cleaning.
Ergonomics Are Great for Your Bottom Line
Whether you're setting up hoteling stations or hub-and-spoke satellite locations, don't forget to include the proper ergonomic office furniture and equipment. Your employees are more likely to give their best when you make their health and comfort a priority.
Need more information about what type of ergonomic equipment your office needs the most? Check out our Manager's Guide to Ergonomics: