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How To Choose The Best Ergonomic Chair

How To Choose The Best Ergonomic Chair

Needless to say, sitting for a long period of time is unhealthy, and sitting on a non-ergonomic chair makes it even worse. Prolonged sitting on non-ergonomic office chairs overstretches and stiffens your glutes. It can also add stress to the spine which can, later on, lead to compounding back problems.

As non-ergonomic chairs promote bad posture, the spine does not get the sufficient support it needs which could potentially lead to spinal musculature. Moreover, bad posture due to prolonged sitting on a non-ergonomic chair also messes with the alignment of your spine.

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Poor posture can easily develop into a habit which can also aggravate episodes of neck and back pains. The good news is that with ergonomically designed chairs, you can have better control of your posture. Before you experience these chronic pains, it is better to switch to an ergonomic chair right away. Here are the top features you need to check:

Adjustable Seat Height

When shopping for chairs, it is better to find those with adjustable height. For instance, a pneumatic type of chair is more ideal for office work as it would allow you to have your feet on the floor and your thighs at a 90-degree angle. Here’s a quick hack: to figure out the ideal height of your chair, stand in front of it then adjust the seat height at the same level as the lower end of your knee cap. If you are optimizing your work space ergonomically, this trick should work.

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Backrest with Optimum Width

The best ergonomic chair also comes with a backrest of the optimum width of between 12 to 19 inches. The design should also be able to support the spine’s natural curve. If you prefer an ergonomic chair with a detachable backrest, then see to it that both height and the angle are adjustable. It should also come with a locking mechanism to secure it once the appropriate angle has been determined.

With Sufficient Lumbar Support

The backrest should also provide supplemental support to the lumbar region. The lack of support to the lumbar spine tends to flatten its natural curve, straining the lower structure. When choosing an ergonomic chair, find one that has an adjustable lumbar support in terms of depth and height to ensure that users of any height can get the maximum lumbar support.

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Comfortable Seat Width and Depth

Chairs usually have a standard width between 17 and 20 inches. If the user needs a wider seat, having the chair custom-made is highly recommended to ensure ergonomic support and comfort. The depth should be spacious enough so the user can lean against the backrest comfortably. There should also be around a 2 to 3-inch space between the back of the knee and the edge of the seat to ensure maximum support.

Seat Padding and Material

The best ergonomic chair should be equipped with sufficient padding for added comfort, especially for prolonged seating. The use of breathable cloth is also recommended for a harder surface. Chairs that are made from Neoprene or an expensive synthetic rubber are soft and built with a comfortable cushion.

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Swivels and Armrests

Two aspects that are often overlooked when finding the best ergonomic chairs are the swivels and armrests. An ergonomic chair should easily rotate to avoid straining the back and shoulder muscles when trying to reach any area of the desk. The armrests should also be adjustable to allow the shoulders to relax and the arms to rest with ease and comfort.

Consider Custom-Built Ergonomic Chairs

Another effective method of getting the best ergonomic chairs is to have them custom-built. Users have different needs, sizes, and movement mechanisms. A customized chair that would accommodate your every need can help relieve back pains and discomfort. Another advantage of going for a custom-built ergonomic chair is that you can have them reconfigured as your needs evolve.

Whether this is for office use or home use, purchasing the best ergonomic chair is a good investment. The use of ergonomic chairs does not only add comfort to the users but also helps in boosting the users’ productivity. They may be slightly more expensive than regular chairs, but as the cliche goes, you can never put a price tag on health and comfort.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Bilal Khoja

System Engineer

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Published on December 17, 2018

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

The importance of asking great questions cannot be overstated. Great questions help you discover new things, diagnose existing problems, and explore how well solutions are working in your life or business. Whether you work with consultants, executives, or entry-level employees, you cannot skip questions.

Now imagine running a company where sustainability and profitability depends on your ability to determine the brightest minds and skills in the industry in a single conversation:

How do you know they’re the perfect fit for you? How do you assess their communication skills? How do you know they won’t cost your team in the long run?

You know it already; ask great questions!

The concept of asking questions isn’t new but there is a great chance that you’re not taking full advantage of it. A Harvard Business Review article refers to questioning as a powerful tool that unlocks value, fuels innovation and performance improvement.[1] As a hiring manager or recruiter, how to you get this information when you’re meeting a candidate for the first time?

Ask great questions, of course.

Without further ado, here are 15 interview questions to ask employees during an interview:

1. “What are your career goals?”

Another version of this question is “What types of problems do you see yourself solving in the future?”

This question is almost never asked and when it is asked, most questions are geared towards knowing how long the employees intends to stay in the company.

Instead of asking leading questions that would steer employees into declaring undying loyalty for the organization, ask what types of problems they hope to solve in the future.

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This does two things:

  1. It reveals the skills and interest in your employees.
  2. It lets you know what types of candidates you are attracting in the first place.

With this, you’re able to trend this data to improve how you market your job opening. And if employee retention is pertinent to you, you can use this information to improve the job function so that future employees can see their future selves in this role.

2. “Why do you think you’re a great fit?”

It is important to go beneath the surface to ask questions that make the candidates speak about themselves in their own words. However, a surprising benefit of asking this question is that you’re able to determine how well-versed a candidate really is with the company’s challenges and goals, in addition to their personal attributes.

Instead of listing off accomplishments, an exceptional employee is able to help you see how these previous accomplishment can translate into helping your organization solve its current business problems.

3. “What do you hope to learn from this role?”

The answers to this question can reveal if there is a job-skill match and if a linear career progression is expected.

As you listen carefully and mind these answers from candidates, you begin to see trends in responses that help you refine how you develop roles, responsibilities, how employees see themselves, and what they want their career to look like.

4. “How do you deal with conflict between colleagues?”

Almost every breakdown in relationship is caused by miscommunication or lack of effective interpersonal skills. But a solid indicator of how well a person communicates is how they manage interpersonal conflict.

Conflict management skills is no longer something required only for corporations who wish to settle million-dollar lawsuits. It’s an essential skill that every worker ought to possess and can make or break an organization.

Tip: Ask for a time when they didn’t get along with a co-worker and how they resolved the conflict.

5. “How did you learn about this position?”

Asking how they learned about the position reveals how the brand is perceived by the outside world. This way, you know if your current employees is your biggest source of referrals for qualified applicants.

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This also lets you know how effective your current staffing processes are and which channels are worth the effort.

6. “Why are you interested in this position?”

Again, another seemingly basic question. But when you field applications from candidates who are transferring their skills from a different department or industry, you want to know why the change was made.

What led to the aha moment? What was the internal struggle like for them? What stands out to them about this particular position? Very important.

7. “What excites you the MOST about this position?”

After establishing how passionate they are about this position, it’s not unusual that you would want to know what tasks and responsibilities excite them most. With this knowledge, not only are you aware of their sense of ownership, you help nurture these skills by encouraging and facilitating the discovery of hidden potential in your employees.

For example, a hospital nurse might detest inserting intravenous catheters in patients but jump at the task of motivating colleagues and initiating stress-reduction activities on hospital units. An office employee might cringe at the thought of public speaking but excel at creating world-class presentations.

While you can’t exempt your employee from every task in the role because they favor one thing over another, you are more aware of how rich your existing talent pool is in your organization and can utilize your talents effectively.

8. “What do you consider your weakness?”

Why should you ask a candidate what his or her weakness is when all you want is someone perfect?

Admitting a weakness shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate. Rather, it reveals to you how self-aware the candidate is.

Self-awareness is essential to personal and professional development, and this is sometimes a precursor to how self-directed a person is regarding their career goals.

There are arguments about the need to abolish the weakness question from interviews because it reduces candidates’ accomplishments. I disagree.

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Asking employees about weaknesses lets you understand your employees better so you can not only create a work environment that is smart, you’re able to design professional development programs that can strengthen these weaknesses.

9. “What will you find challenging about this position?”

Maybe you don’t want to ask the ”weakness question.” Maybe you’re more concerned about the capacity to perform in the current job rather than their job history.

Still, you want to know if you have a creative problem solver and how they feel about potential problems when they arise. You also want to anticipate how your employees will adjust to their roles once they are successfully hired. Self-awareness about one’s ability and limits can be observed by asking this question during an interview.

Note: This question should never be asked with a malicious intent. Exceptional employees come with flaws and this should be expected. They key is knowing whether the successful candidate is willing to be a problem solver.

10. “What additional support will you need during your transition?”

This is a very important question during the interview question because not only is the labor market diverse, the response to this question can be used to develop the orientation process and additional training materials.

As a mentor to newer nurses, this is a question I repeat more than 50 percent of the time during the orientation period. The responses I get provide me with insights into what employees really consider as constraints so that I can make their transition as smooth as possible.

11. “What qualities do you desire in a leader or manager?”

Not everyone desires a manager who provides direction while giving you free rein to make your job your own. At the same time, some employees might prefer a manager who is detail-oriented and provides all the answers.

Knowing this before a candidate is hired can prevent conflict arising from differences in communication or management styles.

12. “What do you do if you don’t agree with your manager’s decisions?”

Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce,[2] about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

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The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

13. “What would make this company an amazing place to work?”

Maybe you can’t provide free lunches or paid hours of free time at work like bigger companies. But answers to this question can reveal a lot about what employees think is crucial to well-being.

In a study of nearly 17,000 employees,[3] it was noted that an increase in stress level is directly correlated to workplace injury. While this interview won’t eradicate organizational constraints or stressors, feedback from candidates and employees on what makes a company a great place to work is the perfect place to start.

14. “What other questions do you have for me?”

Although this is a conversation to determine the best fit for your team, company, or organization, the interview goes both ways. Yes, you are also being scrutinized by your interviewee.

The purpose of this question is to create space to answer the candidate’s questions about your organization. You also get to provide insight on processes, expectations, team culture, and information that isn’t readily available on the company website.

15. “Tell me about yourself”

If everything else seems too much, lead with this timeless question. You simply cannot go wrong here.

Sometimes, the best answers come from open-ended queries. This is your best chance to know the candidate’s history, career accomplishments, and get a feel for their career goals all at the same time.

It is less intrusive and leading with this question makes it easier to approach other questions––depending on how sensitive the position is.

The Bottom Line

Conversation is a two-way street. Good questions can give you great insights into the value an employee can bring to your company. But there is an art and science to asking questions.

While you won’t become an expert right off the bat, these questions provide a good foundation to start from if you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization.

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Featured photo credit: Drew Beamer via unsplash.com

Reference

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