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Open Plan Benching and Traders’ Desks

Today’s Healthy Office doesn’t resemble the plans of offices from 20 years ago. LEED dictates moved offices into the core of the building and moved panel heights down to bring more natural light throughout the space. The desire to increase collaboration among employees has also driven down or pushed out panel dividers. Technology has made workers more mobile and has reduced individual storage needs. More square footage is being allocated to informal collaboration spaces and less to individual workstations. In many offices, the actual workstations in a benching system are virtually indistinguishable from modern trader’s desks.

At Applied Ergonomics, we’re expert at these types of workspaces, and we have strong feelings about how to make them work best so that employees can function optimally. Some teams may work best when they can communicate easily, but most people still need some privacy and the ability to focus to tune out the distractions around them. Other departments don’t function as teams, and employees need space to spread their work out. When we design spaces, we listen and interpret how best to accommodate our clients’ needs.

And of course, we strongly advocate bringing height adjustable workstations, properly outfitted with ergonomic accessories, into these modern offices. Some people will choose to stand most of the day, and others will rarely stand but will adjust the surface height to be comfortable for them. In either case, giving the choice is best, empowering your employees and showing them you value them and their health. With most vendors these benefits come at a big cost to the client, but since we’re in the business the added cost is far less than you’d expect. It’s a win for everyone.

Chicago is home to the Board of Trade, the Merc and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE). For each of these exchanges, the trading floor is no longer where the work is done. It’s almost all off the floor at multiple monitor intensive workstations. That is of course also true for stock and bond traders. Sound familiar? Traders need great ergonomics to support them over the many hours of intense work every day, and there is no better resource than Applied Ergonomics for either fixed or height-adjustable stations, ergonomic seating, monitor arms and other accessories that make the station fit the worker—the very definition of ergonomics. For individual traders and others who are tied to their desk, be sure to consider our Focal Upright desking system for state-of-the-art ergonomic perching.

 

You should definitely add a monitor arm assembly to your sit-stand desk

Amplify the benefits of your sit-stand workspace by:

  • placing your monitors in positions that minimize strain and discomfort
  • increasing the amount of usable work area on your desk that’s close to you
  • making it easier to share your monitor view with others

And if you use multiple monitors, adding a monitor arm is a must!

Questions to Ask When Selecting Monitor Arms for your Desk

The average person is typically overwhelmed by the huge variance in design options for monitor arm assembly systems. Here are a few things to check before you buy:

  1. How will they attach to my desktops? Typically monitor arms connect to desktops via means of a clamp system, or a grommet hole may be drilled into the desktop so that the assembly can be attached with hardware underneath the desktop. Remember: if your desktop is part of a cubicle or benching system where all parts fit together closely (or are very close to a wall), the clamp system may not fit or may infringe upon the space needed by other components. On the other hand, monitor arms mounted through a grommet hole will often take up a little more room towards the center of your desk; however, they are often easier to adjust or install since you can access them from directly under your desktop.
  2. How will my monitors connect? Be aware of the mounting hole pattern on your monitor as we cannot guarantee universal fitting of every monitor to every monitor arm system, though special hardware can be provided. One thing we definitely recommend: the best systems offer hardware that attaches directly to the monitors first so that they can be clicked or slid into place on the monitor arm assembly (in other words, you won’t need to hold them in mid-air and turn screws one-at-a-time to connect them to the arm assembly—this is much safer and much easier).
    Another key features of these connectors is whether they allow you to rotate the monitors (great for users who alternate vertical/horizontal orientation) or constrain their angle of movement to keep them out of harm’s way.
  3. How flexible is the arm motion? Many people with desk depths exceeding 30” deep make the mistake of mounting their monitor arms too far back on the desk which defeats the purpose of installing them in the first place since users will crane their neck to view them. Make sure to choose a monitor arm with ample length and angle adjustment that will allow easy viewing from your most comfortable sitting position (and even a little extra to move your monitor to share your view with collaborators in front of or behind you).
    It is critical that sit-stand desk users install monitor arm assemblies which offer a wide range of vertical motion!
  4. How much weight will they support? Be aware of the weights of your monitors and make sure your new monitor arm assembly is rated to hold at least the weight of the monitors you plan to attach (now or in the future).
  5. Are they scalable/modular? If you lock yourself into a monitor arm system with little flexibility, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Choose a system which allows you to add additional components and monitors as your business grows.
  6. What colors are available? There are likely more aesthetic options for monitor arm systems than you’d think! Make sure to match the monitor arms you’ve already installed to make sure everything looks professional and carefully put together.
  7. Are there useful accessories offered? Many monitor arm systems offer accessories or other features such as built-in USB ports. Always be on the lookout for useful accessories that add to your office productivity.

So, there is indeed no one-size-fits-all solution here! Thankfully, the Applied Ergonomics Team is expert at recommending Monitor Arm Solutions for any office. Save money and time by calling us first!