Big office furniture companies with an image to maintain and a reputation to live up to need to maintain certain standards. Especially when we talk about modern industrial office furniture and manufacturers that promise ergonomic solutions for a workplace, you will find certain protocols to be a common trend.
One such aspect of modern, high-quality furniture is the ANSI/BIFMA standards, a common terminology many office buyers and sellers come across. Though this term is related to ergonomics in the workplace, you will often come across it when talking about the standing desk or standing desk buying guide. All the big brands live up to the ANSI/BIFMA performance standards because they know their credibility and customer satisfaction rely on it. But what exactly are ANSI and BIFMA, and how do they relate to a standing desk? Here is all you need to know.
What Does ANSI Stand For?
The term ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute, a global company with a mission to secure the credibility and authenticity of the businesses in the USA. This standard works by following certain practices that guarantee the products sold, manufactured, and transported from the country match certain standards of quality and meet the safety requirements.
This also ensures that the products manufactured by different office furniture companies meet the same standards and have uniformity in their labels, operations, and core features, improving the customer experience and providing certain rules of law. Without ANSI regulating and approving standards, manufacturers may create versions of the same products incompatible with one another, making consumer use more difficult.
What Does BIFMA Stand For?
Many employees, let alone employers, take the furniture comfort, durability, safety, and suitability not so seriously in the workplace. This is because not so long ago, the link between office furniture and wellness as well as productivity of employees was not regarded as important as it is now. But since the world has become more aware of its practices and the impact caused by them, one can now understand how these factors play a vital role.
And as per the BIFMA meaning, the standard provides you just that. Especially for the commercial furniture industry, where products like office chairs and sit-stand desks are manufactured, sold, and bought in bulk, the importance and implementation of BIFMA certification increases by various folds.
As per the BIFMA standards, modern furniture is made with comfort and functionality. For instance, the wheel casters that allow you mobility around your desk, the drawer that glides smoothly, the standing desk that moves up and down with a single button quietly, and the way a chair adjusts for the majority of the brands are all result of adhesion to BIFMA furniture standards in the workplace.
Relation of ANSI/BIFMA and Standing Desks
Many people confuse ANSI/BIFMA with being a government-operated testing agency to ensure the product's credibility, but the truth is it is neither. Both work together to test furniture for safety and quality, and these tests are carried out by independent laboratories worldwide.
This means that adhering to ANSI/BIFMA standards greatly provides a reputable name or valid tag to a furniture brand. But what role do ANSI/BIFMA jointly play in the manufacturing, functionality, and reliability of standing desks and office treadmills? Here is all you need to know.
While at a standing desk, you see several features that are easy to catch. These include the desk height, design, shape, material, and type of height adjustment system, but we seldom realize that many things are going behind the scenes for a product such as an electric desk to work safely. And BIFMA/ANSI takes care of that.
The testing takes care of the features like lock mechanism, load ease, rebound, leg strength, stability, horizontal and vertical adjustments, and all the features that ensure the performance and safety of the product.
The independent testing lab that does BIFMA testing on a sit-stand desk will create a specific lab experiment to cycle the product thousands of times over one to three weeks, depending on the duty cycle of the motors. The testing conditions and environment are somewhat similar to the atmosphere the desk is expected to operate in to identify the failing elements. In most cases, robotic sensors and actuators imitate a person repeatedly moving the desk up and down, shaking it back and forth, and attempting to topple it over. This also covers a person not so gently handling the desk since not all of us are in the same moods at all times in a workplace.
In other words, the lab will abuse the desk indefinitely to make it fail the criteria. Weaker products will be discarded by the end of the test run, assuming they haven't already failed. And with that, you can have the peace that your desk will not fail you in case things get a bit harsh or repeated use over the long term. A product must pass all of the tests outlined in the standard to be certified to that standard; there are no partial certifications.
And as for electric standing desks, the BIFMA will ensure the desk undergoes the process set by the UL certification processes. These processes mainly entail the work happening behind the scenes – how the motor operates and performs at a standing desk. Furthermore, traditional testing to see if a product catches fire reacts to water or other liquids, emits toxic fumes, explodes, or otherwise hurts consumers frequently results in the product being rendered worthless at the end of the test.
All the Autonomous Office Furniture Meet the ANSI/BIFMA Standards
Thanks to its popularity over the past few years, ergonomic furniture is a common find on every corner. But only a few brands are considered credible when it comes to ergonomic furniture. Though all furniture and ergonomic desks might look the same, these quality standards and labels do make a difference and ensure a product is safe to be used in daily practice besides being great to look at.
Hence, the cost of such furniture might be a bit higher because of several value addition processes to ensure the product's longevity. In this case, incentives like an Autonomous employee purchase program greatly provide you a chance to build your office setup with credible furniture.
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