Whether at work or at play, people are essentially the same. We don’t become machines when we enter the office, suddenly able to sit still for 8 hours straight with only coffee and PRO PLUS to sustain us. The modern workplace needs to allow people to be people and to fulfil their potential; employees need to be able to move around, to recharge mentally and physically, and to get away from it all.
The modern office is too often a sedentary place. People sit at their desks from 9am until 5pm, moving only to go to the toilet, pick up their printing and make a cup of tea. Unsurprisingly, a growing body of medical research suggests that there are significant dangers associated with this! Human beings were designed to move around — and sit-stand working makes this a realistic possibility. Height-adjustable desks have been a staple of Kinnarps’ offering for 20 years, and are now available from just £400.
In an information age, where a traditional time and motion approach to office layout has become obsolete, what’s the new framework for workplace design? A year of research led Professor Jeremy Myerson of the Royal College of Art to conclude that the modern workplace should “combine the special demands and characteristics of digital working with the basic imperatives to concentrate, collaborate and contemplate.” It should make sense of a digital world, humanise it, and contextualise it.
Research commissioned by Kinnarps and carried out by Dr Rob Stuthridge reveals that the traditional ‘command and control’ model of office design “inevitably creates a machine-like, dehumanised work environment” in which the problem-solving, co-operating, socially-engaged employee who seeks encouragement, teaching, learning, ingenuity and innovation finds themself a stranger. The workplace of tomorrow must be more people-focused, more human, and more flexible.
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