In our current series of posts are concentrating on the evolution of the workplace and in today’s post we will consider the workplace in relation to US furniture giant Haworth’s white paper Active Ergonomics for the Emerging Workplace.

In the modern workplace the workstation continues to hold an important position; it is at the workstation that focused knowledge work is focused upon. Classic ergonomics revolve around the premise that an employee will work seated at a single workstation for the whole day; the distance from the screen, position of the hands and wrists and the desk height are all thoroughly considered.

The correct posture for seated working has been extensively researched and as a result designs, such as our Blade collection, with ergonomic excellence have been proven to improve wellbeing as well as productivity. Blade Meeting Table

Last week we discussed the benefits of working at a height adjustable desk. “You can have a great chair, but we don’t promote sitting all day,” says Wayne Baxter of Herman Miller. “And you can have a great sit-to-stand desk, but we don’t promote standing all day. It’s the mixture of all the postures that makes the body happy.”
Haworth’s white paper clearly outlines that the design of height adjustable desks must accurately address the users ergonomic needs as part of the whole workplace landscape, just as our Cabale Standing Desk does so successfully.

cabale white standing desk web
Cabale Standing Desk >>

When previously we simply accepted that an office worker would be tethered to their desk for their working day we now understand the extensive benefits of varying our posture throughout the day. According to Michael O’Neill, Haworth’s head of global workplace research, and author of the white paper, “that change is well established, it’s just the thinking around the spaces that is lagging.”

Standing desks, informal seating areas, hot-desking, collaboration spaces and quiet spaces all have a place in the contemporary workplace and it is thee spaces which need joined-up ergonomic consideration. Jeff Reuschel, Haworth’s global director of design and innovation explains their term ‘active ergonomics:’

“Active Ergonomics is the application of sound ergonomic thinking to the entire vocabulary of space in today’s office, as opposed to simply the spaces developed for individual work…”

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Marina Picnic + Canteen Table >>

Haworth’s white paper highlights that collaboration accounts for the same percentage of the worker’s day as individual computer work and that employees are actively encouraged to move between a variety of formal and informal spaces. Jeff Reuschel continues to explain the importance of addressing these spaces:

“But traditional office ergonomics does not address group work or spaces. These emerging space types are being created with no ergonomic guidance… Organisations that fail to apply a ‘big picture’ approach to office ergonomics are missing the opportunity to provide a safe and high-performing workplace for their employees… The ergonomic design of a space will have a huge impact on people’s performance, and the value that you’re getting out of your workforce in terms of their individual and group performance.”

Find out how we can assist you in specifying furniture which meets the active ergonomic needs of your workspace by contacting us on [email protected]
Let us know what has worked well in your workspace by joining our conversation on Twitter or Instagram, we look forward to hearing your opinions!

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