The Ups and Downs of the Workplace

Forster Inc Stands Up For Office Design

Never let it be said that at Forster Inc we do not practice what we preach. With office design currently being at the centre of our attention we have always been interested in both the health and productivity benefits of the increasingly widespread trend of the standing workplace.

To practice what we preach we overhauled our workspace and here are some of our thoughts from the first few weeks of finding our feet.

Dear diary…..

Feeling somewhat conspicuous my standing soon attracted attention from others in the office and with it animated discussion into the health benefits, which are not as simple as they might seem. It caught on and soon a number of us had taken to our feet.

We compared notes (amongst other ideas) over a course of a month or two and got on with surprisingly more than before in seemingly less time. The question is whether what we were getting on with was more or less conducive to a more productive day?

The notable boost to our energy was clearly apparent after only the second impromptu amateur flash mob moment quickly followed by a briefer than typical meeting on seating, in chairs to underline that there was definitely a new vibe in the office.

Health wise there were surprising consequences in addition to tired calves and somewhat strained groins, not least the rather longer queue for the loo, but an all round freeness of movement in our bones, better posture, easier breathing and apparently quicker metabolism!

While we were well versed in the benefits (men sitting for 6 hours a day having an overall death rate that’s 20% higher than those who sit for 3 hours or less, and for women that’s 40%!) we were also conscious that there had to be a balance.

A chiropractor was enthusiastic about the workstation positions advising that a 90 degree setting for the mouse and keyboard would lead to neck and shoulder pain, and thinly veiled reference to the increased chance of Varicose veins when standing too long, saw rather a swift shift back to the pedestal stools.

These are all credible concerns however and the moderation rule applies, but there can be no denying that having the option to sit or stand has taken us back to some old ways of working that have induced a better use of other old fashioned resources like pens and books, and one another!

So in short, we feel better, we’re shedding calories and we’re talking again so unlikely to hoik the desktops down again permanently despite the Varicose vanity and anyway as advocates of the standing station, can Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemmingway, Virginia Woolf and Benjamin Franklin really have been so wrong?