Tag Archives: trends in office design

Custom sit-stand for the office – don’t fight design, join it

This is a familiar scenario we hear around the ‘Tron: I love the idea of my employees standing more, but we just integrated this new office design with custom worksurfaces…

It’s hard to argue with design at times. Especially when considering the tremendous number of hours spent on deliberating, designing and implementing these work environments to capture the spirit and the culture of the brand it is supporting.

If you can’t fight design, why not join it?

That’s the impetus behind the WorkFit-B Sit-Stand Base. Simply attach your custom worksurface to the WorkFit base of choice (light duty and heavy duty options available), and bingo-presto your employees have attractive, brand supporting sit-stand comfort.

Building the WFB Desk

Whoa. That’s an odd phrase. Brand supporting sit-stand comfort. But culture is important, right? Not only to attract top talent but to keep them healthy and productive while they are there. If you’ve taken the trouble to create a talent attracting environment, why not take the next step?

Sit-stand computing is more than a hot trend. (Although sure, I’d love this to be a “computer on every sit-stand desk” kind of revolution!)

Truthfully, a lot more people than I have discovered that standing more makes them feel better. Smarter people than I have the science to prove it. And now we can help you prove for yourself that your staff will feel (and look good) while standing more.

A few things to know about the WorkFit-B: 

  • Capacity LD: ≤ 60 lbs (27.2 kg);  HD: ≤ 88 lbs (40 kg)
  • Lift: LD: 19″ (50 cm); HD: 20″ (51 cm)
  • Integrated brake secures table in place, with easy release for instantaneous, tool-free, non-motorized re-positioning with Ergotron’s Constant Force (CF) motion technology
  • Assumes worksurface thickness of .87″ (2.2 cm)
  • Four leveling glides establish a firm footing and adjust to install the unit on uneven floors

One thing to keep in mind, the listed weight capacity represents total load applied to height-adjustment platform. So for best results, when calculating load include weight of worksurface, accessory mounts for keyboard and display(s), and any computer hardware being placed on worksurface (less of an issue with quilt squares or scrapbook pages for the home crafter!).

Ergonomic considerations: 

No matter how you choose to use it, don’t miss out on proper ergonomics when considering a custom sit-stand option like this. Here are a few ideas to keep it healthy and to keep it safe:

  • Use the Workspace Planner tool to help calculate the proper worksurface measurements for sitting and standing postures
  • Consider adjustable monitor or laptop arms to ensure proper screen to eye ratios, especially if the keyboard will be placed on the worksurface
  • Integrate an under-desk keyboard option like Ergotron’s Neo-Flex® Underdesk Keyboard Arm (97-582-009) if keying off the worksurface is less than ideal
  • Change postures frequently! Standing too long, just like sitting too long, can cause problems…the key is to find the right balance of sitting and standing for you

How creative do you want to be?

I’ve had some fun thinking of different surfaces to add to this base. I have a new craft room at home and plenty of spare parts squirreled away, like that old wooden door in the garage rafters, or a thick slice of plexi in the storage room. If you have any funky ideas, please send them along.

Sit-stand can go beyond the primary computing space, don’t forget:

  • Makeover the visitor table in your office to a sit-stand hot spot
  • Swap over some of the tables in the cafeteria for the stand-and-graze types on your team
  • Shake things up in your conference or training rooms with sit-stand options for happier, and healthier sessions

This product lets you keep style and function as a work team, instead of opponents. In fact, a true marriage of interior design and sit-stand is possible, when sit-stand is included in the project scope early on and the designer is tasked with making it crazy-cool. A brand feast if you will, for the body and senses. An ultimate win-win for everyone involved.

Go now, get creative.

MJudd
Michelle Judd
Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications
@mjudd 

 

Guest Blog: Designing the Sit-To-Stand Office

Daisy McCarty is the long-time office furniture blogger for San Diego based Cubicles Office Environments. She regularly covers topics ranging from office furniture news, design, and products, to refurbishing and sustainability in her blog. We are happy to have her connect with you on this topic.

There’s no shortage of sound medical research pointing to the health risks of prolonged sitting. You don’t have to look in a 3600 mirror to know that being an “office chair potato” can wreak havoc on the human body. Sit-to-stand workstations are the clear choice for a more ergonomic work experience. They should be the first option employers, designers, and facility managers consider rather than a novelty item that only a privileged few get to experience.

However, adjustable height worksurfaces add a new, vertical dimension to office design planning. They introduce a whole new array of questions about how to create a truly effective work environment. This doesn’t mean you should view sit-to-stand desks and worktables as obstacles in the office landscape. Instead, it’s time to spark off some discussion about how to integrate these modern work surfaces into the average open office plan. Let’s get started!

Can I Get Some Privacy Here?

Many top-of-the-line cubicles allow some customization of the worksurface height based on employee height. However, that’s a set it and forget it feature. Truly adjustable worksurfaces that are attached to a cubicle panel are few and far between. Many of the best sit-to-stand worktables and desks are designed to be freestanding. They aren’t meant to serve as a support structure for a panel. This doesn’t mean that cubicle panels can’t be incorporated into the office layout. Panel wall heights may actually need to increase to provide consistent acoustic shielding and reduce interruptions for workers whether they are sitting or standing.

However, panels may no longer be directly linked to the worksurface. Instead, you might start seeing more standalone panels with wide bases for stability. Or, panels with brackets attached to walls could make a comeback. With today’s blended office environments that feature both collaborative and private workspaces, this layout might be very beneficial. The individual workstations could line the perimeter of the office by the coveted window spots where employees can enjoy plenty of natural light. The central area of the room could be reserved for lounge style furnishings and “pods” for group work.

Where Should You Stow Stuff?

To date, most studies of repetitive motion injuries in cubicle workers assume that all movements are done from a seated position. This includes bending, twisting, and reaching to retrieve objects and files. When employees start standing at work, this is all going to change. They will have more mobility and a greater reach. It won’t seem like a huge chore for workers to heave themselves out of an office chair and walk across the room to a filing cabinet – they’ll already be standing up. At the same time, bending over from a standing position or squatting down to reach files in the very bottom drawer of a credenza may not be very comfortable.

Some storage options, such as overhead bins placed directly above the main worksurface may no longer be useful. In contrast, mobile storage pedestals may be a very popular addition (and they can be readily shared between two or more workers). Spine based storage solutions that place file drawers at about waist level could also address the new, variable height of work positions.

Put on Your Thinking Cap…

These are only a few factors to consider in designing a workspace that incorporates sit-to-stand desks and tables. You will also need to brainstorm about these topics:

  • Streamlined cord management
  • Adjustable monitor arms, keyboard trays and task lighting
  • Where to put peripherals such as printers
  • Whether employees need more or less square footage in your new layout
  • If bridges and returns are still needed to provide adequate surface area, or if they can be replaced with other office furniture that isn’t attached to the main worksurface.
  • Anti-fatigue flooring that still allows desk chairs to roll freely

There are no limits to the heights we can reach as we re-imagine the modern workplace! Share your ideas in the comments.