leaning workplace

Leaning Workplace

I don’t know about you, but I find this to be incredible intriguing. I am not ready to say yet whether I think it would actually work, but it is certainly thought-provoking and a great topic for this week’s “Thought-Provoking Thursday.”

Forget standing desks. In the office of the future, you might lean instead—supported by giant rock-like sculptures that designers argue are a healthier, more active way to work than anything that’s come before. A prototype of the office design is now on display in Amsterdam.

Fast Company has a brief writeup on it at their FastCoExist site. They mention a few important points. First, it is a conceptual design – they don’t expect anything quite like this hitting the marketplace any time soon. They also note that the idea is undergoing some testing at the University of Groningen, so that is a good sign. But I could see some startups adopting the idea just to evoke some extra creative juices among employees. Or just to impress venture capitalists when they come through for a tour.

Your Turn

I am just going to jump right to the Your Turn section here. I am really interested in to hear what folks with real HF/E experience have to say. What are your initial thoughts on the concept?

Image Credit: Jan Kempenaers

6 thoughts on “Leaning Workplace”

  1. Hmmm…I don’t see how the woman lying on her side can get any work done. Doesn’t she need both hands? And how does this leaning concept work in terms of accessibility for people with various disabilities?

    1. I feel like with a lot of these new designs of workplace environments, significant emphasis is put onto aesthetics rather than ergonomics. The ratio between them in regards to this design is not too far apart but I still feel that having to lie down on big structures as mentioned by Elizabeth is not any better than just lying on the floor. The neck, shoulder and eyes will be strained. Very interesting but questionable design…

  2. I don’t think large structures with hard surfaces and sharp edges are the answer, but adding softer lines may be an improvement. I’m not so sure about the flat table-like surfaces as everyone still appears to be significant neck flexion in the pic. I would like to see more “leanable” angled walls to stand against and maybe some angled nooks for mobile technology.

  3. @Katia/@Betty/@Jennifer – Thanks for the thoughts. As I said in the original, this is still at the very early conceptual design stage. I am not sure what the Dutch laws on accessibility are, but I hope that are at least as strong as ours. And I am sure that a round of user testing will uncover the need for rounded edges – unless perhaps they test during the coldest part of winter and everyone is wearing bulky sweaters ;-). Your thoughts on the longer term pain issues from cumulative poor posture is a great example of why longitudinal studies are such a great need (and one often omitted by design firms).

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