The new academic year isn’t just for school children, but also an opportunity for home students and workers to contemplate a fresh start for their surroundings. Working from home has so many domestic distractions that a workspace needs to be gloriously inviting, comfortable and inspiring to maintain focus and productivity.
Innovative companies analyse how people work naturally, and capitalise on this by providing chill out zones, touchdown and breakout areas and so on. They realise that ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing furniture directly affects employee wellbeing, which not only drives productivity but also makes a company desirable to work for, ultimately earning them a greater return on their investment. So it makes sense for those that work and study at home to follow and benefit from their approach!
Noting that orthopedic chairs are rarely correctly adjusted by individual users, a total waste in shared working environments, office furniture giant Steelcase recently undertook a comprehensive study across international workplaces. Identifying nine new postures that staff exhibit since the introduction of smartphones and tablets, their new chair (the ‘Gesture’ for anyone interested) is designed to encourage movement, support and facilitate speedy changes of posture just as quickly as one can change between texting, calling and drawing etc on different devices. There is also a move towards more feminine forms and softer coloured upholstery. This is all good news for those who, like me, find the overtly technical and corporate appearance of standard office chairs rather ugly - particularly for use at home. If you tend to move around your home office or study, or intersperse sitting with periods of working whilst standing up or say bouncing on a Pilates ball, you can get away with seating that isn’t necessarily orthopedic or corporate, and looks fabulous - maybe even a design classic! As long as you personally find it comfortable, and attractive, it should help keep you motivated and productive.