As more and more offices are designed around the way employees work, and replacing rows of desk/chair combinations with wide, open-plan spaces, easy manoeuvrability and a sense of freedom within the workplace, they are taking advantage of standing desks as a key component of their office refurbishment. These are used to increase employee fitness, productivity and to abandon the idea of the office chair as a kind of 'monster', one which saps at the employees mental strength whilst contributing to an unhealthy physicality.
However, in Amsterdam, at the Looiersgracht 60 art gallery, a completely new and experimental office work space has been designed which completely blows the idea of a standing desk out of the water by creating an office designed, entirely, around leaning.
The 'End of Sitting' office design is characterised by its strange layout, and workers are supported by angular 'rock-like' sculptures which form narrow causeways within which workers can lean against the rocks for support and workspace.
One of the designers of the office refurbishment, Ronald Rietveld, asked 'What if we could create a work environment which isn't based on tables and chairs anymore? We wanted to create not just furniture, but new ways of working actively on the scale of the whole working environment.'
This new type of office has been designed to combat many of the health problems office workers typically face, from heart-disease to type 2 diabetes. Over the course of the day the employee would lean in varying positions and continue to move around the room. Designed as the 'opposite to the office chair', this style of office design reflects contemporary office refurbishment as it encourages mobility, activity and interaction over constriction and solitary work.
Though it has received some negative press for not being disability-friendly, as the rock formations and narrow causeways do not lend themselves to wheelchair or supported walking access, and low-vision workers might struggle to effectively find their way through the 'maze-like' layout, researchers have begun to study the effects that such an office refurbishment design might have on a real workforce.
Rietveld is expecting the results to be positive, claiming that 'after a day of working, people are more active in their head, but more tired in their body. And that's actually what it's all about – the main goal is to actually put more pressure on your legs during the day and take different positions. That's what sitting is not doing'.
For designers, this installation is supposed to make business owners and employees rethink their workspace, even if the exact design does not start making an appearance in contemporary offices any time soon.
Though this design might be considered extreme, it is expounding the benefits of a physical, activity-based office design; something which the very best in office refurbishment teams have been promoting for some time.
Here at Oaktree Interiors, we understand how important an office workspace is to the overall business identity and productivity and we have proven experience in creating working environments which encourage natural collaboration, high degrees of work place efficiency and employee health through an actively designed environment.
To take advantage of unbeatable contemporary office refurbishments and designs today, call us on 0845 474 3556 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to visit our website, check out some of our past work and enjoy the case studies of office environments we have designed for some businesses that you're sure to recognise!