Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Computer Ergonomics and the Office of the Future - Part 4

Parts 1 to 3 previously published ...

"In Part 4 we discuss the idea of designs that are similar for home and office.

Architectural Designs Intersecting with Home Life

I believe that there will be a "blending" of the home and work office. There is an increased need for "home" offices to be set up in a similar fashion to the office for telecommuters and those who work at home. There are many who regularly correspond with people on other continents and they are going to require a setup to enhance this.

I see home offices that mimic the office to make it more comfortable and convenient to work from home. People will be more open to spending their own money on higher quality items such as ergo chairs (not the kind at the office superstore!), keyboards, mice, etc. for themselves so they can work with increased comfort and higher levels of productivity.

Today they spend money on expensive gadgets for their home and nice cars and soon they will realize that it just makes sense to spend money to work in comfort.

The "office" setup will be designed to be homier. There is a need for workers to feel good and be inspired in their surroundings. I see chairs that workers can rest in, read and have phone conversations in...in addition to their task chair.

Whether at home or office the design must offer the feeling of spaciousness, perhaps with a small fountain, music, spring water fountain, software that alerts the worker to take a break and rest and rest their body.

Many of the offices that I have consulted in have been downright depressing with plain white walls, old carpet, and hospital like hallways.

In order for people to be more productive (and that is what we are really talking about here- Increased Productivity for increased profits) they must be able to work in comfort and in surroundings that help spur their creativity and energy instead of take-away from it.

I see arm bikes at the end of every hall so that people can walk away from their computer after sitting for a specific length of time or to just let their mind work in the background on a challenge they have been having. The mind has a way of finding solutions when it is at rest.

The regular use arm bikes will offer the additional advantage of "inner office" (body) exercise increasing the oxygen and blood flow to all parts of the body affected by computer use.

Aching wrists, back and shoulders need regular rest from computer work and the increased oxygen and blood helps to heal the discomfort and increases the brain's capacity to problem solve.

I also see specially designed rooms for relaxation, meditation, yoga and massage. There are a few companies already doing some form of this. Workers and employers both benefit from the increased productivity and increased morale.

Workers are increasingly asking for these types of benefits when negotiating with potential employers for positions and employers are starting to put these ideas into their benefits packages.

Get ready for your Office of the Future because it is upon you!"    (Continued via Ezine Articles, Wendy Young)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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