Workplace

Category Archives
Uncategorized, Workplace

The rise of remote working – could it do more harm than good?

The traditional office landscape is changing. Gone are the days of closed cubicles, quiet workspaces and water-cooler talk. Now, it’s not uncommon to see napping pods, office dogs and funky breakout rooms with an array of fun and exciting activities.

One of the biggest changes that has quickly grown in popularity is the rise of the remote working space. By eliminating some distractions that are common in an office environment and reducing commute time, remote working can have significant benefits for many employees, which explains why half of the UK’s workforce is set to be remote working by 2020.

However, there are also some issues that arise when employees work remotely that can have a real negative effect on businesses.  In fact, many big businesses including Yahoo and IBM, are scaling back or completely eliminating their telecommuting programs.

We’ve taken a look at the most pressing issues that remote working can create for businesses, and provide some alternative options that might work better for you and your staff.

Communication issues can arise

Thanks to increased technological advances, we can communicate with people half-way across the world in a matter of seconds. You might think that thanks to these advances, communication won’t be an issue, even if your employees work remotely. For example, Ben Davies, head of marketing at remote working space Ziferblat, said:

“When working remotely, communication can be a challenge, but this is where strong management and company culture step in.

“Managers can often find that without office distractions employees can be more effective when they work remotely and will communicate with each other in a more intentional way.”

However, the opposite proves to be true in some cases. According to a survey from Buffer, 21% of people who work remotely believe that collaboration suffers when they’re removed from the office and find it makes communication with other employees more difficult. Worse still, 52% of people who work remotely feel like their colleagues based in the office don’t treat them equally.

On top of this, flexible hours can lead to scheduling issues and make spontaneous communications problematic – if someone needs an answer to a question quickly about a certain project, resentment may build if they have to wait hours for an answer.

When the bulk of your communication happens via email, it’s very easy for communications to get twisted or misconstrued. Small misunderstanding can grow to bigger issues that snowball into bad blood between employees – especially the ones feeling left out.

It can impact creativity

All good business leaders know the importance of collaboration when it comes to creativity. Although there are services out there that have been created to aid collaboration, nothing really beats the output from a fun, face-to-face ideas meeting.

One of the most important aspects of innovation is trusting your team to respect your input and help you develop your ideas in a constructive and helpful manner. Professor and author, John Bessant claims that businesses need to “create an atmosphere where creativity is welcomed, by making people feel like they can deliver an idea, and that it’s safe to share their own and link up with others.”.

This can be difficult in remote working spaces. They can lead to a more disjointed team, which may mean people are apprehensive about voicing their concerns or take offence to well-meaning criticism.

Even just a face-to-face quick chat about a problem with colleagues can help employees come up with a creative and innovative way to solve it – something that’s missing from remote working spaces.

Loneliness and isolation

Often, the biggest problem facing remote workers is the isolation. People who choose to work from home may go the whole day with no face-to-face contact – there will be no co-workers around for a quick chat, no kind words of comfort when a project goes wrong and no one to share a lunch with. This can have a real damaging effect on employees mental and physical health.

Long hours spent working from home can lead to staff feeling very isolated and lonely. A recent report by the Campaign to End Loneliness predicts that social isolations costs U.K. employers £2.5 billion per year in absenteeism, productivity losses, employee caregiving obligations, and turnover.

Dr. Dhruv Khuller, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital also states that the effects of loneliness on our health are only slightly less strong than smoking or obesity. If done wrong, remote working can have a negative impact not just on our mental health, but our physical health too

Accountability and visibility

Accountability and visibility are concerns for both employers and employees. If staff work remotely, a manager may find it difficult to know if their employees are doing exactly what’s being asked of them. Yes, you can give your staff deadlines, but a project rushed the night before won’t be as good as one that’s worked on over the week. Many managers find it difficult to balance the need for transparency and “checking in” without overwhelming staff.

On the other end of the scale, when working remotely, some staff members may feel like they need to over-work and do more hours than their office-counterparts just to be visible. They may also feel ignored and overlooked simply because they are less likely to talk to senior managers day-to-day. They will also have fewer opportunities to gain insight into the “bigger picture” which could lead to dissatisfaction, and ultimately, staff turnover.

So what’s the answer?

Remote working doesn’t come without its hiccups, and often the negatives can outweigh the positives. However, depending on your industry and the type of staff you have, there are some ways to balance the good with the bad.

  • Create a strong company culture for all staff members – encouraging staff members to meet (if face-to-face is not possible, via Skype) regularly with fun team building events will help them form more of a unit, making communication easier and helping relationships develop.
  • Make staff feel valued – Ensure remote working staff still have regular one-to-ones and receive feedback on their work.
  • Modernise your office – Updating your office with modern workspaces, relaxing breakout areas and private working spaces will minimise the number of employees who choose to work remotely.
  • Consider a mix – Allowing your employees a certain amount of time a month to work remotely is a great way to balance the scales – your employees will feel valued thanks to the perks available to them.

Nick Pollitt from DBI Furniture said:

“Remote working can work well for some employees in some industries. However, it’s not ideal for everyone. A great compromise is to make sure staff feel completely comfortable at work by updating your office and offering perks such as fruit, drinks and bonding activities.

“Alternatively, offering part-time remoting working can offer staff and managers the best of both worlds – visibility and accountability coupled with freedom and autonomy. It’s up to businesses leaders to decide what will work best for their workforce – the may find that offering remote working rejuvenate their workforce, or it may do the opposite.”

Desks, Ergonomics, Furniture, Workplace

The importance of good posture in the workplace

Over thousands of years, human beings have evolved to run long distances, hunt and forage for food and spend the majority of our time outside. What we’re not designed for is sitting hunched over a desk for hours on end.

And yet that’s exactly what’s happening in our increasingly office-based culture, with 78% of office workers saying they spend too long sat down.  That’s why bad posture in the workplace is such a common (and growing) problem.

Why is good posture so important?

Your mum was right: your posture is important. Good posture means that your bones, muscles, joints and ligaments are properly aligned, leading to them being used more efficiently.  

Good posture can also help prevent several health problems, including:

  • Increased risk of backaches
  • Fatigue
  • Poor digestion
  • Increased chances of cardiovascular issues
  • Varicose veins
  • Changes in your spinal curvature

What causes bad posture?

There are a number of different sitting and standing habits we pick up that lead to bad posture, especially when spending long hours sitting in front of a computer screen at work.

Things you may be doing that lead to bad posture include:

  • Slouching in your chair
  • Hunching your back
  • Rounding your shoulders
  • Poking your chin out when sat at a desk
  • Cradling your phone between your ear and neck

These positions can sometimes feel more comfortable than actually sitting correctly, but they’re a habit that needs to be broken to avoid health problems down the line.

The type of lifestyles we live can also contribute to the way we hold ourselves. Prolonged periods of inactivity, a lack of exercise and poor ergonomic workstations can all lead to problems with your posture.

Luckily, there are some easy ways in which you can help break these habits and stay standing tall.

How to win the fight against bad posture

It’s never too late to make an effort to start improving your posture. Take these measures now to look forward to a future of better health.

Understand your posture

To improve your posture, you need to know how you currently hold yourself.

Take a look at your posture in the mirror. See where your hands rest and feel where you hold tension (for most people, this is usually in the shoulders).

If your palms face your thighs with your thumbs pointing ahead, your posture is good. If your palms face backwards, you’re probably slouching. To correct this, pull your head back and your shoulders down and back.

Make an effort to sit properly

We often develop bad posture through how we sit. If you sit too far forward on your chair, you put additional pressure on your pubic bone, and if you sit too far back, the pressure mounts on your tailbone.

Find the right balance by keeping your feet flat on the floor, your back straight and centring your weight. You should also think about supporting your lower back to prevent aches and pains if you spend long periods of time sitting.

Try correcting exercises

There are certain exercises you can do to help counteract the damage of bad posture. The best exercises strengthen your core, extend and flex your muscles and encourage better balance. They include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Planks
  • Shoulder stretches
  • Bridges
  • Pull-ups

Make sure you’re fully supported with the correct furniture

In office environments, there is a natural tendency to lean forward towards your computer, slouch at your desk or keep your legs crossed for long periods, which can lead to increased tension and muscle strain throughout your body. One of the best ways to combat this is to ensure that you are provided with comfortable, ergonomic furniture that supports good posture.

Height adjustable desks are great for encouraging good posture, as you can decide between sitting or standing whilst doing your work, giving muscle groups a rest during the day.

The right kind of chair is also very important. You need to ensure that you’re comfortable and supported and that your chair is ergonomically designed to avoid any health issues.

For more information about health and wellbeing in the office, take a look at the best ways to encourage your staff to start exercising, or take a look at the six seating sins office workers usually fall victim to.

 

Workplace

Easy ways to rejuvenate your office this year

Few things help to stimulate your mind like a fresh environment.

So, if your office still has those tired beige walls and threadbare floor tiles, it’s probably time to bring a splash of colour into the room that reflects the passion you have for your business.

The best way to do that? You need to rejuvenate your office space.

Why it’s important to update your space

Your office space can directly affect how your employees think and feel when they’re at work. It’s why some of the world’s biggest companies have invested into transforming their office environments: Google is famous for producing offices with all sorts of quirky features, from rock-climbing walls to sleeping pods; Lego has an indoor slide and AirBnB’s offices are designed to look like homes from around the world.

Investing into these spaces has helped employees of these companies generate bigger and brighter ideas than the competition, all the while raising their happiness and boosting retention.

Now, we’re not saying you need to throw in a ball pit and an indoor fort, but if you see the value in updating your office space, you can start with a few simple changes. By changing up your environment, you’ll help to reinforce your company vision and equip your employees with the mental stimuli they need to go from good to great.

Dynamic spaces


It can be difficult to encourage teamwork when staff in different departments aren’t in regular contact with one another. Help connect your employees by bridging those gaps physically with dynamic spaces.

Dynamic spaces can be defined as environments that are constantly changing to suit the needs of those using it.

A few elements you can easily add to your office to make it more dynamic include:

  • Moveable furniture – Portable chairs and desks make hot-desking so easy that staff won’t have an excuse not to spend some time sitting with a different crowd.
  • Meeting pods – Adding small meeting pods to your office help staff have shorter, more informal catch-ups on a regular basis, and leave other rooms free for meetings with clients or senior management.
  • Adjustable-height desks – Employees can keep energised by standing at their desks when they feel the need to stretch their legs.

Biophilic designs


Biophilic design seeks to reconnect employees with the natural world to help them feel happier and more energised throughout the day. Decorating your office with bright colours and plenty of natural lighting encourages creativity by stimulating colour receptors in the brain.Unleash your staff’s best ideas by incorporating a few of the following elements into your office:

  • Plant stands – Plant stands bring flora indoors without taking up heaps of space. Keeping the room full of oxygen by using plants is a natural way to keep you and your staff alert and productive.
  • Keep the blinds open – Natural lighting keeps body-clocks ticking how they should, so employees don’t get sleepy during the day. Try keeping the blinds open whenever you can.
  • Daylight lamps – When sunlight is sparse, try “daylight” lamps instead. These unique bulbs radiate light with a UV ratio similar to that of the sun to help counter the familiar fatigue of dark winter mornings.

Homestyle comfort

Infusing your office with some homestyle comforts is a practical way of helping your staff get a moment of downtime in their day. It gives them a place to calm their mind, think over their problems and find solutions to them, without frustration getting in the way.

You can make your office feel more homey with a few easy changes:

  • Office sofas – Having a few sofas around the office gives people somewhere they can sit to read an important document, or just to catch up with someone in another team over a coffee.
  • Games – The ultimate crossover between “work” and “play” is to add a few fun activities in the office that employees can interact with on their breaks. Playing games allows employees to get their heads out of work while keeping their minds engaged and improving their ability to solve problems quickly.
  • Desk decorations – Encourage your staff to make the space theirs by bringing in decorations for their desks. These could be family photos, movie posters, or quirky figurines; anything that helps unleash their personality is great for helping them feel more at home.

Rejuvenating your office this year is more than just a vanity project: it’s an essential way to re-engage your staff and redefine your business culture.

And if you have clients visiting your office, it’s a great way for your ethos, visions and values to shine through: let them see that you’re a progressive, forward-thinking company.

Got any more tips on how to revamp your office this year? Share them in the comments below.

Workplace

5 reasons why millennials make great employees

Millennials have had more than their fair share of bad press lately. Dubbed the ‘go nowhere’ generation, they’re often associated with a lazy, risk-averse attitude.

But are they just misunderstood?

With inspirational millennial entrepreneurs making headlines and many businesses investing in a millennial workforce, it would seem so.

In fact, millennials could actually be one of your business’s biggest assets.

 

Reason 1: They crave responsibility and thrive when empowered

Coffee meeting

One of the most common criticisms aimed at millennials is that they’re self-entitled – possibly down to their parents’ openness to involve them in family decisions as children. Giving them a sense of responsibility from a young age, this kind of parenting has led many young people to feel they should also be able to have similar input in the workplace.

However, this trait can actually be of significant benefit to employers if they approach it in the right way. Give a millennial employee ownership of a particular area (no matter how small), and they’ll feel infinitely more valued, and that their work is having a real impact on the wider business.

Joshua Hebert, CEO of Magellan Jets, says:

“Give [millennials] a boring task without a reason, and they’ll give you boring results. Give them a share in the idea you’re putting into play, however, and they are more likely to turn in work you never imagined.”

Boosting morale and motivation, businesses adopting a team structure that focuses on empowering younger employees are likely to see a happier, more dynamic workforce. This kind of environment also breeds skilled workers, with further benefits down the line when these employees are able to step up to higher positions without hesitation thanks to their experience.

 

Reason 2: They’re open to change

Young people stood in a line

Thanks to their parents encouraging them to speak up, millennials are conditioned to openly question processes in a business if they think they can be improved.

Rather than starting work and blindly following the rules because “that’s how things have always been done”, millennial workers are open to change and likely to challenge things when older workers would perhaps be more reserved.

People development consultant Susy Roberts says:

“Generation Y aren’t more demanding – but they are different. They’ve been brought up in a team environment and encouraged to speak up when things aren’t right. And this, as any good business coach will tell you, is simply best practice.

With millennials, it’s definitely not all about money. An open working culture that respects individual views and opinions is essential.”

While some business owners may see this as a lack of respect for authority, that is simply not the case. Keen to make their mark and not afraid to challenge the status quo, millennials can help shape a business for the better, bringing in inventive ways of thinking that can streamline processes and increase efficiency.

 

Reason 3: They’re on a constant mission to better themselves (and your company)

NEO PR agency

Another frequently discussed millennial attribute is their desire to develop and progress.

While some people may see this as a negative thing (and the reason for a higher turnover of millennial staff), it can also be seen as highly positive. Who wouldn’t want a workforce that’s driven to improve and expand their skillset?

95% of millennials said they are motivated to work harder when they understand the importance of a particular task within the context of a company’s big picture goals. One way to harness this is to actively help and encourage them to learn everything they can about the operation at hand.  

Through learning new things, millennials can quickly become experts in their field, becoming serious assets to any business in the process.

 

Reason 4: They’re digital natives

Millennials using phones and tablets

Raised by computers and smartphones, millennials are the first generation born in today’s tech-centric world. An essential part of their daily lives, 53% of millennials say they’d rather lose their sense of smell than access to their devices.

With advancements in technology changing businesses all over the globe, the digital-savvy nature of millennials means they’re immune to change. Able to adapt almost effortlessly, the younger workforce requires next to no training when it comes to adopting new processes.

Not only does this save businesses a lot of time, it means you have a workforce that is instantly familiar with the latest tools (e.g. social media) and knows how to use them to produce results.

 

Reason 5: Their productivity is through the roof (in the right environment)

Impression Agency offices

Even if the lazy stereotypes are true under normal conditions, there’s a relatively simple solution to unlocking the incredible potential of the younger generation in the workplace.

Forward-thinking businesses are coming to the realisation that, when it comes to millennials and productivity, creating the right environment is a key factor. Gemma Spinks, Director at Neo PR, says:

“At Neo PR we love hiring young, vibrant, hard-working millennials, but we appreciate that they do like to work in a slightly different way. We have tailored our office to keep our employees motivated, engaged, active and enjoying themselves.”

Ben Garry, a 20-year-old SEO Executive, is a big fan of vibrant work spaces. Speaking about his time at Impression agency in Nottingham, he says:

“For me, working in this kind of environment has really helped me to integrate with the wider team. It makes collaborative working much easier; not only do we have plenty of spaces for meetings, but the more informal chats over a table tennis game or a beer on a Friday evening can lead to new ideas and more creative strategies.”

Whether you believe the stereotypes or not, investing in millennials is the future for every business. If you want to make your business more millennial friendly, our range of stylish office furniture can help you create the perfect environment for maximum productivity.

Workplace

DBI Supports Bring Your Dog to Work Day

Come 23 June, businesses across the UK have the chance to welcome a dog into their office. No, this isn’t some radical new hiring experiment. 23 June marks Bring Your Dog to Work Day, which celebrates canine wellbeing and aims to improve how dogs are treated around the world.
Founded by HOWND, a provider of ethical dog-grooming products, Bring Your Dog to Work Day looks to shake up UK offices with some exciting new recruits.
How will a new starter affect the workplace chemistry? Will they gel immediately or take a little time to integrate?

What do the public think?

We recently conducted a survey that took the question to the UK public. We asked what kinds of traits an employee desires most from their colleagues, and this is what they said…

dbi-survey

Clearly, honesty is high on our agenda, with 36.7% voting. We all want a co-worker who’d own up to making a mistake rather than burying the evidence (remind you of anyone?)
Honesty was closely followed by hard-working colleagues, with 27.3% of the vote. Think you know a pooch who will go back and forth to fetch that stick? Invite them into your office for a day! Persistence is an invaluable trait and will no doubt inspire your employees.
Loyalty, arguably the defining trait of our canine friends, saw a 16.8% upvote. In the workplace loyalty goes a long way and can mean the difference between retaining your employees in the long run and losing them to your competitors.

Who should you employ?

Inviting a new employee into your ranks can be touch-and-go. Will your new recruit cower in the corner or bark orders from the word go? It’s hard to tell.
Personalities in the workplace is something DBI Furniture Solutions have dealt with recently – you can read our previous post here.
Yes, recruitment can be a long and difficult road. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a few job profiles for you to look at. The following candidates have all been vetted and are ready for an immediate start in the job…

Jack Russell

lab

pug

husky

Chairs, Ergonomics, Furniture, Products, Tables, Workplace

The Next Hot Thing In Cool Office Design

In the offices of today, it is a lot more than just a bank of desks with monitors and PC’s/Mac’s being installed on each. You want it to inspire! Inspire your colleagues to push that extra bit further, think that little bit harder for that spark of creativity that gives you that one fantastic idea.

When clients enter your office you want them to be impressed. You want your office environment to represent your business. You want the look of the office to nail how you choose to market your business. Want to be seen as the cool kids on the block? Get inventive with your office design. Want to be seen as the retro kids who live for the 70’s/80’s? Where are the arcade machines? It is also true that it is the people who adopt these office spaces as their own are the ones who bring the office to life. While this is most certainly true, you must make sure that your colleagues are comfortable at their work stations to increase productivity. The best way to boost productivity in your office environments is to make sure your colleagues have the space to; eat together, play together and hang out together. The happier the colleagues, the more productive you will work.

A popular concept that small firms as well as large ones such as Microsoft, Macquarie Bank & Ernst & Young is ‘hot desking’. Hot desking is simply bring your laptop and working essentials, plunk them anywhere and you are good to go. Multiple employees can, in this arrangement, use the same desk at different hours during a day.

The image shows a Photorealistic 3d render of an office.

Accessories, Furniture, Power, Products, Workplace

Don’t Compromise — Accessorise! We Show You How…

As well as our signature range of office furniture, we also supply a select range of all-important accessories designed to help your workplace reach its very highest potential. As with our office desks, chairs, task lighting and space-planning products, all of our accessories are chosen for their high levels of quality, delivering consistent optimal performance. So, what’s in the range? Here is a taste…

Power

No office could work without electricity, a power source which has become so integral to our modern lives that we take it completely for granted. Power management is therefore of paramount importance and the range of components in this section are designed for convenience and reliability.

Cable Management

A quick peep behind our TV at home will leave most of us shuddering at the snarled tangle of wires,  making us quickly look away and wonder why we looked behind there in the first place. In the office, particularly if there are many computers, the problem is dramatically magnified – check out our range of options for cable management to prevent Spaghetti Junction!

Air Purifiers

Keep everyone in the office breathing easy by heading over to this section. You could completely change the atmosphere of your workplace for the better with one of our contemporary air purifiers.

Railex Files

The 1970s vision of a paperless office never quite came to fruition – keeping hard copy of many documents is essential practice. Railex is a comprehensive filing system and offers the perfect way to keep everything practically organised for fast and accurate location later on.

Lighting

March is Workplace Eye Awareness Month and, as the eye functions by interpreting light and the way it strikes different objects, workplace lighting is an important consideration. Getting it exactly right in each unique environment is a challenge but one that our experienced and talented team are more than qualified to take on and win.

Hotboxes

Want to save space, improve productivity and protect important documents? Use a Hotbox to do all three at once with the added benefit of being able to take it with you – the product is sturdy, durable, compact and lightweight with its own optional wheeled caddy.

Have we whetted your appetite? Then head on over to our ‘Accessories’ section to discover even more items in the range!

Awareness, DSE, Ergonomics, Workplace

Workplace Eye Awareness Month — Check YOUR Vision

Office ergonomics almost always focus on ensuring the limbs, neck and torso are maintained in a comfortable and supported position.. but what about your EYES? This part of the body is often woefully neglected when it comes to creating a healthy office environment but Workplace Eye Awareness Month, which runs throughout March, attempts to rectify this situation.

Eyes Down!

Computers, mobile phones and TV equipment are standard pieces of kit for almost everyone, whatever kind of work they are involved in. We all use these items in our free time as well, meaning that people today are spending many, many hours with their sensitive and complex eyes glued to a screen. Extended periods of screen-time can lead to:

  • General pain and discomfort
  • A feeling that the eyes are ‘tired’
  • Eyestrain from focusing on small text, leading to permanent sight damage
  • General fatigue and a reduction in the sense of wellbeing
  • Headaches, particularly in those who suffer from migraine attacks
  • Visible symptoms such as parched or red eyes

The Importance of Blinking

The reason that we blink is to moisturise and lubricate the eye and this usually happens between 12 and 14 times every minute. As we focus our eyes on a computer screen or other kind of digital display has been shown to reduce this rate by anywhere from 33% to 50%, causing the eyes to become dried out, sore and painful.

Here are some tips to avoid eyestrain in the workplace:

  • Keep your Distance – Stay at least an arm’s length away from the screen. Close-up focusing is more demanding on the eyes and increasing the size of the type on the display while keeping your distance is preferable to being close to small type
  • Beware of Glare – make sure the display settings are appropriate so this issue is minimised. Good task lighting and increased contrast can help
  • Rest & Relax – just the same as your wrists can be damaged by carpal tunnel syndrome from typing too much, your eyes can be damaged in a similar way. Stick to a 20/20/20 rule – take a break each 20 minutes and, during this, stare at an object 20ft away for 20 seconds
  • Let there be Light – choosing correct lighting for your unique premises is essential and you should seek expert help on the range of products available. DBI stock a broad selection of quality task lighting and our dedicated space planning team can provide the most competent advice

Workplace Eye Awareness Month is the perfect time to start considering your visual health and that of your employees. Start your journey with our selection of Task Lighting!

Awareness, Ergonomics, Furniture, Products, Uncategorized, Workplace

Indoor Environment Quality – Try Our Experiment!

There are a precious lucky few people who will be able to say that the air they breathe in at work feels cool, fresh and pleasant, refreshing them. An even smaller number of these people report seeing soft-edged, organic and natural shapes and tones. Instead, a worrying majority of us at work, school, university or other public buildings have to tolerate stale or artificially-conditioned air in our lungs and dull, artificial shapes & colours on our retinas. Why? And when will it change? The answer, thankfully, is very soon indeed.

The presence of plants in the indoor environment has been proven to have many benefits on humans, from a perceived improvement in air quality to higher levels of morale, productivity and health. Studies in hospitals show that patients heal quicker and experience lower pain levels when plants are around and research on a smaller scale suggests a host of practical beneficial effects from bringing the green inside – the effects range from lower levels of employee absenteeism to a reduction in energy usage.

For any business or organisation, there are financial constraints which cannot be ignored – budget is naturally of major importance and any investment must be carefully considered for its cost-effectiveness. It is here that indoor plants have met a stumbling block and hence not gained truly widespread appeal –  a new study, which will include masses of data from social organisations, research institutes and any organisation which registers its interest and is approved, aims to make sweeping changes and usher in a new, green era.

“There are as yet insufficient concrete figures on the matter and insufficient innovative and usable green solutions,” as Annemieke Smit, the Project Leader, succinctly sums up the matter. Under her expert guidance, the research team will collate data and produce a definitive, authoritative guide to use freely when deciding future strategy, policy and actions for the business in relation to interior plants and organic office design.

Do you want cleaner air, unrivalled natural aesthetics and healthier, happier employees? Find out how with DBI – browse our select range of indoor plants and call us to get the fastest, most competitive quote.

Accessories, Desks, Furniture, Tables, Workplace

The Benefits of Standing Desks

The brain. The body. How often we mentally, verbally and symbolically draw a distinction between these two things which are, ipso facto, two parts of the unique, unified you. Sit/stand desks are almost exclusively associated with beneficial effects on the body and, though these do lead to beneficial mental effects as well, the results of a new study appear to show a much more direct, organic and potentially-groundbreaking link. Ready to improve your neurocognition? Let’s take the journey together.

The most recent edition of respected scientific publication The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health contained the results of a year-long study carried out at a high school in Texas, USA. Led by Ranjana Mehta, a team of researchers followed a group of 27 young people through a year at school, administering neurocognitive tests at the beginning and end. In the interim, the students underwent a transition to ‘standing-biased’ classrooms, having never experienced such a thing prior to the study.

Five cognitive tests (evaluating decision-making, reasoning, memory, modification of cognitive strategy and cognitive flexibility) were given before and after the 27 students had been exposed to sit/stand desk options. Results of the tests, which were inspired by observational data and combined with data from a portable brain-imaging machine, indicated that using a sit/stand desk:

  • Caused or contributed to a general improvement in participants’ test scores of between 7-14%. It appears highly unlikely that education received during the year could have caused such a leap as scores from these standard tests are usually fixed around the age of 12

  • Increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with working memory and high-level problem-solving/decision-making

  • Is worthy of further, more detailed studies with a seated control group and including average grades and standardised test scores

Concluding, the authors of the study said: “These findings provide the first preliminary evidence on the neurocognitive benefits of standing desks, which to date have focused largely on energy expenditure. If the results are backed up in further studies, it could mean that a simple furniture swap to standing desks could lead to a rise in outstanding students.”

We have embraced the sit/stand desk concept since it emerged and can now offer a wide selection of designs to suit any office space. Start browsing the collection HERE and call us to get a fast, competitive quote!

12