Why Offices Are Ditching Traditional Desks
by Kenny Rhoads
From a business perspective, standing desks increase productivity, encourage cooperation between employees, boosts energy and concentration levels and improve the overall health of workers. As businesses go about the process of replacing broken and worn down office furniture, it simply makes sense to consider standing desks as an option.
Fostering cooperation between team members and between departments is a productive management technique that improves ideation, creativity and results. The traditional desk and cubicle setup hinder creativity, by physically blocking employees from interacting. However, new research shows standing desks can reverse the damage the “cubicle culture” of the past has done. The science proves, groups that work in unfurnished offices have more engagement and fewer signs of territoriality. Being able to see each other, easily walk to other workstations, and communicate without barriers reduces possessiveness and competitiveness towards peers compared to groups that were put in more traditional offices, allowing the standing team to better prioritize company goals.
Simply standing a few hours in the morning is enough to boost energy levels throughout the day. One personal example comes from Facebook recruiter Greg Hoy, who told the Wall Street Journal, “I don’t get the 3 o’clock slump anymore, I feel active all day long”. Standing forces your brain to stay active, preventing your mind from drifting, giving employees a constant stream of mental energy throughout the workday. Standing while working helps keep the mental fatigue from setting in, creating the same response as getting up from your desk and going for a walk.
New research from the Texas A&M Health Science Center found that students who used standing desks were more attentive in class compared to students who sat. The researchers found that students who stood were much more likely to ask questions and less likely to disrupt class. Overall, students who stood were 12% more likely to stay on task during class.
Another example comes from a personal experiment by Davis Siksnans, a project manager at the Draugiem Group. He read about standing desks and wanted to see if they worked. He said once he moved to using a standing desk, he was able to concentrate on tasks better and avoid the urge to multitask and flip between websites at work.
Taking this information to the office is simple. Working in an office environment requires constant attention to details, be it working with clients, making sales calls, answering emails or managing large projects. So in theory, by increasing attentiveness by more than 10%, why couldn’t one expect to see productiveness rise at the same rate?
MultiTable is the Height of Healthy Design for a reason. Sitting is being called the new smoking due to its long term health implications. Scientists have found that adults who spend two more hours per day sitting have a 125 percent increased risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease, including chest pain and heart attacks. People who sit more than 3 hours a day, are 64% more likely to die from heart disease. What’s more, research also shows exercise alone can’t counteract the effects of sitting throughout the day. The best way to prevent these consequences is simply not sitting. Standing desks, specifically adjustable ones like what we offer at MultiTable, allow for employees to switch between sitting and standing, improving their health and potentially reducing negative consequences like sick days.
When you add it all up, it’s clear that standing desks improve productivity in the office. Happy, healthy employees who are better able to concentrate, with improved energy levels, are going to produce more and better results for their employers. As businesses look to increase efficiency within the office, getting the most out of every employee should be on top of the to-do list. Replacing traditional desks with adjustable standing desks is a cost-effective way to meet increased productivity goals while also improving the work experience for employees.