Office Quirks That Make Work An Adventure

032870302-blonde-businesswoman-holding-nHave you noticed how the idea of working in an office, in front of a desk, for a set number of hours every day has been recently giving way to a number of alternatives? The traditional office is quickly becoming obsolete, it seems, with technology advancements providing a variety of alternative workplaces. What’s more, it has been suggested by some studies that the typical open office in which 70% of Americans work today is in fact counterproductive, so it’s only natural that there is a strong drive toward finding work space solutions that would benefit both employee and employer.

Perhaps the most futuristic and radical idea to date is that of a driverless car as a sort of mobile office. A  Swiss company, Rinspeed, that deals in the design of quirky concept cars has come up with a concept for a self-driving vehicle whose interior can accommodate not just the owner who will be doing work while on the road, but also another three passengers for a small business meeting. Named the Xchange, this car would make all those hours stuck in traffic on the commute productive and help people do all their work before going home, rather than finishing up on some daily task at home when they could be resting. It certainly sounds exotic but it’s a fact that driverless cars are getting a lot of attention lately; companies like Google and BMW are working on their own self-driving models. The benefits of autonomous cars are potentially numerous, from increased safety due to the elimination of the risk of a human error, to a reduction of traffic jams, as one car would be enough to service a whole family, rather than every member needing a separate vehicle. This would all change our perceptions of cars as only a means of getting from A to B, and who knows, maybe for our kids the mobile office would be a usual sight.

Going back to the office, unless you prefer to work from home, of course, there is a choice of fascinating workstations that could make the daily grind at least a bit more satisfying and comfortable. Let’s start with something small: a moving chair that helps you keep fit at your desk job because it never stands still. The Buoy is designed in such a way as to allow the sitter to move freely. Tilting, swiveling, rocking, this fun chair with a convex bottom, according to its creators, would protect you from the stiffness that’s usually associated with a sedentary job. But if you think that’s quirky, how about a workplace that you could use for naps too? The Ovei Pod can be used for rests but it can also be used for conference calls in a comfortable environment. Resting while working, what could be better? Well, one thing that could be better is an office chair that’s also a trainer; if you don’t have time to visit the gym regularly but you want to get your daily exercise, the Elliptical Machine Office Desk is a good choice. Despite its rather long and dryish name, this workstation includes a desk with adjustable height, so you can exercise both sitting and standing without breaking your concentration. The producer of the workstation boasts it can help you burn 4,000 calories over a work week.

It looks like there’s a new kind of furniture requiring that producers/tech innovators be attuned to the changing attitudes to work and the growing demand for flexible options as the work experience becomes increasingly tied to employee satisfaction and not just focused on the work process itself and its results. After all, a happy employee is a productive employee.

 

Sources:

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3026652/the-office-of-the-21st-century-will-be-your-self-driving-car

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2014/01/the-open-office-trap.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/open-office-flaws-2014-1

http://www.news24.com/Technology/News/Driverless-cars-coming-soon-20140220

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marilyn-tam/how-to-be-happy-at-work_b_3648000.html

http://hbr.org/2011/05/the-power-of-small-wins/