The world of office furniture has come a long way since the simple desk and chair was all we thought we needed. From the earliest addition of wheels and a swivel seat to create a more ergonomic task chair in the mid-1800’s, the traditional pieces of furniture in the workplace have been continuously adapted and upgraded to allow us to be more comfortable and productive. The original office chair was strategically designed to make it possible for early clerical employees to remain sitting at their desks for longer periods of time so they could get more work done!
The biggest advancements have been seen in the actual work station itself, growing from a simple table to a wood or metal desk with storage and later to a fully-enclosed cubicle in the 1960’s. Various accessories have been added to the workstation to provide organization and ergonomic benefits. The early addition of a typewriter created the need for a lower worksurface than the standard desk for proper typing height, and this carried over into computer keyboards as they appeared in the 90’s. A keyboard tray or drawer was often mounted below the worksurface, giving the user the ability to adjust everything to the best height and angle for their individual comfort.
As the computer began to take over the workspace and now all work was focused on the screen, it became clear that spending the whole day hunched over the keyboard was not a good solution. Soon the concept of a standing desk was introduced to allow the user to adjust their position, with modern models now providing easy electric height adjustment at the touch of a switch. The health benefits of changing one’s posture throughout the day has become obvious to all, and furniture manufacturers are happy to provide the latest and greatest technology in their products.
A new workplace technology concept from Teknion integrates three common office furniture products to provide a completely new smart ergonomic experience. To the standard height-adjustable work table is added a “brain” to passively connect and adjust the monitor arm and task light, maintaining both comfortable lighting levels and monitor eye heights as the table is raised from seated to standing height. This smart technology is even incorporated into the table toggle switch, which can be set with reminders to change one’s position throughout the day, offering preset intervals for moving from seated to standing.
The incorporation of this smart technology into our office furniture enables us to focus on our work and continue to be productive without even thinking about it. We are able to maintain a healthy and happy office environment, lessening the strain on our bodies we have all experienced from sitting in one position for too long. Maybe our desks will eventually be so smart they’ll even do our work for us!