18 March 2022
Curated by: Redazione IVM

Shaping an ergonomic office

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Management spaces and roles are changing substantially and so they have to adapt rapidly to more inclusive modes of working and more multifaceted professional approaches.

The frontiers are extending and moving towards new ‘ergonomic first’ design models that focus on the relationship between individuals and the workspace.

We are increasingly hearing about ‘activity-based workplaces’, in other words, multifunctional and dynamic workplaces that proactively incorporate the concept of ergonomics.

Design also has to take a step in the direction of wellness. Style, shapes, colours and creativity have to be combined with harmony, and above all they must meet people’s needs.

 

A new vision of ergonomics

Ergonomics is first and foremost a promise that has to be maintained every day.

A multidisciplinary approach to design, in which the concepts of practicality, comfort, efficiency and performance are considered as essential.

This theme has developed powerfully over the years, in part with respect to the changes dictated by global scenarios. For example, instead of ‘office desks’, we now refer to ‘ergonomic desks’, showing that there is an increasing demand for furnishings that are not only aesthetically ‘beautiful’, but that are also practical in relation to employees’ needs.

Online search trend for the keyword ‘ergonomic desk’ over the last 10 years.

So it is important to change outlook, broaden the horizons, and design office furniture solutions that create a virtuous synergy between the design component and functional-human factors.

 

Ergonomic boost: productivity and wellness

Ergonomics has a radical impact on employees’ health and productivity.

This is a theme that is often limited to just comfort and design, and that sometimes clashes with corporate cultures still linked to standardised design models that are not people-oriented.

The most common problems associated with an erroneous application of the concept of ergonomics in the office can be found specifically in the area of workspace design.

In fact, ergonomics is not just the comfort of a chair or the height of a desk, but an ecosystem of multiple tangible and intangible design components that affect various aspects such as, for example, design, movement, the relationship between people and the work space, interactions with technological factors, the layout of the space, the choice of materials for furnishing accessories, and so forth.

We have already discussed the theme on this Blog in an exclusive interview with designer Stefano Bigi in which he underlined the importance of combining comfort with people’s needs and office technology.

As stated in the International Labour Organisation’s document ‘Your health and safety at work’, adopting ergonomic changes in office design can help generate significant improvements in the context and people’s wellness.

It is no longer sufficient to design smart and attractive offices.

Designers, architects and companies have to embrace a ‘people-oriented’ design philosophy based on the concept of ergonomics, with the awareness of designing safer and better-performing workspaces.

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