Category Archives: Office Furniture

Get Fit In Your Office Chair

This Monday marks the start of the working New Year for all those who hadn’t yet returned to work. New Year comes packaged with New You resolutions, be that a better diet, new job, or getting fitter and leaner.

Last February we gave you 10 examples of “deskercise” – exercises that you could carry out whilst sat at your desk, or in close proximity to your work station. So it was of interest to us when we came across the NOONCHI, the office chair attachment that may help you to achieve at least one of your 2019 goals.

The makers of this “exercise” chair attachment claim that it provides you with a complete workout system – you can stretch and exercise whilst sat at your desk.  The base structure is lightweight enough to be easily attached, detached or height adjusted on to your office chair and can also be placed under your feet for leg exercises right at your desk.

No matter how brilliant your IT and telephone systems are, there will always be times when you are sat at your desk waiting for the latest update to complete, or in the telephone queue to some large establishment. By attaching this device to your office chair you can utilise these moments of non-productivity to get moving. It’s been scientifically proven that regular exercise can reduce stress levels, so doing a mini-workout whilst waiting for your call to be answered may even leave you less likely to get annoyed when you finally do get hold of someone…

From what we can ascertain, this particular model has yet to go into full production, especially in the UK, but if you have tried such a system, we’d love to know how you got on with it.

Office Seating Trends 2019

There has been an increasing demand for flexible office space over the past few years, and that demand is predicted to grow by up to 30% annually for the next five years. This year alone, one 6th of all new commercial property in London has been taken up by flexible workspace operators, and the take up has tripled outside of the capitol, with Manchester and Birmingham recording the fastest growth.

Along with the change in how many people are working comes a change in design trends, and one trend we at 20six are seeing is in office seating, particularly in communal areas.

Office Seating Trends 2019: The Rise Of Stadium Seating

Amusingly also referred to as the stairways to nowhere, stadium seating, (or bleacher seating in the US) has made a big entrance into both co-working office spaces and more progressive businesses, making a bold statement in any shared meeting space.

Of course, this type of tiered seating is far from new - go visit any Roman amphitheater and you'll see ancient versions of stadium seating. More modern versions started appearing in commercial premises in the 1960s and 1970s in American schools. It was an immediate hit with the children, being inherently social and climbable, and with the tutors for being able to see and therefore communicate better with all their students. And this may be in part why stadium seating is becoming popular with modern office space designers. This set-up facilitates productivity, communication, and embraces an element of fun.

One of our favourite examples of stadium seating in the UK is in the London offices of Morgan Lovell who say that they have used an "anti-corporate approach" in their office design to create "anything but a normal office space". Utilising recycled timber for their stadium seating, the space is inviting to all who want or need to come together to collaborate.

We predict seeing a lot more examples of this type of commercial seating and are looking forward to seeing what else 2019 has in hold for office furniture and design.

The Desk Is Dead

Has The Office Desk Had Its Day?

The 2018 Orgatec furniture fair in Cologne had as its theme "visionary concepts for a new work culture". Focusing on new design ideas for office furniture, here at 20six we were keen to see where designers were heading. And the takeaway sentiments that we noted the most were about office desks.

The desk has had its day” cried designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

"The desk is dead," declared designers Thomas Bernstrand and Stefan Borselius.

These are bold statements, ones in which we read whilst sat at our desks – so what are they alluding to here?

The theory behind the demise of the traditional desk is based upon modern ways of working, most notably mobile working and hot seats. We are no longer tied down to a desk top computer but can take laptops and tablets to any area of the working space. Echoing the idea of Activity Based Working, these designers see us moving between the different zones within the office and working in temporary, comfortable, communal places.

Barber & Osgerby are promoting their concept called Soft Work: out with swivel chairs, in with swivel tables that are situated between soft seating enabling you an option of working positions. This type of office furniture has been designed specifically for laptop users, and the addition of partition screens can be used to segregate areas for more privacy.

Borselius & Bernstrand have also embraced the idea of soft sofa seating that has a multitude of options for set up. Mobile tables can transform the sofa system into a desk, and wall partitions are again an option to allow for private conversations and face-to-face meetings.

The Desk Is Dead - Long Live The Desk?

Consensus at 20six HQ is that there were some fantastic, and exciting, new office furniture concepts showcased at Orgatec 2018; but we don’t agree that the demise of the desk is imminent. Yes, technology now allows us far more mobility and flexibility; yes, we are embracing Activity Based Working more; yes, more interaction and collaboration amongst employees fuels creativity and productivity. But for most of us there are still times where we just need to get our heads down and work on a project, and this is still done best with a dedicated ergonomic desk and chair.

Standing Desks For Office Workers

As a company who supply top-end office furniture we practice what we preach. We have been using height adjustable desks for several years now and have found them to be both practical and efficient at improving our working days.

The experience that we have had in our offices has been backed up by scientific research at the University of Leicester. Publishing their findings recently in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the researchers found that office workers spend up to 85% of their workday sitting in a chair. So the research team decided to see what difference it would make to provide some sedentary office workers with a sit stand desk and compare them to workers who continued to have their usual desks.

Of the 146 NHS staff studied, 69 continued to sit at their desks and 77 were given height adjustable sit-stand desks with the research being carried out over the space of a year. The average sitting time at the beginning of the study was 9.7 hours each day,  and the amount of time spent sitting was measured at the start of the study and again at three, six and 12 months.

The results? When the workers swapped out traditional office desks for sit-stand versions, the time spent sat at their desks was reduced by more than 82 minutes per day.

As further proof that adjustable desks are good for workers, the researchers also found that the workers who spent less time sitting also experienced lower levels of anxiety and job fatigue, less back pain and more engagement in work.

Sit stand desks are not a miracle cure for office wellbeing but this research demonstrates that as part of an overall approach to putting employee’s health and happiness at the centre of office design, getting the right office furniture can improve productivity for traditionally sedentary workers.