Last week, I had the privilege of guest posting at Ergotron – a company at the leading edge or office ergonomics. The topic of that post was “Designing the Sit to Stand Office”. As height adjustable workstations become the norm rather than an oddity, this is likely to change the way facility managers, architects, office furniture manufacturers, employers, and interior designers envision and plan the entire work environment. You can see my thought on how these changes might impact cubicles and storage options here.
As a continuation of the discussion taking place over at Ergotron about office space planning, here’s another concept that may change in the sit-to-stand future: Peripheral technology.
Today, many workers have a U or L-shaped workstation that offers quite a bit of unused “real estate” for the placement of printers and scanners (the fax machine is already disappearing). With the advent of worktables and desks that offer a smaller footprint, this raises the question of where to locate extra office equipment. One option is in the collaborative spaces that so many employers are adding to their office environments. Printer sharing is certainly more cost-effective than having a printer in each department or at each desk.
However, there’s an even better space-saving option that many employers don’t even realize. Most modern copiers are fully capable of being added to an internal network for use in both black and white and color printing. Imagine being able to stock just one or two cartridge models and purchase or lease only a couple of pieces of equipment for all your printing needs. The administrative savings for inventory management alone would be enormous. It does mean that employees will have to walk further to pick up their printouts. But in a sit-to-stand environment, walking would be seen as a normal part of the workday – not an extra chore to be avoided at all costs.