The Standing Office Goes Too Far?


In the United States, we always like to think we are ahead of the curve. But the fact is that we aren’t always first adopters of new ways of doing things. Nor do we always take new concepts further than anyone else. In some ways, that’s a good thing. For example, the standing desk trend is all well and good when employees have the choice to sit or stand. But the head of Canon Electronics in Japan has long taken a more hardline approach. According to blogger jajjospeaks, CEO Mr. Hisashi Sakamaki wrote a book about office efficiency called “Get Rid of Chairs”. It outlines the benefits of a no-chair policy including shorter meetings, fewer expenses, and better space usage.

But it’s not just standing that’s required. The Canon factory also has technology in place to monitor how fast factory employees walk to ensure that time is not wasted getting from point A to point B. A special blue painted zone outlined with sensors in the plant’s hallway reminds workers to walk at a rate of at least 5 meters in 3.6 seconds. If they walk too slow, an alarm goes off. It’s kind of like “How fast are you driving” speed monitoring signs on some U.S. roads, but in reverse.

How far would you go to ensure employee productivity? What would your employees do if you took away their office chairs? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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