Here’s another follow up on my guest post at Ergotron about designing the sit-to-stand office. It has to do with the sitting part as much as the standing part. Workers still do need well made, ergonomic office chairs for those times during the day when they need to rest their weary legs and feet. All of the high quality office chairs are mounted on casters so they can roll around to increase the worker’s reach for seated tasks. Many employers put desk mats down over carpet or install hard, smooth floors in the office to promote easy rolling. But these materials aren’t going to be very pleasant to stand on – especially if athletic shoes aren’t permitted by the dress code.
Anti-fatigue mats of some kind would be a real boon in office spaces that promote standing. However, the cushiest mats that make feet feel good are too soft for an office chair to roll about on. Floor mats also pose a problem by having edges that can be rolled off of or tripped over. So, maybe the offices of the future will have actual anti-fatigue flooring installed instead of individual mats. These floors are used in industrial settings like assembly lines as well as hospitals and kitchens where staff are on their feet all day. Perhaps we’ll see a greater variety of colors and designs in this flooring for the office of the future where folks are as likely to be standing and walking as they are to be rolling and sitting.