Our work environment is a critical component of corporate culture, so I was very interested to read about an attempt to develop a new office concept, one that takes a recent trend to new limits. This conceptual office lacks chairs and traditional desks; instead the office is made up of faceted three-dimensional geometric shapes on which workers can stand, lean, perch, or even lie down. As profiled in Fast Company and DesignBoom, "The End of Sitting" is part art installation, part psychological study.
Standing desks have gained new popularity as research has found strong correlations between sitting for long periods and poor health. But standing is just one component of this exploration, and the effort is to look beyond individual health outcomes to see how a chair-free office would affect the way people interact with each other.
Though the study is not complete, its creator states that participants report feeling more energetic after standing/leaning in the labyrinth than they do in traditional office settings, despite more leg soreness. How this energy might translate into new ways of thinking and levels of performance is the key cultural issue: Does removing the option to sit down change the way we think and work?
-- Bojan Angelov