You might think that my idea of an office is different than my parents’ idea. Not so. It turns out that they, like a lot of Baby Boomers, are really good at adapting to what’s becoming more common for all of us—working anywhere. That can mean working from home, a coffee shop, or a “campsite” at headquarters. Mobile work is becoming a reality for many people and businesses.
Here I am working in the coffee bar at Herman Miller. (Got my portable mouse and separate keyboard, got my laptop support so I can elevate the display and get it to a good viewing angle.) Studies show that the simple addition of a portable mouse and separate keyboard dramatically increases comfort for mobile workers.
Ask anyone—like me—who’s really into mobile working, and she’ll tell you that portable technology is a must, and the fewer things to carry, the better. While mobile working may be the preferred work style for many now and most of us in the future, it doesn’t mean we can ignore our health while we do it. If I’ve learned anything from working anywhere it’s that being on the move feels better when I bring some good ergonomic support along with me.
A research summary published by Herman Miller ranks the option to position a computer in a suitable location as one of the most important attributes of a comfortable workspace.
I saw this need addressed during a recent visit to a trading floor located in New York’s World Financial Center. The Herman Miller company Colebrook Bosson Saunders supplied this particular floor with Wishbone monitor arms and posts that can support up to four monitors. Most people on a trading floor work with at least two screens, although many work from four and sometimes six.
The Wishbone monitor arm fits well in this environment because anyone can reconfigure it to support a variety of needs. In fact, the monitor arms on this trading floor are reconfigured up to three times a week.
Monitor arms also carry ergonomic benefits. They allow the technology to move with the user, while contributing to an ergonomic posture and reducing eyestrain.
Unfortunately, from 2008-2009, an estimated 9.3 million working days were lost to work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Having proper ergonomic support, however, creates safer, healthier environments that help to prevent these disorders.
Whether you work on a trading floor or in an office like mine, the appropriate technology support, such as a monitor arm, is a smart investment.
The Envelop desk has received considerable attention for its versatility and unique ability to move with the user. But what’s the best application for such a cutting-edge design? That’s the question we posed to interior designers in the Envelop Design Challenge—a competition Herman Miller initiated last December. The answer? Anywhere and everywhere.
Given the versatility of the Envelop desk, it was no surprise when we received over forty entries displaying the desk in myriad ways—ranging from private offices to group work settings to classrooms. With all of the great designs, it was a challenge in itself to choose the winners.
After considerable deliberation, our team of designers selected four winners who displayed the most creativity with their use of Envelop. Our first place winner, Angela Glenn, placed Envelop in a beautiful work environment by incorporating Teneo storage furniture and Meridian filing and storage (above).
In contrast, our two second place winners, Christa Markey and Gretel Lott, stepped out of the office environment: Christa brought Envelop into a campus coffee shop…
And Gretel built the desk into an air traffic control room.
Our third place winner, Susan Weisenfeld, used one kit of parts for two different types of workstations; both centered on the Envelop desk.
Check out The Be Collection to learn more about our winners and see renderings of these unique applications.
The 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) concluded on January 10 after four days of new product displays, conference sessions, and celebrity appearances. Over 2,500 technology companies gathered in Las Vegas, contributing to the record number of new exhibits at this year’s show. Even amidst all of the excitement among technology products, Herman Miller’s Envelop desk created quite a buzz.
Envelop, a desk that moves with the user as he or she reclines, was featured with the Embody chair. Envelop was well received by designers and users alike, drawing considerable media attention. Since its appearance at CES, Envelop has received excited reviews from multiple media sources, including the popular blogs Gizmodo, Uncrate, and PhotoInduced, for its ergonomic benefits and ability to comfortably cater to the user.
Envelop’s clever design ultimately has the user in mind. At CES 2010, they noticed.