Designers Tout Benefits of Employee “Stanchions”
|Space saving, production enhancing|
Office workers may soon find a piece of equipment standard in dairy barns adapted for human use and incorporated into their own workspaces.
The designers responsible for the widely-used “open office environment,” which features low-walled cubicles arranged in “pods,” have designed an even more space-saving and employee-production-enhancing office model.
“Square footage comes at a premium in today’s office buildings,” said Gerhard Voldemort of Germany’s VolksBüroWerks. “Phones and computers are much smaller now. It’s time for the desktop to be re imagined. It should be much more compact. A surface no wider than the average person’s width, calculated with arms akimbo, is more than adequate. Also, these new workstations can be arranged in simple, straight lines. We estimate that this new configuration will quadruple the number of employees that can be accommodated with no addition of floor space.”
Distraction Reduction Measures
The new workstations also include soundproofed side panels and a heads-up computer display that will occupy the entire field of vision of the user. “Many of us older people remember with fondness the phone booths of yesteryear,” Voldemort said, “an island of privacy in a minimum of space. That’s what we’re going for with this design: cozy, friendly, and ergonomically correct. It goes without saying, of course, that all our stations will be designed for standing as we now know that sitting equals death.”
One controversial aspect of the VolksBüroWerks design are the optional “focus enhancement” features. These include foot straps and a “focus halo.”
“Recent psychological studies have found that gentle pressure about the head increases eye-time on computer screens by as much as 78 percent,” Voldemort said. He added that the foot straps are not designed, as one critic suggested, ‘to trap employees in these upright caskets’ but to prevent harmful “shifting.” “Shifting weight from foot to foot has a negative impact on focus and proper ergonomics,” Voldemort said, adding that the focus features are “a perfectly natural, non-chemical approach to enhancing employee productivity.”
VolksBüroWerks also recently announced that a nose-operated food pellet and water delivery system will be available as an upgrade on the stanchion units by early in the new year.