Just as in life, the little things play a role in the office which should not be underestimated. Ultimately it is often the details that shape a workplace in such a way that we feel comfortable, with all our needs being met. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important workplace accessories.
Light is one of the decisive factors for workplace well-being: there is hardly anything more disturbing than light which is too bright or dazzling. Poor or inadequate lighting leads to fatigue, eye problems and headaches. Good visual conditions on the other hand not only promote concentration, they also increase well-being.
Functionality is the top priority at the workplace - lighting in the office must ensure optimal illumination and the best working conditions. Areas for concentrated work require a mixture of daylight and artificial light. Direct glare-free light suits permanent workplaces. On the other hand, soft indirect light should be used for communication zones and project areas.
The ability to adjust the lighting individually is also important, as employees do ultimately have different needs.
Tolomeo proves that functionality and design are in no way mutually exclusive: designed by Michele de Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina for Artemide, the unassuming aluminium table lamp began its triumphal procession through offices around the world following its market launch in 1987. As a hinged lamp Tolomeo has adjustable arms which allow the light beam to be focussed in all directions. The designers also thought of a small unobtrusive metal handle so that users do not burn their fingers. Demetra is also from the Artemide range: it is a table lamp that combines minimalist design with maximum functionality. The Element 790 from Humanscale also offers the latest LED technology: with a lifetime of 50,000 hours it is capable of accompanying employees in their daily work routines for 25 years.
My table, my chair, my laptop – anyone who thinks that the perfect equipment can do the job alone is mistaken. Ergonomic use is just as important as the quality of the equipment setup. Ergonomics at the workplace does not just mean sitting correctly. Making sure that tools such as the keyboard and mouse are in the correct position is just as important. The position of the monitor can also encourage the correct posture and prevent back problems. As a rough guide, the monitor should be at least an arm’s length away from the body. It should also be rotated slightly so that the monitor screen is viewed at a right angle. Monitor arms from experts such as CBS or Humanscale, which are individually adjustable and suitable for different types of screens, can also help with the correct positioning.
You should always be able to maintain a general overview at the workplace, even when the next deadline is moving closer and there is still a lot to do.
A well-designed filing system by Bene, coat racks and wastepaper bins ensure that the environment remains tidy: whether it’s snowing or blowing a gale, a coat rack takes your coat for you without grumbling, ensures that things remain neat and as a design element can also emphasise the main features in the room. “Cactus” from Rexite and “Bend” from Cascando, for example, are particularly sophisticated.
Attachment and hook-in elements can be selected individually and to match the workplace, helping to ensure that the necessary papers are always within easy reach. Order at the workplace keeps people grounded and allows them to think about the really important matters.
If the first draft does not work out, a wastepaper bin can relieve you of anything that you no longer need. Creative models such as “Trash” from the Italian design lab Magis or the clear lines of “Flow” from Cascando are proof that a wastepaper bin can look really good.
We spend more time at the workplace than we do in our own living rooms, making it all the more important that it meets all our needs and requirements in a functional and ergonomic fashion. Have fun designing!