Workplace Design & Management April/ May 2016

April 22, 2016

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 21/04/2016. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.


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As the demand for sit-stand desks continues, we are proud to offer a product that provides two-stage height adjustment (625mm – 1245mm) and a four-memory controller at a price that competes with a well-known Scandinavian furniture store! We have already completed many successful installations and the product is available directly from our warehouse with a range of worktop sizes and finishes. A three leg version for cockpit-shaped worktops will also be available soon. We also offer a comprehensive installation, set-up and user training service. Find out more and view our Motus video here.


facilities_showWe have just booked our space for this year’s event so you will be able to find us on Stand M1305 which is just inside entrance 2. We like to keep our exhibition options open as late as possible so we shall decide what to display nearer the time. You can expect to see products that illustrate the latest thinking in Agile Working and Workplace Design together with information about the many support services and resources we offer to complement the furniture. Make a diary note if you haven’t already!



Now in its 7th year, this international event has grown into a significant showcase of the best products and ideas available. The mix of open-house showrooms, exhibitions, presentations and events provides an outstanding opportunity to see and hear the latest thinking in the world of workplace design. We shall be there each day so let us know if you want to meet up to discuss ideas or look at specific products.


ISOThe commercial and productivity arguments for good staff health and wellbeing are now manifest and dynamic employers have this at the centre of their business thinking. This new international standard provides guidance for executive board members and policy makers within organisations of all sizes and types. It considers essential values and beliefs and explains the seven principles which characterise a human-centred employer.


optima-lifeOptima-life works with organisations that want to help their employees achieve more, both at and away from work. Their salutogenic approach aims to keep people energised and resilient, as they seek to engage and educate people. Using a blend of technology, coaching/training and support tools, the team provides bespoke offerings tailored to an organisation’s needs. The result is a culture where performance and purpose are increased and the risks of organisational stress, fatigue, and burnout are reduced.


April 15, 2016

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/04/2016. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.



The new ISO27500:2016 standard has just been published and addresses human wellbeing as an important economic measure. Unusually for an ISO standard, this document is aimed directly at executive board members and provides seven key measures of human-centredness. For those of us involved in ergonomics and human factors, this represents a quantum leap by drawing together health, safety and wellbeing, accessibility, individuality, inclusivity and social responsibility into a single document as guiding principles in the design of products, services and processes both within and beyond an organisation.


book250px‘Human Factors and Ergonomics in Practice: Improving Wellbeing and Performance in the Real World’ is a new book about HFE as it is actually applied in day-to-day life. It is edited by Steven Shorrock and Claire Williams and contains an impressive list of international authors. Amidst the distilled knowledge of this august and international body of professionals is a chapter by me! The book is due to be published in Summer 2016 but you can find much more information in the extensive blog or through #HFEinPractice on Twitter.



We have just scheduled another series of events running through until August. These popular sessions provide an ideal way to extend your knowledge or refresh your memory in a focused session of less than an hour. The current timetable includes modules by our Training Manager, Stuart Entwistle, but I have three speaking engagements scheduled over the next couple of months so I shall be developing new themes to be added soon. All our webinars are free. Take a look at


nbe250pxWe have just booked our space again for the NBE conference and exhibition in September. This year’s theme is ‘Erasing Boundaries’. As well as displaying new products, we also plan to deliver one of the exhibitor workshops. Our session title this year is ‘Coping Strategies in a Rapidly Changing Workplace’.  There are many issues facing managers today and the pace of change makes juggling priorities even more difficult. Obviously, I have no idea what the content will be yet but I plan to make it both informative and entertaining!


sleeping250pxDid you see our April Fools’ Day email, blog or web site? With new, and often conflicting, research appearing almost daily, it is hard for business managers to know what guidance to follow. To confuse everyone further, we announced a new recommendation that ‘Work routines should be broken at least once an hour with a short sleep of 3-7 minutes’. In the end, nobody asked us for more information about the ‘sleep walking treadmill desk’ and we spent far more time on this nonsense than we should have, but it was fun! If you missed it, take a look at

Get Britain Sleeping!

April 4, 2016

This article is a spoof! It was created as an April Fools’ Day joke on April 1st, 2016

GetBritainSleepingComputerWorkerAsleepDramatic new research just published by ‘Snoozologists’ in the Faculty of Sleep Sciences at the University of Schlafgut, Germany brings a brand new approach to sleep requirements, slumber patterns and, in particular, cat napping.

Amidst widely-held concerns about sleep deprivation, especially amongst Millennials and Generation Z, the new data suggests that the long-standing view about the importance of eight hours’ sleep per night is misplaced. On the contrary, prolonged ‘single session’ sleeping may be bad for your health! 

Little and often is the new thinking and the research arrives at some ground-breaking observations:

  • Habits formed during adolescence result in many adults adopting slumber-prone behaviours in later life
  • Too much sleep is detrimental to productivity
  • Sleep as a night-time activity is an ‘old school’ view that fails to recognise the benefits of sleeping during daylight
  • Short bursts of work interspersed with brief but intense bouts of sleep can optimise performance in a similar way to high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

GetBritainSleepingEngineerAsleepAs a result of their extensive research (n=zzzz), Professor Pat Norsh and his colleague, Dr Luc Tood, make the following recommendation:

Work routines should be broken at least once an hour with a short sleep of 3-7 minutes

To facilitate and encourage these behaviours, employers should consider providing:

  • Quiet zones
  • Sleep pods
  • Personal lockers for duvets and pillows
  • Lavender essence dispersed through air-conditioning systems
  • Training sessions to teach staff how to ‘fall asleep anywhere’. (Trainers for these sessions can usually be found at low cost amongst the teenage children of staff members)
  • Team-building exercises built around the sleep theme (e.g. design a duvet, pillow stuffing, interpreting dreams)

GetBritainSleeping_Banner780pxGetBritainSleepingMetroAs may be expected, a campaign and a closely-linked industry is already emerging. The Get Britain Sleeping campaign has been officially launched on April 1st, 2016. In addition, designers of enabling technologies such as snooze apps and ‘productivity pyjamas’ are already marketing their wares to HR and Wellbeing Managers.

Expect to see news stories on TV and in the tabloid press in the near future.

GetBritainSleepingTreadmillWhen questioned about the need for further research, Dr Tood replied ‘We are currently working with a treadmill manufacturer on a viability study to establish the potential for ‘healthy sleepwalking’ – a methodology to address both the sleep needs and the cardiovascular benefits of combining these two activities’.

Professor Norsh was unavailable for comment.

Published in the interests of public entertainment and personnel productivity by Osmond Ergonomics, the UK’s most knowledgeable supplier of innovative products and services to improve workplace wellbeing and productivity.


We made all this stuff up. Any resemblance to genuine research, actual facts or real people (alive, dead or just sleeping) is entirely coincidental and highly unlikely. No responsibility will be accepted for disciplinary action or employment jeopardy as a result of reader gullibility. If you found this article informative and useful, please seek counselling through your employer or GP. If, however, you found it entertaining but valueless, you may be interested in some of our more meaningful articles here.

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