WDM Newsletter – September/October 2017

September 25, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 21/09/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.

HÅG TRIBUTE CHAIR
Style, Elegance & Comfort

WDMheader2017-09HÅG Tribute is the ideal chair to make a serious statement in your boardroom and formal meeting spaces. Norwegian Svein Asbjørnsen of sapDesign® worked with HÅG once again to develop the Tribute with the declared intention to create ‘the world’s most uncompromisingly comfortable executive chair’. Incorporating the signature HÅG in Balance® technology, integral lumbar support, optional headrest and TiltDownTM  armrests, it is visually sleek yet offers outstanding comfort and support. As with all HÅG products, it is also highly sustainable and precision made. Please contact us for a brochure and further information.

PLEASE RESUBSCRIBE!
New data protection rules make this essential

resubscribeTo ensure we comply with the imminent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, we are asking ALL subscribers to reregister to ensure you continue to receive this monthly newsletter. Since its introduction, we have accumulated a substantial database. To meet the more stringent 2018 requirements, we need to be certain we have proof of opting in from all our readers so we shall be closing down this database before the year end. To ensure uninterrupted delivery, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database hereThe reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.

MUCH MORE THAN FURNITURE
Training & events to reflect our broader portfolio

biggreeneventAs our key clients sharpen their focus on employee wellbeing, our furniture offering is now complemented by a broader range of activities. These include training, events and services to address health, wellbeing and engagement issues. Our involvement in two upcoming events reflects this trend. The Big Green Event in Southampton and Citywork in London will enable us to meet organisations who share our values and appreciate our products. At The Big Green Event, I shall also be presenting a LearnZone workshop about sit-stand furniture as part of an agile working programme.

ERGOEXPO 2017 REVIEW
Paris, but not as we know it!

ergoexpo2017I have been attending the ErgoExpo in Las Vegas since 2005 but, in exhibition terms, this was the Year of the Sit-Stand Desk!  There were two other significant changes: the venue has moved from Caesar’s Palace to the Paris Hotel and the date changed from the autumn to August. As far as hotel concepts are concerned, I prefer the Paris to Caesar’s (which, in my view, was a contrived brand 50 years ago and has not redeemed itself in the intervening years). However, as with ‘all things Vegas’, the Paris hotel concept is, to European sensibilities, very much a caricature of the French capital rather than a realistic representation of any part of it. If you could translate English into French simply by preceding every English or American noun with ‘le’ or ‘la’, my conversational French would be much better than it is! [more]


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin September 2017

September 15, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/09/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.

ERGOEXPO 2017 REVIEW

ebulletinheader2017-09I have been attending the ErgoExpo in Las Vegas since 2005 but this year saw two significant changes: the venue has moved from Caesar’s Palace to the Paris Hotel and the date changed from the autumn to August. As far as hotel concepts are concerned, I prefer the Paris to Caesar’s (which, in my view, was a contrived brand 50 years ago and has not redeemed itself in the intervening years). However, as with ‘all things Vegas’, the Paris hotel concept is, to European sensibilities, very much a caricature of the French capital rather than a realistic representation of any part of it. If you could translate English into French simply by preceding every English or American noun with ‘le’ or ‘la’, my conversational French would be much better than it is! [more]

CONTOUR UNIMOUSE – SOMETHING SPECIAL

unimouseAt least every couple of months for about the last 10 years, we have been notified of a new ‘ergonomic’ mouse. These new devices are always either a cheap rip-off of an established product or a ‘revolutionary’, research-backed design that addresses key issues in a way that no previous mouse manufacturer has been able to do. In every case, the vendor is positively evangelical in their product advocacy! After nearly 25 years in the industry I hope, therefore, that you will forgive me for being somewhat jaded about such launches.
Then along comes the Unimouse! I have been aware of its backroom development in various iterations for several years and now have a beta-version of the final product which I collected at ErgoExpo. In my view, it has been worth the wait. My whole team are excited about the adjustability, functionality and quality of our sample. I genuinely believe this is the most comprehensive and viable embodiment to date of the power-grip vertical mouse philosophy. The official UK launch is still a few months away so contact us now to make sure you are kept informed of opportunities to see and test the new design.

PLEASE RESUBSCRIBE!

resubscribeTo ensure we comply with the imminent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, we are asking ALL subscribers to reregister to ensure you continue to receive this monthly newsletter. Over nearly eight years since its introduction, we have accumulated a substantial database. To meet the more stringent 2018 requirements, we need to be certain we have proof of opting in from all our readers so we shall be closing down this database before the year end. To ensure uninterrupted delivery, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database here. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.

SUMMER IS OVER – CONFERENCES ARE COMING

seminarsAs Autumn approaches, the conference and exhibition cycle restarts. This year we have stepped away from our previous experience and tried some very different events. We have been very pleased with the results. This trend continues in October and November  with The Big Green Event in Southampton and Citywork in London. As wellbeing and engagement become central themes for best-practice employers and our own range of services evolves to meet these needs, it becomes increasingly important to us to work with organisations who share our values as well as like our products! These events help us to identify those employers.


ErgoExpo 2017

September 12, 2017

ergoexpo_entranceI have been attending the ErgoExpo in Las Vegas since 2005 but this year saw two significant changes: the venue has moved from Caesar’s Palace to the Paris Hotel and the date changed from the autumn to August. As far as hotel concepts are concerned, I prefer the Paris to Caesar’s (which, in my view, was a contrived brand 50 years ago and has not redeemed itself in the intervening years). However, as with ‘all things Vegas’, the Paris hotel is, to European sensibilities, very much a caricature of the French capital rather than a realistic representation of any part of it. la_pizzaIf you could translate English into French simply by preceding every English or American noun with ‘le’ or ‘la’, my conversational French would be much better than it is!

In describing the event itself, it is probably desirable to think of it in three elements: expo, conference and networking.

Dealing with networking first, it is undoubtedly a useful event for me in business terms and I have made valuable contacts over the years. Some business opportunities materialise almost instantly and others have taken over five years to take shape. Beyond the pure business opportunities, I have made many very good friends since 2005 and, as with all good friends, each conference is an opportunity to pick up where we left off, ignoring the fact that it is a year (or more) since we last met up.

Workfit-TLEThe expo has grown since I last attended but this expansion was largely due to the inevitable influx of (mainly Chinese) manufacturers of sit-stand desks and adaptors. There were also new models from established vendors but the selection was largely me-too products and a handful of minor innovations.

Pricing was the hot topic. In the US, many large employers are progressively replacing all office desks with sit-stand so the volumes are exponentially larger than the UK (where 10-20% sit-stand is the common ratio for new installations). As a result, the volumes are now enticing manufacturers with fully automated robotic operations, creating significant economies of scale. Time will tell if or when these financial benefits will impact Europe.

unimouseOn the accessories front, there were three innovations that caught my attention.

Kinesis previewed the Freestyle Pro keyboard, which adds the on-board memory and programmable macro functions of their Advantage keyboard to the Freestyle form factor. (This was also a Delegates’ Choice award winner).

Contour Design previewed their Unimouse (an old name but a new product). This power-grip ‘ergo’ mouse introduces a previously-unknown level of adjustability and functionality and, in my view, has the potential to replace the Evoluent as the current best-selling vertical mouse.g_hold

G-Hold is a remarkably simple but highly effective answer to the issues arising from prolonged tablet use, significantly reducing the risk of musculo-skeletal problems.

Since the global seating manufacturers have representation in Europe and the indigenous American manufacturers do not generally export to Europe, I never spend much time looking at chairs.

The conference keynote presentations were interesting, entertaining and useful. The body of the conference contained a more variable mix of high- and lowlights. It was

  • simultaneously reassuring and frustrating to see that ergonomists in the USA, as in the UK, get called in too late on new jobs and are then asked to retrofix design errors that could have been avoided so easily if they had been involved from the start
  • surprising to be told ‘people don’t need training for sit-stand desks – they will figure it out for themselves’!
  • unsurprising to hear the question ‘how long should people stand for’ (several times in different sessions) and hear presenters address the ‘it depends’ answer with different levels of success
  • shocking to be told that the sit-stand ratio should be 1:1 and standing for not more than two hours at a time was acceptable

In conference terms, my highlight this year was to hear and then meet Dr Joan Vernikos, author of ‘Sitting Kills, Movement Heals’ and ex-NASA scientist, whose work over 30 years provides some of the most valuable and reliable insights into ‘the sit-stand question’.

Finally, I mentioned at the outset that the event had moved to August from autumn. Before attending, I was concerned about uncomfortably high outside temperatures in August. As it turned out, this was not an issue. However, leaving Vegas for Houston to visit family when Hurricane Harvey had decided to join us certainly was an issue. But my Houston Adventure is a story for another time!


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