From sitting to standing: The evolution of the office worker

Phil Muncaster

Friday 13 October 2017

From treadmill desks to walking meetings, today’s office workers have a wealth of options to add some variety to their daily lives. Armed with a mobile device and a multitude of on-demand cloud services, it’s possible to be just as productive away from your desk these days.

A lot has happened in the past 20 years. There was a time, not so long ago, when a typical office worker’s desk would be crammed full of paperwork, calculators, Filofaxes, phone directories and more.

Today, advances in technology have made office workers’ lives significantly less cluttered and more productive. The wonders of the internet, cloud computing and mobile technology have made virtually all the above items extinct while empowering us to find more resourceful and innovative ways to make our time at work more productive, healthier and even a little bit more fun.

A recently published infographic from Jive Software perfectly captures the leaps we’ve made from the office of yesterday to modern workspaces. The firm even predicts that wearables, virtual reality headsets, super-fast data transfers, artificial intelligence and ‘Web 3.0’ technology will be commonplace by 2020.

The workstation

It all starts with your individual workspace. Ever thought about ditching that seat and getting active while you work? Researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Leicester found that a sedentary lifestyle can increase your chances of developing diabetes by up to 112 per cent. Two handy ways to head off that frightening stat are standing desks and treadmill desks. They’re becoming increasingly popular in some offices as a way to burn calories while you burn through those spreadsheets.

Hot-desking and communal workspaces are also changing the way we interact with our surroundings. They’re a great way to meet new co-workers and can even save the company space – and money – in the long term.

Escaping the office

It’s not all about what goes on inside the office. Walking meetings are becoming increasingly popular – helping us blow away the cobwebs and stay fit at work. Entrepreneur Damien Clarkson has some great tips on how to get started, including setting a time limit and using the power of your mobile devices to make notes.

You could also consider taking your work to a local cafe: more and more offer handy recharge points and free Wi-Fi these days.

Cloud plus mobile

All of this couldn’t be possible, of course, without the huge technological advances we’ve made in cloud and mobile technology. Access to cloud-based productivity and workplace apps from powerful, multifunctional mobile devices has made it cheaper and easier than ever to take your work with you – wherever you are and whatever your job.

A great example is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – an ultra-thin, light and tough ultrabook for business users. Featuring powerful Intel Core i7 processors, 11 hours of battery life and lightning fast 4G LTE-A connectivity, working away from your desk has never been easier. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Tablet, meanwhile, takes productivity to a whole new level as a laptop, tablet and projector, all in one.

We’ve certainly come a long way from the office of the past. So tool up with your mobile device of choice and mix it up next time you go to work, and find out more about mobility strategies with the first instalment in our ebook series – Office 2020: What 21st-century organisations need to know.

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