Sensitive Seating and What Your Desk Could Say about You

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Sensitive Seating and What Your Desk Could Say about YouKate Hollowood
January 31, 2018

There’s more to new office chairs than meets the eye. A new universe of smart desks tracks users’ activities and makes sure they stay on the move. It also sends employers information about how office spaces are being used.

Now your office chair has both metaphorically and physically got your back. Furniture retailer Herman Miller has launched a smart desk system that uses sensors to monitor a user’s stance and productivity levels.

Live OS, created with designer Yves Béhar, aims to promote workers’ well-being and provide employers with data about how office spaces are being used.

The sit-to-stand desk and chair helps train employees to be more active. Studies show that while motorized desks encourage people to stand more in the short term, they tend to revert back to their sedentary ways once the novelty has worn off.

Live OS allows users to set activity goals, such as standing for ten minutes every hour, via an accompanying app. When they need to switch positions, the system uses lights and vibrations to remind them. It will also remember different users’ preferred chair and desk heights, making hot-desking a more seamless process.

The technology exemplifies how offices are becoming increasingly personalized and interactive. For example, last year digital agency R/GA New York moved its staff to a new, high-tech office space equipped with beacons, modular conference rooms and its own app.

For employers, part of the allure of these state-of-the-art systems is their power to retain employees. As R/GA Founder Bob Greenberg told Forbes, “Today the competition for talent isn’t coming from the advertising industry, it’s coming from technology companies like Facebook and Twitter. One of the best ways we can compete is to offer the most creative, collaborative and innovative workspace.”

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