I recently was visiting one of the newest executive suites in our area, which features a swanky kitchen area with tall bar stools, and sparkly granite counters, as well as a huge welcome area with white egg shaped pods, available to sit down, plug in and recharge. When I spoke with their office manager about our company, she had heard of standing desks, and wanted to try one, but she said that just wasn’t possible. I asked why? She said there was no way management would allow that, that standing at the reception area wouldn’t look professional.
I can sort of understand. When I worked for law firm which employed hundreds of employees and took up 7 floors of a 5th Avenue skyscraper in NYC, the office was very conservative and professional. I was seated out in a row of cubicles, and I think it would have been strange to just suddenly have a standing desk in my cube. Lots of employees passed by every day and I think my conformist manager would have frowned upon one weirdo standing.
It takes a special person to be the first one to stand at work. This person probably has a strong ego, is interested in their health, maybe needing to alleviate back pain, and has a sense of humor, or just doesn’t care what people think. This person in secure in their job status. Because standing desks are actually one of the top tech trends of 2015, I think this person is an early adopter of tech. In fact it’s interesting to look at the personalities of adopters of innovation:
Adapted from Wikipedia Technology Adoption Lifecycle and referencing the lifecycle curve in the above photo: Innovators are more educated, more prosperous and more risk-oriented. Early Adopters are typically younger, more educated, community leaders and less prosperous. The largest sector, the Early Majority, are more conservative but open to new ideas, active in the community and influence people.
I believe standing desks are currently somewhere along the curve between Early Adopters and Early Majority. If you’re open to new ideas and want to influence your co-workers, now is a less awkward, more acceptable time to jump in on this healthy office tech accessory. Sitting disease and a need to change how we all work is on everyone’s radar. In fact, 2015 could be the year that sitting starts to look unhealthy.
- by Ellen O'Hearn