Posts tagged case study
A Case Study on Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates by Workforce Segment
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Despite how trendy they may seem, standing desks have been around for quite some time. Historians recount that Leonardo da Vinci used standing desks for his brainstorms on “flying machines” while Thomas Jefferson employed a 6-legged “tall desk” with an adjustable top, and Ernest Hemingway stood while writing his masterpieces due to a nagging leg injury (Knighton, 2015). Given that standing rather than sitting appears more in line with our human evolution, it may seem surprising that adjustable height desks have yet to become the norm in workplaces. Innovant’s new case study yields insight into the reasons why certain workforce segments tend to have higher adjustable height desk (AHD) success rates while others don’t, the problem users face in AHD adoption, and how they may be overcome.

The wellness case for the AHD paints a rosy picture. The benefits range from the alleviation of back and joint pain to the improvement of conditions such as heart disease and Type II diabetes. Looking at the numbers, it would seem that the world believes it. A study from TowerEight indicates that online searches for standing desk information have increased by over threefold in the United States over the course of a year, from May 2016 to 2017 (Tower Eight, 2017). While this spike can result from a variety of reasons, it is plausible to believe that consumers are at least growing more curious about AHDs, which is usually the first sign that demand is picking up.

So, why does it seem that mostly deep-pocketed financial and tech giants are implementing AHDs in any meaningful way? In other words, with all the Googling going on, why aren’t three times as many people pulling the trigger?

Factors Impacting Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates

One possible reason for the demand stall is the questionable success of adjustable height desk adoption by users. Here are three major influences likely to determine the rate of AHD success or failure in the workplace.

Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates Factor #1: The Importance of Wellness to the Workforce There seems to be no consensus regarding the question of whether or not physical comfort really does drive productivity gains. According to an article by FastCompany, most studies have shown zero impact on worker productivity (Duffy, 2016).

Every workforce is different. While some more health-conscious groups may be thrilled by the ability to shed a sedentary existence, others may not be up for the fatigue that comes with standing for long periods of time. If a worker is in poor physical condition to begin with or has little regard for his or her own wellness, improved mobility may not be welcome. It may even create safety issues for some worker segments. For this reason, companies may hesitate to promote usage of the desks among worker populations.

In our study, we found that certain segments of the workforce population were more open to AHD usage than others. This knowledge will come in handy for managers who are uncertain about who to encourage to use the desks and who to leave alone.

Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates Factor #2: The Pink Slip Effect At most companies, dealing with Human Resources or the boss to put in a request for expensive office furniture is an awkward conversation. While some companies are more open to accommodating these desires, many are not. Some employees may fear that asking for an amenity that their counterparts do not have is asking for the pink slip. Likewise, unless a line manager can afford to give a sit to stand desk to every employee in the department, giving this perk to a select few may trigger accusations of favoritism.

Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates Factor #3: Sticker Shock There are many varieties of AHDs that corporate buyers can choose from, but whatever way you slice it an AHD is a noticeable investment. While standing desks tend to come in lower on the pricing scale, sit to stand desks can cost in the thousands per position. This creates all kinds of buyer questions about choosing the right type, knowing what to avoid, and how to justify the purchase to the higher ups when adjustable height desk success rates may not be high for all worker segments. For this reason, buyers may scale back and only purchase for a select population, perhaps misjudging the candidates and compromising success.

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Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates Study Methodology

In our study, we monitored desk height position across every employee over the course of a year. At the time of our launch, the company, one of the largest commercial interior design firms in the world, had just furnished their new Chicago headquarters with Innovant’s award-winning FORm_office benching system. This granted full range, electric height adjustability to every single employee in each department.

Desk height was categorized into 4 unique positions: standing height, drafting (or stool) height, as well as high and low seated heights. Desk height positions were tracked in the mornings, midday and the afternoons. After tallying the results, we were able to provide usage rates and trends for each department and for the company as a whole.

Get the Lowdown on Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates

To view the full results and obtain a copy of our proprietary research study, Adjustable Height Desk Success Rates, please visit our opt in page.

Sources:

Duffy, Jill. (July 15, 2016). The Truth About Standing Desks and Productivity. Fast Company. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3061782/the-truth-about-standing-desks-and-productivity

Knighton, Greg. (Feb 26, 2015). The Surprising History of Standing Desks. [Beyond the Office Door: The Breakroom Blog.] Retrieved from https://www.btod.com/blog/2015/02/26/the-surprising-history-of-standing-desks/

Tower Eight. Why Google Searches for ‘Standing Desks’ Have More Than Tripled in 12 Months. (May 16, 2017). Retrieved from https://www.towereight.com/google-searches-standing-desks-tripled-12-months/

Innovant Case Study: Global Technology Company
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THE CHALLENGE

In 2012, the world’s largest and fastest growing internet services company set out to source a furniture product to support its distinct video conferencing needs. Frustrated with the lack of suitable options on the market, the company embarked on a close collaboration with Innovant to develop and tailor a unique product.

The client voiced three major concerns regarding sourcing, cost and function. With offices in over 20 countries, sourcing proved difficult given the pace and breadth of the client’s global deployment of new video conference rooms. These deployment expenses were significant, costing thousands of dollars in construction alone just to prepare the rooms for technology and furniture.

Finally, the client’s ever-changing investment in video conference and display technology mandated that the furniture be “technology agnostic.”  With employees constantly on the move from conference room to conference room, laptop charging posed serious concerns. The “Glass Box Problem” was another factor in rooms with no walls for mounting monitors. With all this in mind, Innovant set out to design a solution tailored specifically for this cutting-edge technology company.

THE INNOVANT SOLUTION

Rather than imposing a pre-existing furniture standard, Innovant examined the client’s specific furniture- and building-related challenges. Through this thoughtful development process, Innovant created a complete design brief for a new product, FORm_AV.

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FORm_AV contains all client-supplied technology and cabling within a single product assembly. Capable of rigorously supporting up to two 80” LCD monitors, the product’s sleek support stand can be freestanding or joined to a series of 30 conference tables of various shapes and sizes.

Designed to accommodate the working styles of the mobile, video conferencing employee, FORm_AV offers integrated laptop charging and secure cabling for presentations. The product also delivers flexibility in its rapid deployment and relocation capabilities.  A simple connection to a wall box or floor monument is all that is required to deploy a FORm_AV room, saving thousands in construction and cabling costs, as well as days of installation time.

THE RESULT

A complete product family of integrated conference and display stands, FORm_AV provides compelling features for this rapidly growing, technology-intensive company. The product has been deployed in over 100 conference rooms, delivering optimal performance and full efficiency for conference rooms all over the world.

Innovant Case Study: Biopharmaceutical Company
imageTHE CHALLENGE

With the joint venture of two pharmaceutical firms came the challenge of merging two distinct cultures, brands and office environments – one European, one American. Thus, the focus for the companies’ new office design was to create a fresh, contemporary and singular workplace signature.  Adjustable height desks were specified from the onset as the European partner already used similar products. This decision was also motivated by the influx of firms choosing to improve their desk and staff performance with height adjustability. The challenge, then, was to find office furniture of a high enough caliber for companies that rely on cutting-edge technology for their work.

THE INNOVANT SOLUTION

Innovant’s product was evaluated in a formal review process against Steelcase. With its superior performance and quality, FORm_office Adjustable Height was selected as the companies’ new national workstation standard. Every employee was instantly granted improved ergonomics with a well-designed desk for sitting, as well as the opportunity to stand at the simple push of a button.

imageMeasuring 78 inches wide, the large scale desks offer plenty of workspace. Configured in short rows separated by wide aisles, the benching clusters create a pleasant, open experience. Low-level, but deep storage elements offer plenty of room for stowing items and help to delineate personal space for the end users.  These cushion-topped storage elements were injected with brand personality using a variety of colored fabrics grouped by segments around the office floor. Side dividers finished with whiteboard material function as both writing surfaces and privacy elements. All of these details and product features have helped render this workplace a “state-of-the-art facility.”

THE RESULT

Though it is not always easy for a client to achieve its complete furniture wishlist when adopting a new workplace strategy, these pharmaceutical companies found in Innovant and the FORm_office product a solution to meet all their objectives. Not only is IT pleased with the furniture’s performance, but the end users also enjoy their workspaces and the facilities staff feels that the new environment has helped in the merger of two very different firms. Initially deployed in the Fort Washington office, FORm_office Adjustable Height has also been installed in Tampa with an expansion to follow.

Innovant for Higher Education: Going The Way of Modern Office Interiors
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Several months ago, Contract Magazine delved into the topic of design for higher education environments. The mag stated that higher ed “has gone the way of modern office interiors. The traditional institutional aesthetic has been replaced with design-savvy environments… In other words, all the factors that correlate with how learning has changed globally.”
                                                                                                                     
This trend was reflected in Fordham University’s new Gabelli School of Business, which selected Innovant to furnish the business school’s forty-seat trading room. Another Innovant example of higher ed going the way of modern office design is Osgoode Hall Law School’s Library at York University in Toronto.

When the school outgrew its home of forty years, it commissioned a major renovation to reorganize and expand its main complex. Access to the collections at the school’s library, the largest law library in the British Commonwealth, had been hindered by a decentralized layout across five floors and a lack of study space. The renovation successfully resolved these challenges and more, creating a LEED Silver certified state-of-art facility for this renowned law school.imageThe new law library, consolidated into two floors, features a central reading room, independent and group study areas and a rare book room. Innovant’s FORm_office system was selected for its flexible, technology-ready design and contemporary aesthetic which integrate seamlessly with the architectural plans for the space. Project Architect Dan Klinck of Diamond Schmitt Architects notes that Innovant offered “a thoughtfully designed system that is both affordable and modifiable versus entirely custom.” Innovant partnered with the architects to modify the standard FORm_office design to accommodate specified power sources in the library’s main reading room. And in the rare book reading room, where a premium aesthetic conveys the special nature of the collection, a custom oak table top was commissioned for the FORm-office frame.
                                                                                                                     
The system’s standard features such as durable construction that would withstand robust use, adjustable height tables, a comfort bumper at the table edges, as well as lighting options were all important factors to the school. The lighting fixtures were chosen to honor the Victorian heritage of the library’s founding in a contemporary way.imageThe renovated Law Library at Osgoode Hall Law School has been a resounding success. After opening to students in September 2011, it quickly became the most popular library on the York University campus and remains a popular site for student study today.
                     
To learn more about other Innovant installations, visit the Case Studies page on our website.
Innovant Case Study: Societe Generale

imageTHE CHALLENGE

With Societe Generale’s US Headquarters lease set to expire in September 2013, the Director of Facilities Management organized an executive committee to study the efficiencies of moving as opposed to renovating. Upon the completion of those studies, it became clear that the company would benefit from moving its headquarters to a
new site.

In addition to this location change, Societe Generale evaluated workplace strategy, determining that it would build out a large trading oor with over 1,200 seats and create “neighborhoods” of benching for its 600+ administrative employees. The bank embarked on an expedition, reviewing all the major manufactures in order to find a vendor that could achieve the required functionality – including adequate privacy and personal storage – while also reflecting Societe Generale’s sophisticated aesthetic standards.  

THE INNOVANT SOLUTION

After a thorough review and comparison of the major manufacturers’ product offering, price and on-site mockups, Innovant was chosen for both the benching and trading desk solutions. This decision stemmed from numerous details in Innovant’s product design that set them apart from the competition. The product is “sturdy, well built, and easy to assemble due to its unistrut frame. The desktop design, monitor arm track and undercarriage framework for wire management are well thought out and manufactured with the highest quality materials.”

Throughout the mockup process, Innovant prevailed in terms of aesthetics, quality and framework. As a result, FORm_trading was chosen to outfit the bank’s trading floor. The product incorporated tailored technology management solutions for CPU housing and access, as well as bespoke personal storage pedestals for a premium fit and finish. Innovant’s proven sensitivity when using sophisticated materials and superior finishing capabilities resulted in the bank’s selection of FORm_office for its administrative benching. The bank’s “neighborhoods” incorporated tailored millwork storage units and end-of-row storage centers using mitered construction. These finely-finished elements afford employees a sense of enclosure despite working in open plan.

THE RESULT

By presenting the best solutions for both the trading and benching scopes of this job, Innovant could provide a single-source solution for Societe Generale. Since then, both the FORm_office and FORm_trading installations have received “rave reviews from the end-user community as they are both functionally and aesthetically pleasing.”

Check out other case studies on Innovant’s website.

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