HR Strange But True!
August 01, 2008

If you are trying to increase employees' brainstorming and collaborative skills by improving their minds, you may be addressing the issue from the wrong end. Furniture manufacturers are claiming that new chair designs will stimulate employees from the bottom up.

At the NeoCon 2008 Trade Fair for Interior Design and Facilities Management, held in Davos , Switzerland , chairs were the "hottest topic," according to an article in BusinessWeek . Several vendors introduced chairs that increase engagement and energy and decrease fatigue and lack of focus.

How? The chairs promote movement, which keeps employees involved--and awake--during meetings. Changing "orientation" during long-term sitting, according to Steelcase, manufacturer of the "intuitive" Cobi? chair, helps people connect and collaborate by giving them the freedom to adjust body language and positions to different speakers around the room. The chairs even come with optional wheels for more movement.

And, conference chairs without arms, like the new Very Chair by Haworth and the Sideways Chair by HAG, foster "more creative squirming" that is perfect for brainstorming, according to the article. Breathable fabrics also keep employees comfortable and ready for concentration.

So if your employees have been less than inspired at meetings, it may be those hard old chairs brought in from the lunchroom that are keeping them from being brilliant.

Source: BusinessWeek

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