Herman Miller: Living Office
Shiptor team visited Herman Miller's Living Office in London, where we were able to witness first-hand how technology and science transform a modern office into a better workplace for both people and business.
Tobacco package warning messages ("Smoking kills", "Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes", etc.) could be stuck to a seemingly safe product you use every single day - office chairs. The study carried out on more than 200 000 participants showed that sitting more than 6 hours per day increases risk to die of a heart attack by 54%, of premature death by 20-40%, and of colon cancer by 24%. You might be thinking that this all is about lazy fast food fans only. Unfortunately, no. Scientists argue that workouts in the evening and taking part in marathons won't save you from sedentary lifestyle consequences. Unless you plan to totally change your life by becoming a forester or beekeeper that would allow you to work outdoors, you'd be glad to know that nowadays office life is getting less harmful to your health.

Ergonomics along with aesthetics

Herman Miller brand is mainly associated with trendy office chairs, noted for its cosmic design and, what's more important, for proper back support during a long working day. Office chairs by Herman Miller are so good that their price doesn't seem shocking. Besides, such investment improves people's performance. And this is exactly what the American company strived for (apart of becoming a successful manufacturer): it invested in better experience of work for people.
Design for people

Whether you admit it or not, we spend most of our lives at work. However, very few offices today suitable for people. Even if you don't really care about your employees, you can't deny that happy and healthy people work better. Which means success for your business.

This idea underpins the Living Office concept - design for people. Its goal to design a highly-performing and comfortable workspace that blurs the line between life and work. The company's London office demonstrates how this concept works. The thing is that Herman Miller is its own client: they use the office as kind of a showroom, where they implement and test design solutions.

Miller's large open space with showcase windows doesn't look like a standard open space office. No dull identical partitions, no fixed work points. The office is divided into a wide range of settings that support various activities and needs. You can either sit or stand at a desk, then move to a sofa, gather small and big teams, meet prospects in a chill-out zone for a coffee or set up a presentation in a huge well-equipped conference room.
Living Office concept - design for people. Its goal to design a highly-performing and comfortable workspace that blurs the line between life and work.

The open space has sort of harbours, where people gather together for a brainstorming session or work on a particular project. Instead of one huge meeting room there are several purposeful settings (e.g. Clubhouse, Jump spaces, Forum, etc.). They are highly mobile: lightweight height-adjustable T2 tables can be folded up and moved. You can arrange the space as you wish and seamlessly transition between settings. Of course, if you're a designer, you can't leave two huge screens and migrate each day to a new place. Anyway, you can switch a workspot for a while and move somewhere nearby for a session with your mates.

Although an open office plan removes visual and physical obstacles, working spaces in Miller's Living Office are designed so that everyone has privacy. There are rooms for confidential meetings and stand-alone spaces for workshops. Various settings break away from routine, strengthen connection with colleagues, and triggers creativity.

Such a revolutionary workplace design - Living Office - serves as a platform for higher performance and efficiency while strengthening the connections between people. What matters is openness to innovations: some might not like to be kicked from cozy places and pushed to explore new approaches to working space. The Living Office concept tests people's capacity for flexibility, adaptability, and multitasking.

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