Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Danish Workplace

Each time I am in an office (my office included) in Denmark, I always say to myself "You need to take a picture and blog about that!!" So what is "that"? 


Well, my desk is on the right and my office mate's desk is on the left. Do you notice anything different about them? Yep, can't get anything past you guys....Mine is taller.


But the interesting thing is that it is not ALWAYS taller.....
it is only taller when I NEED it to be. 
And sometimes it is shorter....when my office mate needs HIS to be taller.

HUH?? Scratching your head yet?


The first time I saw this scene in a Danish workplace, I really thought that some people really did have taller desks than others and that they just pretty much stood all day long. Ok, yeah, that was NOT the actual explanation, but because I'd never seen anything like this, I really did not get it.


I would venture to guess that at least 75% of the desks in Danish workplaces are like ours---- with HYDRAULICS. Ok, not hydraulics, but every time I raise mine up, I always grin and picture those old Chevys that you see at the red light bouncing up and down....


So WHY do all of us have desks like this in DK? 
It's actually a wellness component. 
Rather than forcing an employee to sit in a desk chair all day and work, employers in Denmark purchase desks like this one so that their employees have the option of standing while they work.


I actually thought it was a bit odd when I first received my hydraulic-desk, but now I cannot imagine going back to the old way of sitting all day. It really does help your back, your posture, your shoulders, etc, etc, etc..... all with the press of a single button. I LOVE IT! 




8 comments:

Amy said...

You know just the other day I was at a pharmacy and there were different sized people working there, some short and some tall and I watched this tall guy go behind the counter and raise his particular part of the counter so that it suited him better to check out his customer....while a lady who was shorter was at a lower part of the counter...that was the first time I saw them lift and lower their counters and figured it was exactly for the reason you stated, a wellness thing...some counter heights suit some and others not...and this would be a way to ensure they all had comfortable working areas...it was cool! I think because of the high sick leave in this country they come up with a lot of interesting ways to make working easier on people- perhaps that is the same in Denmark...either way it´s really something Americans should learn from!!!

PiNG aka Patti said...

I have one as well and another great advantage to it is when someone comes to your desk to talk about something or go over something... I can then raise the desk up so that we're both standing rather than having someone trying to squat down beside me or breath down my neck.

ladyfi said...

Those hydraulic desks are great! Very good ergonomically... wish I had one.

Lindsay said...

How clever....I was definitely scratching my head at first too.

The Expatriate said...

How cool! Do you think it's the social welfare system (which I totally support) that makes Danes so much more aware of preventive measures in health?

Nina Ø said...

My boss has one here in California at our county offices. We do not do them for prevention though. You need to have a medical reason and then an ergo evaluation. My boss is trying to avoid back surgery and it really helps her. Having an ergo desk for prevention is a great idea. Thanks for sharing this.

Megan said...

what a cool idea!!!! i sat at a desk 8 hours at my old job and i can't tell you how often i would have loved to have the option of standing!!!!

HOLMES said...

Remember Donald Rumsfeld? He never sat down when he was in his office. Stood all day and had a tall desk.