Workers may want to stretch out their hamstrings as they warm up their typing fingers.
Iris Ohyama, headquartered in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture, has a pretty broad product lineup. Originally a plastics specialist, the company sells everything from storage bins and office machinery to gardening tools and pet food.
So with so much variety in its wares, perhaps it was to be expected that Iris Ohyama doesn’t want its employees sitting in the same spot all day long. The company has announced that it will be prohibiting employees from using a PC while sitting down, instead requiring them to use a shared unit at one of the standing desk workstations that will be set up around the office.
▼ Personal work desk (right) and standing PC desk (left)
In addition, each user’s time at a computer will be capped at 45 minutes per session. Iris Ohyama says that this system will increase concentration, boost creativity, and improve worker health, as opposed to the sedentary lack of focus it feels is connected with seated PC-use.
It doesn’t look like this new regulation only applies to rank-and-file workers either. In an illustrated floor layout from the company, it looks like even managers, whose desks are usually located at the head of groups of tables in the non-partitioned design of Japanese offices, will have to use the standing PC desks.
It’s not like workers can get around this restriction by bringing a laptop from home, either. Since 2007, Iris Ohyama has banned the use of computers at one’s personal desk. For the first ten years of the system, though, the shared PC workstations had chairs.
Iris Ohyama will be putting the new rule into effect first at its headquarters in the city of Kakuda before expanding it to all of its offices in Japan. Exceptions to the shared standing desk rule will be made, though, for workers whose responsibilities require more constant access to a computer, as well as those with medical conditions that make having to stand for long periods of time difficult or otherwise problematic. For everyone else, though, they’ll probably want to start wearing more comfortable shoes to the office since they’ll be on their feet as they compile the company’s annual list of Japan’s most popular cat names.