Dag writes

Dag the Designer doesn't take herself too seriously, (and neither should you), but sometimes she has a good point. Design-wise, she's a big fan of Bauhaus. Obviously.

Are you standing comfortably?

Well, darlings, if you are, these Australian researchers say you should sit down. Now the sit-stand desk is bad for us (yes, you know, butter, eggs, coffee, like that, all bad for us) according to a paper in the journal Ergonomics. Desk users made to endure ‘prolonged standing’ (two whole hours) suffered significantly increased discomfort in the lower back and legs. Something termed ‘mental reactiveness’ slowed after an hour or so, though creative decision making ‘marginally improved’.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking darlings? After an hour or so, the man at the desk thought, “Strewth, me stems are screaming; I know, I’ll tell this bludger with a clipboard I need the dunny.”


Sit stand deskWhen we’re not being herded by an undergrad in a white coat, we know about sitting down for a while if our legs are aching. And similarly, if you’ve been sitting down for two hours and the brainy gears are grinding, what do you do?

That’s right, you little idea hamster, you get up and make a coffee, (straight black, thank you), stroll over to the water cooler and talk schumachers to Schopenhauer from Credit Control or maybe just go for a walk.

Let’s not forget when we get home from nosey-grindstone and connect with the sofa and the box, what happens then? More sitting darlings! And a couple of hours a week in the gym getting sweaty-betty doesn’t really make up for it.

So, darlings, something in my behind tells me we need to do less sitting and more moving around. If you’ve got a sit-stand desk, you work it Gertie, work it. Yes, move it darlings, which reminds me of a song by Cliff Richard who for those of you who don’t know, he was like an English version of Johnny Hallyday.

I think I need a walk.

Bye bye, darlings!

Wasting good coffee

So, darlings, this New Scientist Live conference last year is saying – suddenly you know – open-plan office is bad for us. (Like butter, eggs, coffee, red wine – like those, all bad for us.)

Open-plan office is distracting, we get interrupted (every three minutes they say) and we'd better go to a cafe. And the coffee shop is going to be the office of the future (as soon as coffee comes off the naughty list) and they call this a 'coffice'. Tell me darlings, who wants to be buried in work in their coffice? No, me neither darlings.

Anyway, this coffice... thing (it's giving me the creepers, quite honestly) is going to increase productivity and improve collaboration.

And now I think you're pulling my left one but let me imagine I've come to Starbucks looking for this productivity. I've bought a Bolly-price-level americano and found a space on a sofa much too close to the floor. Decorum is already out of a window but even with all this sunshine, I can see my laptop – I always carry an umbrella.

Office coffeeSo, these two suits arrive, (you know – shiny), and complain about how long it takes to get a frackamackarappacapuccino. (Well, try drinking something grown up.)

"Brass tacks", says the one, (who says this anymore?), "they're not sure Meryl is right for the role."

"But production is right around the corner!", says the other.

Tell me how I'm supposed to concentrate on sheet number 14 of "Customer warranty options by region – second quarter". Not going to happen on your planet or mine, is it darlings?

Even small teams will go off swanning to the coffice, so they say. Half your department are perching on the back of sofas balancing their coffees and you finally got the manager to turn the lights out so Team 3 can see the Powerpoint. Then you see this schemery-slippy type who looks vaguely familiar from the last sales exhibition and he's recording the whole thing on his phone. Now you really are pulling it.

Look darlings, interruptions and distractions are parts and parcels of the working day. Isn't it up to you to tune them in or out? You might want inspiration, or a break from the grinding, or motivation, or the chance to ask a question. And maybe you have to say sometimes, "Can you pipe it down for a minute, I've got to get this tender out!"?

Maybe you get an offer of help, maybe you might not because they think you a gussey-grumpy, but I am quite sure they wouldn't have heard you from the coffice. In fact, I'm dead certain.

Bye bye darlings!