Sometimes, the beginnings of a revolution are quiet and mundane.

For us, all it took was a colleague’s laptop propped on a cardboard box. He was suffering from back pain and needed to stand while working. We knew we could design something less archaic and more useful; thus, the first sit-stand VARIDESK was born — as was the birth of the movement toward the Active Workspace™.

Simply put, static office setups are dated. Our world revolves around the ability to be mobile and stay connected, and employees are no longer willing to resign themselves to finite spaces and stationary walls. They demand movement, flexibility, simplicity, and a greater step toward collaboration and successful work-life balance without the office environment hindering progress.

While many small- to mid-sized businesses were initially slow to adopt to this need for an active office — given obstacles like cost structures, high turnover, or limited physical space — the momentum has proven unstoppable. Besides, it’s tough for employers to argue when they see that engaging, adaptable workspace layouts produce healthier, happier, and more productive employees — traits that always equate to a boost in the bottom line.

Why an Active Workspace™

When you walk into an active office, it looks and feels different from other workplaces by turning the office into a high-functioning, enjoyable, and wellness-centric environment.

After all, humans aren’t meant to sit for hours on end, and when they do, their bodies don’t like it. From aching spines to cardiovascular affects to mental health issues, the bevy of health problems that come with the traditionally rigid corporate environment (like that dreaded cubicle) all run counterintuitive to the very idea of a successful, happy, productive workforce.

Especially for small- to mid-sized businesses where talent retention and engagement are primary concerns, an active office is an essential step toward embodying the 21st-century mode of “work” — one that prioritizes social responsibility, culture, and purpose inasmuch as it does performance.

How to Create the Active Workspace™

Still, it’s one thing to declare “We need an active office!” and quite another to realize it. So how do you do implement it?

At its foundational level, the active workspace is one that incorporates both functional innovations, such as employee-sponsored fitness-tracking apps or integrated tools such as standing desks, and cultural enhancements, such as fostering collaboration or generating positive moods through low-level music. With a holistic focus on the following four pillars, organizations can reimagine their workplace through the fluidity and functionality central to the Active Workspace™:

  • Movement, for an active-oriented workforce.
  • Flexibility, for a worker-responsive environment.
  • Simplicity, for ambiance and aesthetics.
  • Collaboration/Balance, for a dynamic company culture and greater work-life integration.

Make no mistake: The active office isn’t a fad. It’s an attractive — and for some top talent, necessary — trend that’s growing in popularity as work cultures and workforces evolve. Besides, what’s the downside to promoting your employees’ wellness, well-being, and productivity?

With the Active Workspace™ , your people can expect improved health (both mental and physical) and a more enjoyable work environment. And you can expect a workforce that’s better equipped for maximum engagement and productivity buoyed by a rising tide of heightened retention.

We’ll be taking a deeper dive into each of the four tenets of the Active Workspace™ in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out. And, in the meantime, get moving.