Standing, Sitting, or Bed Desk?

Unleashing Employees’ Creativity One Brick at a Time

Today’s top employers are keen to find new ways to inspire out-of-the-box thinking and stimulate the kind of creativity that will encourage innovation.

One approach is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, which was developed by LEGO with the goal of tapping the creative ideas and imagination that reside within the minds of a company’s employees. It uses the group process, facilitators …and LEGO blocks.

Of course, children have long found that LEGO blocks challenge their abilities and stimulate their imaginations. Now LEGOs are being used in board rooms rather than playrooms to stimulate employee creativity and assist with team building, problem solving, product development, and process improvement.

The approach is based on research that suggests hands-on/minds-on learning engages the imagination more readily; produces deeper, more meaningful insights; and opens the mind to new possibilities. The concept is based on research in three areas:

  • Play, which involves using the hands and body while the mind is unplugged.
  • Constructionism theory, which suggests that constructing an external object (building a sand castle, developing a computer program, writing a book) stimulates learning.
  • Strategic imagination, which is thought to be the source of original ideas, strategies, and approaches.

Essentially the hands find a solution that the mind isn’t able to uncover on its own. Participants in LEGO SERIOUS PLAY work through scenarios using three-dimensional constructions. In the process, they often discover things they didn’t know they knew.

According to one manager quoted in Quartz online, “People don’t come away from LEGO SERIOUS PLAY unmoved.”

Your Standing Desk Makes You Ache: What Would George Do?
Leg Excersize

If you’re a devotee of standing desks, you may want to take a hint from Seinfeld’s George Costanza and lie down on the job. At least for part of the time.

“The way the human spine is designed, we’re not quite designed to be completely erect,” points out Dr. Jason Freedman, an orthopedic specialist quoted in a article on rethinking standing desks. While standing is easier on the body than sitting, standing for long periods of time still causes pain in the lower back, legs, and feet.

What to do? Consider “doing a George Costanza” and have a bed built into your desk. In a popular episode from the hit TV series, George wanted badly to nap on the job. Of course, the results were seriously funny, but at least one person took it, well, seriously.

Athanasia Leivaditou of NL Studio may have developed the perfect solution for today’s 24-hour-a-day workers: the 1.6 S.M. of Life Desk. This attractive workspace does double duty – as many furniture pieces must when our work and living areas are shrinking – it breaks down into a bed. The piece is not yet available for sale, but CityLab writer John Metcalfe suggests DIYers should be able to duplicate it from pictures.

The health issues surrounding sitting or standing for too long are serious. Just as experts suggest sitting workers should break regularly, the answer for standing-desk fatigue may be to take breaks by shifting back and forth between sitting and standing. One expert recommends purchasing an adjustable desk to facilitate this.

And while this hybrid may not be as funny as George Costanza’s desk/bed, it still may go a long way toward making our long workdays physically tolerable.

Be One of the 35 Percent of Businesses That Survive a Fire
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 65 percent of businesses that experience disaster close their doors within one year of the event. Fire is a rare occurrence but It’s a genuine threat to your business. Are you taking the proper steps to protect your business from fire?

You can greatly reduce your risk of fire devastating your business by avoiding fire code violations and maintaining proper preventive measures. To keep your business out of the flames, ensure you are:

Following fire code measures such as:

  • Ensuring all exits are accessible. Don’t block or lock. These should also be well marked, particularly the paths to exits.
  • Having an adequate number of fire extinguishers on hand. Check and service them regularly.
  • Limiting the use of extension cords; they’re supposed to be temporary solutions, not permanent installations. They also pose tripping hazards for your workers. Generally, they’re not a great idea.
  • Storing flammable liquids and hazardous materials properly or, better yet, getting them off your property entirely, if that’s possible.

And taking preventive measures, including:

  • Asking a fire marshal or property manager familiar with fire codes to inspect your property and point out potential hazards as well as ways to increase your fire protection.
  • Having and properly maintaining fire extinguishers and smoke detectors and installing a sprinkler system. A sprinkler could save your business; it also will reduce your insurance rates.
  • Preparing ahead. Do your employees know what to do in the event of a fire? Regular fire drills ensure everyone will be prepared.
  • Posting evacuation routes as part of your fire plan.
  • Ensuring first aid kits are available in high-risk locations, such as kitchens. They must be easily accessible and regularly restocked.

You’ll need the right insurance: It’s important to cover not only the damage to your building and machinery, but your loss of business as well.

You’ll need commercial property insurance, which covers structural and equipment damage as well as the cost of rebuilding, and commercial casualty insurance, which covers the loss of revenue while your business is closed. Pay close attention to limits noted in your coverage; you may need umbrella insurance or additional riders to cover specific valuables. Finally, ensure your coverage is sufficient in the event you need to relocate or close temporarily, and as a result, will need to file a business interruption insurance claim.

It’s important to discuss any changes in your commercial insurance with a commercial insurance professional who has experience in your industry. Nothing could be more important to your business’s survival than the right policy with the correct limits that will provide you with the coverage that’s appropriate to your particular situation. A commercial agent who is familiar with the industry, and with your specific circumstances, is best able to advise you on the right coverage. Be sure your company remains in the 35 percent of businesses that can face disaster and survive. Your business depends on it.