Malcolm Turnbull has made innovation a key focus of his government’s agenda and the Prime Minister is even applying that approach to his choice of office equipment.
Turnbull is following the advice of health experts and is using a standing desk in his parliamentary office, according to Fairfax.
While his most recent predecessors have worked from a traditional seated desk, Australia’s 29th prime minister has two desks in his office: a seated one and a standing desk for when he is working from his laptop and iPad.
Standing desks, both portable and stationary, have been gaining traction for some time as a healthy option to improve the wellbeing, and productivity, of workers who spend most of their day sitting in a chair.
So what are the benefits of standing desks – and should your business follow the Prime Minister’s lead?
Jason Smith, founder and group director of Australia’s largest physiotherapy franchise, Back in Motion, previously told SmartCompany humans are not designed to sit at a desk for hours on end.
“The average Australian sits for an average 9.3 hours per day, at their desk, in their car and watching the TV,” Smith said.
“We’re sitting more than we sleep, we’re only sleeping [on average] 7.4 hours a day.”
Ben Watts, director at wattsnext HR, told SmartCompany this morning he is seeing more and more SMEs choosing to use standing desks in their offices.
“It’s a fantastic idea, the ergonomics are fantastic,” he says.
But apart from the health benefits, Watts says taking advantage of new types of office equipment, such as standing desks, can also improve the culture of a workplace.
“It encourages people to be much more collaborative and to communicate more in the office,” he says.
Watts says some people can find it less intimidating to approach someone who is already standing at their desk, as opposed to sitting in a booth or in a separate office and using standing desks may be one way small businesses that have always used the same office design can “mix it up a bit”.
“It gets people thinking about other ways of working,” he says.
“And it might mean people become a little bit more creative.”