After more than 20 years at Schlumberger, Emmanuel Delvaux joined Herman Miller Group to breathe new life into Europe… and in particular collaborations with designers. In addition, the group publishes an edifying study on the impacts of teleworking.
For the new vice-president, “Herman Miller is an iconic brand that must be maintained, perpetuated and revitalized on a European scale. Within the Herman Miller Group – which includes the eponymous entity but also flagship brands such as HAY, Maharam, naughtone, Maars Living Walls – synergies are naturally complementary. Our challenge today is to promote their singularities while demonstrating that they share the same DNA: the perfect harmony between design, functionality and sustainability. This, by addressing both the general public and professionals such as project managers, designers, interior architects, fitters and distributors ”.
The group also affirms the desire to develop its partnerships by soliciting consecrated contemporary European designers – as already done in particular with Michael Anastassiades, Sam Hecht and Kim Collin, Studio 7.5 – and in the making.
The group looks into the teleworking “market”
The results of a study of 1000 American employees working from home provide some interesting avenues of thought for office furniture. According to this survey, these employees sit 20% more than they were before the pandemic, 9 out of 10 experience real health problems and the number of employees seated for more than 8 hours a day has increased by nearly 90 %. Among the 1,000 employees questioned, nearly 90% of them declared having experienced pain or aches such as stiff neck (39.4%), back pain (53.13%), sleep (44.28%), pain in the arms (34.53%) or legs (33.83%), headaches or eye strain (27.26%) since the start of the pandemic.
“Diet, exercise and hydration, all of these have an essential impact on our health, but it is not enough. For total well-being, we also need to think about how we position ourselves and where we sit. This is no revelation for us, Herman Miller has been saying for decades. But now, after experimenting with telecommuting – hence the remoteness of ergonomic office spaces – people are finally starting to believe it, ”said Debbie Propst, President of Herman Miller Group Retail.
Although people – understandably – distinguish between a dining chair and an office chair, they underestimated – before the pandemic – the benefits of ergonomic office furniture. More than half of the people questioned answered that when working from home, they do not work on a dedicated desk but – generally – from the kitchen or dining room table, the sofa or the bed, or even the car. “At the start of the pandemic, people were happy to settle down and sit anywhere. But as the days, weeks, and months, they really felt the physical harm appear. The need for real ergonomic solutions was becoming evident. ”
The survey also reveals that more than 40% of respondents rank the ergonomic office chair as a priority element for their comfort and an overwhelming majority (78% of respondents) would like to be offered a new work or gaming chair. According to Debbie Prospst, “We have seen a significant increase in consumer office purchases over the past few quarters. (…) In terms of resolution, the creation of an ergonomic workspace could therefore be one of the easiest objectives to achieve this year. Once materialized, this will augur countless present and future benefits ”.