SENDAI--Imagine working at a company that doesn't allow employees to be seated while using computers.
The rationale behind this decision adopted by Iris Ohyama Inc., a leading manufacturer here of everyday household items, is to encourage staff to put on their thinking caps at work and be more creative, rather than perhaps surf the Internet for pleasure or do other non-work related stuff.
The concept was introduced in mid-June.
Staff who need to access computers must, in principle, do so standing up at special tables.
Each desk now comes equipped with a standing stable. Three models were introduced to accommodate different heights. The highest stands 115 centimeters, and the lowest is 100 cm.
The tables allow users to bend the elbows at a 90-degree angle when they are tapping away on the keyboard.
A female employee in high heels apparently not accustomed to the new way of working kept flexing her legs to relax her calf muscles.
Kohei Sato, 48, manager of Iris Ohyama’s home development department, said he began using a standing table on a trial basis two months ago.
He said it forced him to carefully consider whether he really needed to use a computer as he tires easily while operating a computer standing up.
Sato said he now uses the telephone more often, instead of sending e-mails to contact others, and comes up with more new ideas--not by seeking information online but by talking with co-workers or drawing images.
"I feel I have become more creative, and the plus side is that I put in fewer overtime hours," said Sato.