Grow Clark County: Human Factors in Workplace Design

CREDC’s first Grow Clark County event of the year featured a keynote presentation form Jeevan Peter (JP), Human Factors & Ergonomic Specialist for Herman Miller. The room was filled with unique seating provided by Workplace Resource of Oregon, including the Herman Miller “Spun Chair,” which some attendees were reluctant - and some excited - to take a spin in. JP engaged the crowd on how workplace design can improve employee productivity, wellness & engagement. One of the many key takeaways was the need to Sit. Stand. Move. Repeat. and The Importance of Moving as a Natural Part of the Workday. By the response in the crowd at some of the statistics surrounding sitting too often, we are sure many attendees are moving more frequently throughout their day.


Welcome to a Healthier Workplace
By Jeevan Peter

By shaping your workplace around people’s needs, you provide what they need to be healthy, productive, and engaged. That’s good for them, and your business. The Herman Miller Thrive Ergonomic Portfolio lets you choose the right mix of tools to support all the things people do—from the way they think to the way they move to the way they interact with your team. We spend a lot of time exploring the relationship between people’s experiences of the workplace and their fundamental human needs. In addition, we research the sociology of work—how people affect the work environment, and how the work environment affects people. We use this knowledge to help organizations and their design partners create workplaces where every element feels right.

Physical Needs

Is Work Taking a Toll on Your Body? The 80 percent of all office workers who have back pain during their careers say yes. We believe it’s because most work environments aren’t designed to fully support people’s bodies, tools, and tasks. Design considerations such as a high-performance work chair that engages the lower back and prevents fatigue; a sit-to-stand work surface that encourages healthy transitions between sitting and standing; and a monitor arm that allows a person to position their screen in a comfortable viewing position can help.

Cognitive Needs

What’s on Your Mind? Grocery lists. Vacations. Lunch. With everything people have going on, it’s easy to be distracted and emotionally drained. It’s even easier to feel this way in a meeting where the person sitting at the head of the table is blocking the main display. When people can’t see the information being presented on screen, they have difficulty concentrating. This can lead to anxiety, especially when the information being presented is critical to one’s job. A simple fix? Eliminate the chair from the head of the table, and eliminate the physical barrier inhibiting everyone’s ability to process information.

Social Needs

Are You a People Person? For most of us, the answer is yes—and no. Most of us seek to balance our need for privacy with our need to be with others. We also have different requirements for the amount of space between us and other people as we interact—requirements that can vary among cultures. The most effective office environments acknowledge that different types of work require different types of settings where people can work naturally, both together and alone.

Good for People, Good for Business, Too

When you give your body the support it needs to thrive, a funny thing happens. It can help your business thrive, too. Research shows that incorporating physical, social, and cognitive ergonomics and taking a proactive approach can make a measurable difference in what companies spend on healthcare and workers’ compensation each year.

Chairs that move like you move. Surfaces that conform to your shape. Design that fosters connection but also provides some separation. The elements in our portfolio reflect our understanding that to provide the best experience at work people need a space that support supports thinking, moving, and interacting—the cognitive, physical, and social needs we all share. We provide support for the whole person and so everyone can work in a way that feels natural to them.


Special thank you to our sponsors Workplace Resource of Oregon and iQ Credit Union.

Since 2015, Grow Clark County has served as a forum to showcase the broad range of businesses in the region, spotlighting the people driving innovation and empowering connections with entrepreneurs pushing the local economy forward. Grow Clark County aims to help build connections and open opportunities for the business community – from groundbreaking startups to thriving business looking to interact with other businesses and find resources that can help them achieve short and long-term business goals.

The next GROW Clark County event is coming up in June. Register for our mailing list here or follow us on facebooktwitter or LinkedIn for more details as soon as they become available.