A new research paper from the Australian National University has shown that the workplace could be a key battleground in the fight to keep computers in offices.
“We’re looking at the idea that there’s a shift in the workplace away from the desk to the office and that this could be an area where IT departments can play a role,” Associate Professor Daniel Sorensen, one of the paper’s authors, said.
Mr Sorenesen and colleagues analysed the role that office machines play in the lives of more than 40,000 Australian adults, using data from the Office of Ageing and Disability Services.
They found that people in offices are likely to work longer hours and be more productive in office environments.
However, they also found that some offices were worse than others at keeping office machines in working order, with employees working more than 30 hours per week and those working less than 10 hours per workday.
In the study, people who worked at least 50 hours per fortnight, who were either employed full-time or part-time, and who had been on disability for at least two years were more likely to be on an office machine than people who did not work at all.
And those who worked less than five hours per day were also more likely than those who were employed full time to be employed in an office.
It’s not just office workers, either.
In their study, researchers looked at people working in restaurants, retail, hospitality and other service sectors.
There, they found that employees were much more likely, even those who didn’t work at a full-on office, to have a desk in their office.
“We found that a desk was much more important than an office chair in terms of managing work, especially for people with a range of other disabilities,” Mr Sore nsen said.
“In restaurants, a desk chair was considered more important in terms the amount of people that could be sitting in the restaurant, and for people who had mobility impairments in the office.”
Mr Schafer, who was a co-author of the study along with Professor Matthew Jorgensen, said the findings were important because they were based on people’s own experience.
“[They] looked at whether or not people’s work life was impacted by the presence of machines, and whether they had a desk, whether they were able to manage their own work and, if so, how much,” he said.
“That’s a very important step in the process of moving away from a desk to a desk and from having a desk.”
While Mr Sirensen said there were some challenges for organisations that want to move away from office-based work, he said the paper did suggest that there was a “desire” for them to stay in the business world.
He said: “This paper shows that there is a desire to move from desk to desk in the modern workplace.
It suggests that the future of office is to be a place where people work more efficiently, with fewer interruptions, and where people can access the most up-to-date information, such as financial data and relevant applications.”
“It’s a place that we can live in.
We can get the most out of our time.”