Humanistic solutions from Humanscale
- Mr. Alastair Stubbs

In the third edition of The Visionary magazine, Mr. Alastair Stubbs was interviewed, who is the India Country Head for Humanscale. Alastair relocated to India where he has been based in Bangalore for the past 8 years with his Punjabi wife and two children. Alastair holds OCI status which is a lifetime visa. This is something he looks upon very positively, feeling India is now home.

**Include the image of alastair stubbs**

What have you noticed as the difference between offices in India and that of the West?

The only difference between offices in India and the West is that we're perhaps a few years behind in many aspects. Having said that, the office furniture requirements for any user are the same the world over. The quality and performance are what differs. However. with the use of intuitive, dynamic, ergonomic work tools that promote healthy movement, it doesn't really matter what desk you purchase. By utilizing ergonomic tools like dynamic monitor arms and articulating keyboard trays, any user can be right-sized to their workstation. enabling the work to come to the user and not the other way around.

Could you elaborate the present trends in office furniture taking into consideration the changing economic scenario?

The absolute standout trend is Sit/Stand. Almost every furniture manufacturer offers a height-adjustable decking solution. This is down to a growing awareness of our health. We understand that sitting still in front of a computer all day is not healthy. However, if we adopt a Sit/Stand approach to working then we begin to burn Calories. This is why height-adjustable workstations are the main trend at the moment.

The other trends in the Indian market are a focus On soft seating and solutions for collaborative and breakout areas as well as acoustic products for privacy.

It's amazing how fast this market is maturing. The economic climate in India is definitely having an impact. Foreign companies are expanding massively and their Set-ups here are Starling to resemble their Other offices at home. The Indian workforce is finally starting to be treated somewhere near to equal with their Western colleagues. Budgets have started to increase and occupational & health is now a real consideration with more and more companies adopting some form of the ergonomics program.

How do the demands of IT Companies differ from the other Corporate Houses?

IT companies tend to have young dynamic workforces and the staff numbers are huge. The companies find themselves competing for the best talent and one of those ways is to provide a comfortable, contemporary and positive work environment. If the workplace promotes the movement for health, then it's even better. In this day and age. the work environment is becoming more social with measures put in place to promote communication and collaboration.

The competition in this sector is fierce. Can you comment on it?

I think perhaps other areas of the office furniture market may be fiercely competitive. but in the premium arena. you are really only competing against 4 - 5 companies. Thankfully everyone seems to get on and we all seem to win enough to keep our respective employers happy.

How has the role of office furniture progressed over the last decade?

Office furniture has had to become more efficient over the last decade. Rising rents have led to a need for the more efficient use of space. The furniture helps us to achieve this by turning areas into multi-purpose spaces by being adaptable and flexible. With the availability of ergonomic work tools, desk dimensions can be reduced and with the advancement of technology. not everyone requires a permanent desk anymore.

"Humanscale continues to be the pioneer and leader of office ergonomics"

How much of this change been a result of technological advancements?

A lot of this change has been down to technological advancements. The way we work now is different. No longer does everyone need a dedicated desk and with tablets and laptops, you donut necessarily need a desk at all. More people are able to work efficiently from home. The traditional office is transforming into a more informal, flexible space. Offices now feature alternative workspaces, with focused areas and quiet rooms. For rejuvenating, there are social spaces, like meeting/eating areas, a games room as well as initiatives to inspire staff creativity. All the while, everyone is 'connected". As for furniture, it helps make these spaces work.

What are some of the major differences you see in the requirements of office furniture?

From an India versus the West perspective. the requirement is the same. The difference is that India will have a smaller budget and will possibly have to do make do with just a desk and a chair. While as in the West, it would be a higher-grade desk and chair, along with a monitor arm, keyboard tray. footrest and maybe a task light.

How has Humanscale responded to the evolution of office space?

Humanscale has responded to the evolution of the office space by studying how this ever-evolving arena affects the human body. especially the impact on posture. With every new way of working that comes along. our design team are always looking for solutions to design products that enable the user to work in neutral postures, whilst providing intuitive movement for better health.

Humanscale continues to be the pioneer and leader of office ergonomics. Our latest products continue the company's legacy as a leader in innovative. award. winning. user-focused design.

While buying office furniture. what criteria should be kept in mind?

While buying office furniture the following criteria should be kept in mind:-

Timeline - is there enough time to choose between domestic and international products? Budget - a lot of wasted energy can be saved by establishing this early on.

Ergonomics - promotes health and productivity. Good return on investment. Quality/Longevity/SustainabilityAVarranty - use products with fewer parts that are made of better materials that last longer to impact lesson the environment. Aesthetics/Design - to bring it all together.

"The traditional office is transforming into a more informal, flexible space"

In your opinion, what is the future of the workplace?

In my humble opinion. I think the office will continue. Human beings are social animals and so we all like to physically interact. Well still need desks and chairs! There's no question that sitting at an ergonomic workstation has far less of a negative effect on our health and posture than sitting on a sofa with a laptop On Our lap. So I think more of the same for the next decade with perhaps more people working remotely.