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Computer Use Is Changing the Design of Offices and Furniture

December 08, 1987|Associated Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Use of computers to increase productivity must be followed by a new look at office space and furniture if the investment in hardware, software and training are to pay off, a national survey indicates.

The study suggests furniture and office arrangements designed to help workers use computers will replace cost of space and employee productivity as the leading issue in office design in the next decade. The survey was commissioned by Steelcase Inc., manufacturer of office furniture.

Of the interior designers polled, 78% said they now consider the specific needs of computer users when working on office designs, emphasizing the need for soft lighting to avoid glare on the computer screen.

A 66% majority of workers surveyed say they use a computer in the office, with 21% working at a computer five or six hours a day. Three-fourths of these employees are at least "somewhat comfortable" with the work space and furniture set up for computer use. The rest complain that the equipment takes up too much space and that the table holding the computer is too high.

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