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LIFE, WORK AND DESIGN

What do intelligent offices of the future look like? At Fritz Hansen, we encourage flexible work and strive to create solutions that enhance wellbeing in work zones through great design. Ours is a Danish perspective in what is an increasingly international mindset.
When wellbeing is valued and design is clever, do employees thrive?

Evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardise safety and increase stress. In Denmark, about 2% of employees work very long hours, much less than the OECD Better Life average of 11%.

‘While some cultures see working late as badge of honor and a way to get ahead, in Denmark it’s seen as a weakness — it shows you can’t get things done in the allotted work time,’ Kay Xander Mellish, a Danish business consultant and author of ‘How to Work in Denmark’ notes. For Danes, balancing time between work and personal life is vital. In many cases, employees are allowed – even encouraged – to work flexible hours to maximize productivity. Sometimes this means that parents start early and leave early to pick up their children from school. 

The popular Danish writer Morten Albæk argues that we’re whole humans and that our hours can’t be split. In fact, the term ‘work-life balance’ has gone out of fashion in Denmark.

In many Danish company canteens (dining spaces) employees break at lunchtime to step away from their desks for meals together. Colleagues from different departments talk and get to know one another, challenging hierarchies and silos within the company.

Many new office designs include café seating to optimize chance encounters at the coffee machine and encourage casual work conversations and collaboration. Away from their regular desks and formal presentation rooms, employees can discuss projects and opportunities comfortably and brainstorm in smaller groups. 

These kinds of collaborative zones and other multi-purpose workspaces allow teams to strengthen and employees to find appropriate spaces for various types of work – anything from solitary work to brainstorms, presentations and strategy sessions. 
Plenum™
SERIES 7™
N02™ Recycle - A new, all-purpose chair from Fritz Hansen made from upcycled plastic, household waste.