The so-called work-life balance has always been a difficult feat to achieve, but the events of the past three years have muddled the boundaries even further. Although people have started returning to offices, whether fully or partially, they have also become more acutely aware of the unhealthy environments they work in, especially when it comes to hours and hours of continuous work. People have started to appreciate the need to put some limits on their work time, even if they’re in the office, to take a break and refresh themselves in order to boost their productivity. Most office furniture, however, is focused solely on work efficiency, but this work desk concept tries to implement some boundaries that encourage people to work in bite-sized chunks and to take a break every now and then.
Designers: Gwangho Lee, Nara Jung, Yeowon Yoon
It’s not really a surprise that desks are designed to help you be productive with work or study. They have plenty of room for all your tools and materials, storage for files and knickknacks, and a height that is conducive for sitting down comfortably to be able to work for hours on end. That might definitely be great for productivity but terrible for the person’s long-term well-being, especially in today’s fast-paced, high-stress work environments.
The Boundary desk concept design tries to create a new workspace that actually discourages people from working too much and invites them to take breaks in whatever form necessary. The very size and height of the desk itself limit what can be done since you’ll have limited space for anything but the essentials. Its height is more suited for standing, though it can also be paired with a tall drafting chair for comfort.
Boundary also has parts that are conducive for “refreshing” one’s self from time to time. There’s an area to place drinks that’s hidden under a Rail Tray that can be moved across the desk to the position that you prefer. One side of the desk extends a bit further and can be used as a bar for doing stretching exercises in between work sessions. There’s a gap between the desk’s legs for your bag or briefcase, making it easy to grab it and go in a flash.
Everything about the Boundary desk is designed to encourage people to be agile, which can be good not only for their well-being but, ironic as it might sound, for their productivity as well. Of course, it won’t do well as a main office desk, and Boundary is more suited for new spaces where casual work can be done in a more relaxed environment. In a way, Boundary represents the post-pandemic way of thinking about work in the office, a mentality that puts an even bigger focus on the worker’s overall health rather than just their productivity.