What Office Workers Will Look Like in 20 Years’ Time

What Office Workers Will Look Like in 20 Years’ Time

We all wonder what we could look like in the future, well health experts have predicted this, and the future is not looking bright for office workers. In this article, we will cover the latest news of health experts putting together the recent report into workplace health, along with producing a life-sized model to represent how office workers could appear in 20 years’ time.


The life-sized model ‘Emma’ is a representation of how the average office worker could look like in 2040. The UK-based company Fellowes, a manufacturer of office workstations and supplies, collaborated with a behavioural futurist and a panel of experts in ergonomics, occupational health and wellbeing at work to design Emma. Alongside the design of the life-sized model, a report was compiled detailing the future health issues that could result from current working habits in the UK.


The latest workplace health report showed that the current working environment in the UK could leave desk-bound workers with a number of medical problems if we continue to work in the current office environment. From hunched backs to varicose veins, the current state of our workplaces is predicted to leave many office workers with poor health in the years to come.


These health problems are a result of the way we currently work in offices, with hunched backs and sore eyes from leaning forward and staring at a screen. As office jobs are more sedentary, they can often lead to weight gain due to snacking throughout the day, which is where the protruding stomach comes into play. The other health issues that may be present are varicose veins from poor blood flow due to long periods of sitting and hairy ears and noses from poor air quality. Our skin is also expected to be affected by the air quality as well, becoming more irritated and sallow due to stress-related eczema.


The Work Colleague of The Future Report states that more than 90% of those with office jobs in the UK suffer from health issues because of their working environment, which in turn has led to poor performance at work. The authors of the study also noted that work risk assessments across Europe continue to be unaddressed. Many workers have faced their requests at work being unresolved as managers do not take their concerns seriously. It is estimated that the poor office environments have cost the UK economy around £77 billion a year in days related to work, with UK office workers stating that work-induced aches and pains have made their job more difficult.


The report found that over 50% of British office workers interviewed are already suffering from sore eyes, along with 49% stating that they suffer from a sore back and 48% suffering from headaches due to the nature of their workspace. A third of those involved in the study also already had problems with their vision and had witnessed weight gain, with these being the top conditions UK workers were concerned about.


According to the Work Colleague of The Future Report author William Higham, if employers and workers do not address the associated health risks of desk jobs, then we could all end up like the life-sized model Emma in future. We will need to make drastic changes to our work lives to avoid this, by moving around more and taking walking breaks and solving posture problems with our desks. The sooner workplaces address the health risks of office work, the chance of witnessing these health problems in later life will be lowered and workers will be less likely to end up like Emma!


If you don’t want to end up looking like Emma, we recommend that you make changes to your working environment now and address the associated health risks with office work as soon as possible. We have a wide variety of office furniture products such as office chairs like our bad back chairs and office desks such as our ergonomic office desks to combat these health problems. So, make the relevant changes to your workplace today to save your future self!

Posted by Paul Randall
25th October 2019