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Hybrid Hurdles: The Complex Reality of Post-Pandemic Office Ergonomics

As the echoes of the pandemic fade, the modern office worker is no longer tethered to a single location but embraces a mobile work revolution. To further explore this topic, Humanscale brought in Dr. Alan Hedge, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, to take a closer look at the intricate web of the multifaceted work landscape, uncovering key insights around where work actually happens, the ergonomic state of the home office, and more!

Continue reading to learn about the key to harmonizing productivity, health, and innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of office work and how Humanscale can assist in creating an active and engaged workspace for participating agencies of OMNIA Partners.

What has happened to office work?                               

In the pre-Covid-19 days, the office was a bustling hive of productivity with desks neatly aligned and coffee machines humming in the background. Then came the seismic shift of the pandemic in March 2020, transforming the landscape of the workspace. As the world has opened back up in the past couple of years, a peculiar phenomenon emerges - the office occupancy rates, once soaring above 90%, have landed at a modest 50%. The question echoes: What has happened to office work?

The sage continues beyond the official end of the pandemic on May 11, 2023, as the office workforce shows a surprising reluctance to the traditional grind. A recent survey on post-Covid hybrid working introduces us to a new breed of office denizens: the 'workplace warriors,' 'digital nomads,' and the 'masters of the house.' But this isn't just a tale of remote work; it's a narrative of complexity, a dynamic push-and-pull between Return to Office (RTO), Work From Home (WFH), and the elusive Hybrid model. The revelation? The modern office worker is no longer tethered to a single location. With mobile technology in hand, they navigate a myriad of spaces, bringing a new dimension to the workplace. This mobile work revolution, where the workplace of the future isn't static but mobile, demands the attention to the concept of Everywhere Ergonomics (EE).

In 2023, Humanscale conducted a comprehensive survey with over 1,249 workers in the USA (1,066 workers) and Canda (183 workers) to explore where people work and the equipment they use. The participants were asked about the places where they do their work and were given eight options to choose from. They were also allowed to select more than one location. The findings are displayed in the graphics below:


These findings indicated that the modern workspace now extends beyond traditional offices and homes. Because of mobile technology, work can now happen in various locations. For this reason, it is crucial to consider ergonomic design not only in the office and home, but also all across today's diverse work settings.

To gain further insights, respondents were asked follow-up questions regarding their working habits. The results were astonishing:

  • 1 in 5 respondents works in hotels.
  • 1 in 5 respondents works while in transit on planes, trains, or cars.
  • Only half of remote workers work in a dedicated home office.
  • 98.7% of respondents indicated that they work in more than one location while working at home.
  • 90% of remote workers reported using a laptop, with 22.9% using it without any external monitor.


With people working in so many different places with various methods and technologies, it is clear to see how essential it is to consider ergonomic solutions for workspaces. As the modern office worker embraces the freedom to choose their work location, from the cozy corners of home to the buzzing ambiance of a local cafe, the challenge for businesses and employers is crystal clear: how to adapt to this dynamic shift and support people wherever they are working. 

The need for ergonomics everywhere is evident.

It's not merely about endorsing a specific model like Return To Office (RTO) or Work From Home (WFH); it's about fostering a culture of Everywhere Ergonomics (EE). The workplace of the future is one that transcends physical boundaries, demanding a holistic approach that recognizes the diverse work settings of the modern office nomad. The spotlight turns to Everywhere Ergonomics- the key to harmonizing productivity, health, and innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of office work.

About OMNIA Partners & Humanscale

Humanscale pioneered workplace ergonomics and is now the leading global designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Humanscale's award-winning ergonomic office solutions, including self-adjusting seating, sit/stand desks, monitor arms and task lighting, inspire movement and support the user in every posture.

Through the OMNIA Partners cooperative contract, Humanscale offers ergonomic office furniture solutions to public sector agencies and nonprofit organizations. By utilizing cooperative contracts through OMNIA Partners, agencies gain collective buying power and access to cost-efficient solutions. Click the button below to learn more!

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