Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I've seen a great connection between how happy people feel about their workspaces and how happy they feel they are in are them, physically and mentally.

When on-boarding in my first regular job, we received a couple of hours training in how to adjust you chair from the health-and-safety manager.

Fantastic training, him spinning around a chair showing how everything can be adapted, optimal eye, leg, waist, elbow height, the company gym instructor visiting demonstrating cases of how necks can get bent forward just by looking at a screen for a couple of years, the company doctor telling stories of the results of not complaining about feeling uncomfortable, and the lawyer telling us that this advice is useful coz we're giving it to you now, don't forget it.

I've worked in a lot of other places since. Some have been more haphazard/freedom-giving in implementing a comfortable desk and I'm a fan of that: Put a stack of paper under the monitor. Have a footrest instead of adjusting the chair. Bring in a fishtank and have some (real) fish (not a screensaver) swimming past you while you work, go to the gym for an hour when there aren't meetings, lots of plants, do a standing desk on empty paper boxes, bring a camping bed to store under your desk and take a nap after lunch on it. Pretty free workspaces.

What I've seen work, and not work, and work better, and this is complete anecdote: Colleagues that have the training to have been informed of best practices, and have an idea of the optimal 'springiness' setting to set their chair to have fun with their chair have freedom with their chair. Companies that do that then then also allow their employees to choose how to setup their environment are more productive, committed and a lot happier.

Open-office environments are actually OK for this. But not hot-desking ones. Feeding your fish is 2-3 minutes of not staring at a screen or typing, refreshment. Knowing the cleaner will throwaway a present for a colleague if you're not cleaned your desk in the evening is a prison. Having plenty of small meeting rooms available can provide peace and privacy.

And a quick nap on a colleague's borrowed camping bed when you're in for a long day, is bliss.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact