Well this one really is..."This is a fully functioning office. My entire staff works here," explains James Levine, M.D., as he walks on a moving treadmill that serves as both desk and computer platform. "The idea is to introduce an environment that will encourage activity in the workplace. Just as it's hard to be a couch potato without a couch, it's hard to sit all day at work without a chair or a conventional desk or cubicle."We have meeting rooms, but for small groups we prefer the track," says Dr. Levine. He's referring to a two-lane walking track that circles most of the 5,000-square-foot floor. "So when my colleagues and I 'take a meeting' we also take a walk."The room makeover cost about $5 per square foot. The standing desks cost about $1,000 each, but the room requires no other office furnishings, and no cubicles. The result: a traditional office floor is transformed into a clean, sunny, open space with 10 Plexiglas standing computer desks, complete with variable-speed treadmills. There are no desk phones or wall phones. All employees wear mobile phones on their belts along with a Mayo-designed standometer that measures their vertical time and recognizes when they sit down. It also tells them how much more activity they need in order to meet their individual activity goals for the day. (They might need to take one more meeting.)Walls near the track are essentially magnetic white boards (instead of fabric) for posting ideas and scribbling notes during the moving meetings.
Animated art projections are seen on at least three walls to reinforce the concept of activity. Employees can strap on plastic carpet skates, and slide from meeting to meeting for a change of pace. All keyboarding, phoning and thinking are done during some form of motion. Coffee and healthy snacks are available nearby, but staff must walk to get them.
Frankly, I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this story. Here's the link: "Mayo Clinic Creates Office of the Future"