A workplace that meets the needs of its employees, motivates them to exercise and enhances their health? A company with low levels of sick leave and where desks are efficiently used because occupancy and costs are continuously monitored? “YOYO smart ergonomics”, a system platform consisting of software and hardware, provides a single solution to meet all these different requirements. The integrated office solution offers intelligent workstations that can be booked flexibly with personalised and health-enhancing features while providing transparency in the use of office space. The innovation was developed by Kesseböhmer Ergonomietechnik, Weilheim/Teck, Germany, where they channelled their vast expertise in workplace ergonomics into this project. Using standardised interfaces, it can be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructures. For the furniture industry, “YOYO smart ergonomics” is opening the door to corporate facility management.
At Sicam 2018 in Pordenone, Kesseböhmer Ergonomietechnik presented the system using a realistic scenario. First, the employee books their workstation for the desired period of time. At the workstation, the desk, chair and lighting are all automatically adjusted to suit the employee’s individual requirements. “YOYO smart ergonomics” provides the intelligent technology integrated in the office furniture. With this system, employees can enjoy their own preferred comfortable working environment wherever they go. The “YOYO” box under the desk and the “YOYO” app on the employee’s phone detect one another via Bluetooth, creating optimal working conditions in no time at all.
Depending on individual settings, the technology accompanies the office worker throughout the day. At user-defined intervals, the app encourages the user to move, recommends switching from a sitting to a standing position or vice versa, and notifies the user when the height of the furniture needs to be adjusted. Depending on the time of day and amount of natural daylight available, the lighting also changes subtly. The “Boost” function can be used to stimulate concentration, in which case the luminaire will provide bright and cool light.
YOYO Smart Ergonomics – the intelligent furniture system
This new platform was originally based on height-adjustable steel table frames, the core competency of Kesseböhmer Ergonomietechnik. However, with “YOYO smart ergonomics”, the company is taking workplace ergonomics a step further and adopting a holistic view of the workplace environment. The desks can be equipped with a “YOYO” box. Roughly the size of a glasses case, it receives the signals from the app with the same name, from the company’s network or from one of the workstation elements, converts the signals into hardware commands, stores the data or forwards them to the system partners.
The “YOYO” laser is a universal height sensor for office chairs, although it can be used with any height-adjustable seat. The laser – held in position by a magnet under the seat – communicates fully automatically with the app and the “YOYO” box attached to the desk, measures the height of the chair and monitors movements to ensure efficient workstation occupancy.
With “YOYO” Light, Kesseböhmer Ergonomietechnik is also ensuring office lighting is in sync with the human body. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute IAO in Stuttgart, the company has carried out in-depth research in order to develop “YOYO” compatible floor and table luminaires that not only illuminate the workplace with a constant 800 lux but also take into account the glare caused by surrounding objects. Using LED technology, the light also adjusts to the age and gender of the employee as well as the time of day. The natural lighting, which is adapted to the time of day, has been proven to stimulate the hormonal balance and contributes to healthy work and improved performance.
At the heart of “YOYO smart ergonomics” is the intuitive app. It assists in implementing all ergonomically relevant information, motivates the user to change working positions and to move more. Using the circular control panel, employees can easily adjust their workplace settings to achieve optimum comfort; they can also book workstations and meeting rooms. The system can also control lockers and – depending on the equipment – acoustic features, picture frames or the temperature under the desk. For 2019, Kesseböhmer Ergonomietechnik is preparing a desktop version to accompany the smartphone app.
Combining workplace comfort & efficiency of use
“YOYO smart ergonomics” will be up and running at the HR consulting firm Michael Page International Austria GmbH as a beta test version by the end of 2018. The company, located in the centre of Vienna, has to focus on achieving maximum space efficiency due to high rents. This is only possible if the room and workspace booking system takes into account the fact that employees are tied up in meetings, work from home or part-time, are away on business or holiday, or are absent due to illness. Above all, however, the decision to opt for the integrated office solution from Kesseböhmer Ergonomietechnik was based on the fact that it does not compromise employee well-being in the pursuit of efficiency goals, but instead places people at the centre of this process.
The “YOYO hub” is the link to the IT department of the company. This standardised interface combines the building data and room plans from the existing facility management with the employee data including the personal booking authorisations or just the employee bookings. This creates the prerequisite for calculating office space transparently and ultimately making efficient use of it.
New business segment for the furniture industry
The integrated office solution offers a new field of business for furniture manufacturers by combining familiar hardware components with intelligent software, opening the door to facility management. Regardless of their size, it offers companies the opportunity to configure workplaces in a customised and health-promoting way for employees without compromise and in line with current data protection regulations, while at the same time making workplace planning flexible and efficient. Kesseböhmer Ergonomietechnik provides the tools for successful integration with a wide range of marketing instruments.