New Labour Day - Emma starts cooperating with Yaasa

With 4 basic principles for healthy and productive work into the future of the knowledge society

Healthy and productive work: that has always been the goal of the labour movement. Together with the office furniture manufacturer Yaasa, we are now working for more healthy productivity in the new world of work - and are calling for a "New Work Day".

Since 1890, May 1st has been a day of struggle for the workers' movement in Europe. The demand for regulated working hours, an eight-hour day, better working conditions, and higher pay, brought the health of the workforce into focus for the first time.

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Emma x Yaasa - a cooperation for more healthy productivity on every Emma Wanderer Campus

Today, the World Health Organisation again ranks overwork as the number one health risk. Heavy physical work has become less common. Instead, job-related stress is considered the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. These, in turn, are the number one cause of death worldwide. This means that dangerous conditions and physical overwork used to put people in their graves, but today it's mental stress.

That's why we at Emma Wanderer have set out to create offices and co-working spaces in nature across Europe that enable more healthy productivity and promote a new culture of work and life.

And as a partner for the implementation of our vision to become a "Healthy Productivity Company", we have now teamed up with the innovative office furniture manufacturer Yaasa.

Like us, Yaasa has set itself the goal of revolutionizing the way we work, with a focus on 'Healthy Worklife'. We spend a huge amount of our lives at work, so it is important for our health to provide ideal working conditions, both ergonomically and physically.

We have now used Labour Day as an opportunity to announce our 4 principles for healthy productivity in the knowledge society. With this, we are calling for a New Work Day.

Our 4 principles for healthy productivity:

  1. Health is the basis for productivity
  2. Individual ways of working and self-care
  3. The "ease of work" and mental regeneration in nature
  4. Space for inspiration at eye level

  1. Health is the basis for productivity
    Paying attention to employee health should no longer be a "nice to have" for employers. Sick employees are not productive and do not add value, "the health of the workforce is, therefore, the highest asset for companies," says Stella Genge from Yaasa.

    And yet it is precisely the home office that has brought to light many weaknesses in today's working conditions. In addition: "Many people sit even more in the home office than in the office. They take fewer breaks and move less," she says. In addition, "many home offices are still only provisionally equipped. Many don't have space for ergonomic workstations or don't want to invest in them, even though there are funding opportunities."

    Since the pandemic, back pain is considered the number one illness. And this has an impact on sick leave in companies: According to the DAK health report, every fifth day of absence in 2020 was due to back problems. According to a Swiss study, back pain affects all areas of life: "Focus at work decreases, as does productive performance, sleep is less restful, and sport is less possible," says Stella Genge.

    In addition to regular exercise, the best way to prevent this is to take the strain off your back during working hours: "The best way to do this is to regularly alternate between sitting and standing," explains Stella Genge. According to a US study, this could reduce back and neck complaints by up to 54 percent.

    Yaasa supports knowledge workers with electric height-adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs. These will also be available on every campus

  2. Individual ways of working and self-care
    Today, people are increasingly working in a self-responsible and self-organized way, even in salaried employment. This requires a high level of awareness of the right ways of working and one's own needs, because: for every way of working I need different conditions. Online meetings, for example, can be held more dynamically when standing.

    Deep-work phases require focus and a quiet place to work, rather than sitting down," she says. Yaasa therefore also designs desks and chairs in such a way that they respond as much as possible to the needs and requirements of the users. For example, thanks to its height-adjustable function, the Yaasa Desk mutates from a thinking and writing place to a standing table for agile stand-up meetings.

    Yaasa wants to create more awareness among workers: "Self-care is becoming a central skill for stressed office workers: Consciously using variety and breaks helps enormously to reduce stress and stay productive," says Stella.

  3. The "ease of work" and mental regeneration in nature
    Work has always been associated with "toil" and effort, but: "Work can also be easy. Everyone knows that brooding over a problem rarely leads to a solution - if you go for a walk, it suddenly comes to you.

    For knowledge work - which consists largely of creative work - nature can be a great mentor: In nature, new things often emerge in a flow and seemingly effortlessly.

    Various studies, e.g. by Harvard University, also show that in nature we rev up our metabolism, calm our nervous system and lower our cortisol levels. Stress decrs and the cardiovascular system is relieved - experts also call this the 'biophilia effect'. These effects are quickly noticeable on the Emma Wanderer Campus in the middle of nature.

  4. Space for inspiration at eye level
    The new world of work thrives on collaboration and the joint development of projects and products in close exchange. Really good ideas and solutions often only emerge when we gather different perspectives and points of view.

    Finding solutions together also takes away the pressure that otherwise weighs on individuals. This is possible at the Emma Wanderer Campus: spontaneously going hiking or rafting with new acquaintances, then relaxing around the campfire and telling stories, and then focusing and working out ideas together again, fertilizes our own work.

    Our first campus in the National Park Gesäuse/Hieflau will be just the beginning of far-reaching cooperation between Emma Wanderer and Yaasa. Further joint destinations in Carinthia, Tyrol, Croatia, and Portugal are already being developed or planned.

This text was developed in its original version by Nicole Thurn of New Work Stories through interviews with us and Yaasa.

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