When it comes to innovation, follow the bouncing ball
There's a tendency in certain circles to think of creativity and innovation as something that can be artificially created by introducing all kinds of cool-looking toys and doodads into the office. It all started with foosball tables, lava lamps and scooters in Silicon Valley, but now it looks like "staid employers" are also embracing some of these toys and gimmicks. As the Wall Street Journal explains, the latest creativity fad is the use of exercise balls instead of chairs in the office. (Yep, big, round bouncing balls that sell for less than $25!) Apparently, those annoying rubber balls that were such a big hit in the gym are now finding their way into the office:
People have searched for the perfect office chair for decades,
one comfortable, adjustable and easy on the back. Now some professionals are
abandoning chairs altogether -- in favor of parking their hind quarters on a
giant rubber ball.
Long used by fitness buffs and physical-therapy patients, those
big spheres you see at the gym (commonly known as exercise balls) are rolling
into an increasing number of workplaces as a seating option.
Google, a company that prides itself on its unconventional office
culture, displays several balls on its campus in a recruitment video available
online. But more-staid employers, including
BMW AG and Bain & Co., the international consulting firm, are allowing
employees to bring in balls or ball chairs for personal use as well.
Manufacturers and distributors report that sales of the balls are up sharply.
They even made an appearance on the TV show "The Office," when one character,
irritated by the incessant bouncing, stabs a colleague's ball.
Employees claim that these rubber balls are more comfortable than regular chairs, that they promote better posture and that they make them feel younger and more creative. As one Connecticut-based HR manager points out, "It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid..." (Maybe this is what she had in mind?) Call me small-minded, but I'm perfectly happy with the latest from Herman Miller.
The new offices will be built in New York's Long Island City and Viriginia's Arlington.
- Amazon will receive more than $2 billion in incentives from the two states.
- The company plans to create a total of 50,000 jobs at an average wage of $150,000.
- The announcement has caused controversy, raising concerns about rising rent prices and potentially lost resources in communities surrounding the upcoming developments.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
Dozens of mummified cats were dug up this week. This isn't as shocking as you might think.
- Archaeologists in Egypt have found dozens of mummified cats in the tomb of a royal offical.
- The cats will join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of previously discovered ancient kitties.
- While the cats are nothing special, the tomb also held well preserved beetles.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.