The future of offices | Quest Life

Offices are great for doing business, but not so much for humans. With this hypothesis, Quest Life
started their research on the lifestyle of office workers. In The Netherlands, office workers sit on
average nine and a half hours per workday. This is an increase of three hours in the past ten years
and crowns the Dutch as World Champions in sitting. Due to the inactive lifestyle, a serious health
challenge is on the rise. Obesity, diabetes type 2 and chronic back pains are one of the highly ranked
health diseases that Western societies face. A breakthrough innovation is needed to turn this
around. Quest Life developed Agora that contains World’s largest treadmill of 35 square meters. This
future office design facilitates a better lifestyle, which results in higher work performance, retention
and attraction of talent, overall wellbeing and less absenteeism. Does having enough physical
activity throughout a workday have such a big impact on office workers?

Quest Life conducted a lifestyle survey with 170 office workers during the first months of COVID-19.
The average age of the respondents is 42 years, and the male-female ratio is 84 (male) to 86
(female). 69% of the respondents indicate that they need more physical activity during a workday.
14% of the respondents is less satisfied with the amount of physical activity during a workday
compared to last year. The lack of activity results in an increase of physical complaints. 49% of the
respondents indicate that they experienced physical complaints during a workday in the past three
months. This is an increase of 24% compared to last year. The most common physical complaints are
a stiff back and neck. Being active or inactive also has its effects on stress, creativity and
productivity. 65% of the respondents indicate that they feel less stressed with enough physical
activity during a working day. 65% of the respondents indicate they feel more productive and 61%
feel more creative with enough physical activity during a working day. These key results together
with feedback from office workers, health specialists and physical therapists have led to the design
of the future office.

Quest Life’s treadmill of 35 square meters can handle up to 15 people to walk, work, meet
collaborate and even present to colleagues and clients. There are multiple reasons why the treadmill
is this big. First, people attract people. Research shows that standalone treadmills discourage the
usage. Second, it encourages a positive organizational culture. The treadmill can be used by
departments or teams together. Finally, Agora is a statement. The goal of this design was to build a
future workplace that transforms the office environment into a more liveable, healthy, creative and
productive environment. These are several factors that are needed to meet the changing needs and
standards of its users. Besides the treadmill, equipped workstations, health stations for fruits and
vegetables, multiple water taps, a moss wall and a sensor environment for safety reasons are
delivered with Agora.

An article written by Quest Life: