Emma The Future Office Doll

3 Mins

Is this what we’ll look like in 20 years?

Back in 2019 (ah, those pre-pandemic days) Emma the workplace doll arrived on the scene.

The doll was a future vision of an office colleague showing how we may look in 2039 if we don’t address common causes of physical problems in the workplace.

She’s hunched with shallow skin, her legs are covered in varicose veins, she has red eyes, excess nose and ear hair, and a protruding stomach. Emma also bears a slight resemblance to Nicolas Cage.

The culprits responsible for poor Emma’s appearance? No, not the Wicker Man remake (what were you thinking Nic?!)

  • Artificial lighting
  • Sitting down all day
  • Poor air quality.

Emma accompanied a report by Fellowes investigating workplace health issues. It found 50% of workers surveyed complained of sore eyes and 49% had bad backs.

After time away from the office over the last two years, many of us plan to return soon. But are we all heading towards a future where we all look like Emma?

One positive is that the pandemic has put more of a focus on workspaces providing proper access to fresh air and better ventilation.

Also, sit-to-standing desks are a hit, helping people change their posture and position regularly over the working day. Online searches for these desks increased 20% in 2021. 

But lack of proper screen breaks and working from home on the sofa may not have helped.

More companies are paying attention to staff wellbeing - not just out of the goodness of their heart, but because it’s good for the bottom line too. A healthy, happy workforce is more productive. So, it’s worth investing in offices that are nicer environments to spend time in.

Emma may be one of those funny things we look back to in 2039 and laugh at how wrong they got it, while we stand tall with glowing skin and 20-20 vision.

Or just maybe she does look a lot like the person sat next to you in 20 years’ time.

Written by Jason Connolly