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The ergonomic office revolution

Until the late 1990s, good ergonomics in Danish offices was reserved for the few. The solutions available for adjusting the height of office desks were not optimal, neither in terms of price nor quality. But in 1998, LINAK started an ergonomic revolution – by introducing a groundbreaking electrical system for desk height adjustment. Office furniture manufacturers were quick to integrate our system into their products, resulting in height adjustable desks becoming a mainstream trend.

Cube Design standing desk and the DL1 system from LINAK

In today's dynamic office landscapes, it is hard to imagine how static the office workday was 25 years ago when the majority of our work hours were spent sitting down. Today, height adjustable desks make it easy for office workers to vary their postures, and so movement has become a healthy and integral part of our workday. 25 years ago, we proudly launched our first electric lifting-column system, the DL1. And thanks to the efforts put forward by LINAK® and office furniture manufacturers around the turn of the millennium, the height adjustable desk has now become a standard piece of office furniture in most offices.

 

The DL1 lifting column: A star is born

One of our long-term customers, Curt Berggren, founder of the Danish office furniture company Cube Design, recalls his meeting with a LINAK sales representative shortly after the launch of the DL1 in November 1998: “When I was first introduced to the new DL1 system from LINAK, I saw great potential in it. I knew that the focus on ergonomics was increasing, and here was a system that was much easier to work with than the heavy and bulky designs we were selling before”.

Curt Berggren, founder of the Danish office furniture company Cube DesignCurt Berggren
 

The sales representative from LINAK was Flemming Niebuhr, today Key Account Manager DESKLINE®/HOMELINE® at LINAK. He remembers the time around the launch of the DL1 as being very special: “From the very beginning, we experienced tremendous enthusiasm from our customers. I have never been part of something that took off as this did”.

Flemming Niebuhr, Key Account Manager DESKLINE/HOMELINE at LINAKFlemming Niebuhr
 

Another of our long-term customers, Joakim Lassen, CEO at Montana Furniture, was also on board from the start and recalls: “My father, Peter Lassen, and I had wanted to make a height adjustable desk for a long time. We noticed that the side effects of sitting down in front of a computer were becoming still more apparent. The demand for height adjustable desks was high among people suffering from back problems, and companies were beginning to realise their responsibilities”.

Joakim Lassen, CEO at Montana Furniture, with his father, Peter Lassen.Joakim og Peter Lassen
 

Joakim continues: “But the height adjustable desks on the market in the mid-90s were big and clumsy. We wanted to create a desk that distinguished itself by looking nice and being simple and straightforward. We got in touch with LINAK around the time DL1 was launched, and here we saw the opportunity”.

Montana’s first desk equipped with the DL1 system from LINAK concealed in the aluminium profiles.Montana’s first desk equipped with the DL1 system from LINAK concealed in the aluminium profiles.

 
 

Standing desk projects start rolling in

Cube Design started by buying a single box of the new system. Curt Berggren explains: “Suddenly, things took off – the development went even faster than I had expected. The DL1 system was truly groundbreaking for electric desk frames”.

Flemming Niebuhr remembers: “With the DL1 system, LINAK opened the market. Suddenly, it became easier and cheaper to produce height adjustable desks, making them accessible to everyone. The speed, stability, lifting power and sound were just right, and the demand was high”.

The first desk from Cube Design with the DL1 system.The first desk from Cube Design with the DL1 system.
 

Montana won its first major project in 1999. Many companies wanted to show their employees that they took their health seriously and wanted to create a good and ergonomic working environment where people could stay active. And the fact that employees could easily move to another desk without having to move the furniture also, quickly caught on, Joakim Lassen remembers.

A few years after LINAK launched the DL1 system, several competing solutions started appearing on the market. But LINAK continued its innovative product development, and since then we have brought further innovations to the market. 25 years have passed, and both Cube Design and Montana Furniture are still LINAK customers – we are proud that they have chosen LINAK for their high-quality design products.

 

The present and future of office desks

According to Joakim Lassen, electric height adjustable desks became standard in Danish offices in the late 00s. And according to Curt Berggren, ergonomics is now more important than ever to Danish companies. But one thing that has changed since the advent of sit-stand desks, is the size of the desks. Joakim says: "Desks have become smaller and smaller. A typical office desk used to be 180–200 cm with an arch and space for a large monitor. Today, the standard desk size is only 120–140 cm".

Regardless of the size of the desks, both Curt Berggren and Joakim Lassen are convinced that height adjustable desks are here to stay. Both in workplaces but also in home offices, where there is an increasing demand for ergonomic and adjustable desks. Curt Berggren reasons: "There will always be a need for a height adjustable desk, because employees have individual needs that must be met ".

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