PA Life’s Toby Cruse get’s his hands on the latest ‘handshake’ ergonomic mouse by Dutch designer BakkerElkhuizen
This isn’t the first time our readers have taken an interest in BakkerElkhuizen’s unique, ergonomic office designs, but after the popularity of our recent story covering their latest vertical mouse, built to reduce repetitive strain and wrist injury, the Scandinavian office suppliers sent us our very own SRM mouse. Having used it for a week now, we’ve investigated just how much difference a vertical mouse has made to our workday.
Plugging in the device at 9am on Monday morning was certainly a surreal experience. The design is fairly simplistic, effectively looking and feeling like your standard office mouse, just with the not-too-slight alteration that it’s on its side. Battling the natural instinct to tip the mouse horizontally, it was surprising to see how quickly I got used to the product.
What’s immediately satisfying is how the mouse clicks. Clicking on programs and emails felt solid and satisfying, which really is all you should expect from a mouse, but when looking at ergonomic, stylish and fancy office mice you’re almost prepared for extra touchpads, wheels and buttons dotted all over the device and its simplicity makes it easy to acclimatise and feel quickly comfortable.
Clicking from stories to social media to setting up our regular email newsletters, my job can be quite mouse-intensive, and I had expected my productivity to suffer as I got to grips with my new office toy, it took absolutely no time at all. During the week I’ve brought several of my colleagues over to test it out for themselves and offer a different perspective, and while most people found it initially bizarre, it’s impressive to see how quickly we can adapt to a new style.
Considering the fact that the biggest change I’ve experienced in my mouse-using experiences is when we started using lasers instead of those little grey balls, or that brief period 20 years ago when we tried out those big trackballs, the design of the mouse has remained pretty much the same ever since its original design release in 1968, and after exactly 50 years, it might be time for some innovation as we spend more and more time in front of our screens.
After about two days I was completely comfortable with its design, but it wasn’t until I did some work from home than I realised just how much of a convert I’ve become. Working with a normal mouse now feels sluggish and unresponsive, because the way you hold a vertical mouse gives you so much more dexterity and flexibility, allowing for more sensitivity in your movements – it’s shockingly natural after just five working days.
The SRM mouse is one of BakkerElkhuizen’s simpler, more budget designs; if you want all the additional bells, whistles, wheels and buttons that I mentioned earlier they are also available and I don’t doubt they do their job, but when it comes to just improving your regular office day, this is more in-line with what I need. It also comes in left and right-handed styles, so make sure to get the one that suits you, because with the right version it will fit well in your hands. It’s solid and weighted, but moves softly and gracefully. Will I go back to the old-school mouse style? Not willingly.