Posted on 25 Aug 2014 in: Furniture & Seating
How To Buy The Right Office Chairs For Your Business
You’re setting up a new office and need to buy furniture? You are refurbishing your commercial premises and need to replace all your desk chairs? You have one employee with a medical problem and their current chair is making it worse?
Choose the right type of chair for the job and everyone will sit comfortably
Whichever scenario your business falls into, there are some basic rules to follow when considering the purchasing of chairs suitable for business purposes: task, executive or guest. It is arguable that these guidelines should be considered over and above aesthetics or budget if you are to ensure that everyone is working comfortably, often for eight or more hours a day in their chairs.
Firstly, let’s looks at the types of chair in more detail and their advantages and disadvantages
The most common of office chairs and alternatively known as an operator chair, is the traditional easily manoeuvrable chair on casters or wheels in a five point pattern for stability. Comfortable to work on and move around your desk space or across the office if you don’t want to get up!
- Cost effective
- Suitable for more than one person to use and adjust to their fit – ideal for call centres, receptions, job share positions etc – anywhere where more than one person might need to use the chair
- Appropriate for different heights and weights
- Ergonomic options as well as high backed or low backed versions are available on the market
- Allows for easy movement around the desk area but the wheels can often be locked to make the chair stationary if desired.
- Tend to be less comfortable than executive chairs which have more padding and comfort settings
The status chairs of the office, they look more exclusive and special, are usually larger than but have similar manoeuvrability to a task chair
- Much more comfortable than task chairs as larger and have more padding.
- Suits desk space for a single user rather than multi user spaces or meeting rooms for executive use
- More expensive
- High back option only
Aesthetics can play a stronger part here as guest chairs are not usually manoeuvrable, not intended for long periods of use and are just for ‘guests’ to have somewhere to sit
- Can often be stackable to store out of the way
- Only suitable for short periods of time as not as comfortable as task chairs
- No comfort settings
- Low back only
So, having established which type of chair is appropriate for your requirements, other factors come in to play:
Ergonomics can be defined as the study of people's efficiency in their working environment. If you and your staff are going to be at your most efficient you need to be comfortable, safe and have nothing impeding your ability to work. In chair terms, that means providing everyone with a seat they can mould around themselves with adjustability for comfort and support and to prevent body fatigue to the lumbar region and arms or medical conditions attributed to bad posture. This is achieved by cushioning the body, aligning the spine and displacing weight.
For more in-depth information about setting up your chair correctly read our blog called ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably’ but essentially your chair needs to allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest to give you good posture and support. The chair should also support your lower back with the back coming up to at least the middle of your spine. Adjustable back rests are common on chairs and not used enough as people sit down and automatically start working without thinking about changing the position of the seat height or where the back support rests. You should consider this as it will make your working position much more comfortable, especially for long periods of time at your desk.
We aim to provide a guide for you here but in reality there is no substitute for talking your requirements and concerns through with a proper office furniture supplier who will be able to recommend appropriate office chair solutions based on sound product knowledge and experience.
Images courteousy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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