The office chair is the perfect starting point when considering improving your office furniture. It is the one piece of furniture that almost every employee uses on a daily basis. It's also one of the first things to get stolen from an abandoned desk at the office.
When we last left off, I talked about the vital role that office furniture plays in a business. I truly believe in this and thus I stressed the importance of maximizing your investment in your office furniture. Although it would be nice to be able to buy the best piece of every different type of furniture, that is obviously not possible or budget friendly. However, it is still important to consider the furniture in your office, as doing so will make lasting improvements to not only your business but also your employees. So, the question is, “Which piece of furniture is the most important?” Of course, if you want to spend your money wisely, then you should always prioritize your purchases, but is this the right question to ask? I’d argue no, as what someone considers important can vary depending on the job. Here at ICC we have warehouse workers, a sales team, customer service department, art designers, accountants, human resources, and even printer technicians, all performing various tasks and routines. The needs of an employee from department to department, as well as from person to person can vary. So instead of asking which piece of furniture is most important, one should be asking “which piece of equipment is used by all of my employees?” No it’s not the coffee machine, I myself am more of a soda kind of guy. It’s the office chair!
Office chairs are the perfect starting point when considering improving your office furniture.
It is the one piece of furniture that almost every employee uses on a daily basis. It is also one of the first things to get stolen from the abandoned desk in the office. This is because people really notice the change that comes with trading up to a more comfortable or ergonomic office chair. The right office chair can not only make someone more efficient, but healthier too! Don’t just take my word for it, science also backs this claim up. According to the article “Causes and Diagnosis of Lower Back Strain” by Kojo Hamilton, MD, two of the top five common causes and risk factors for lower back pain are repetitive motions and poor posture. Hamilton goes on to further explain that “slouching forward puts added strain on the low back muscles and on the spine. Similarly, tight hamstring muscles place added strain on the lower back over time” (Hamilton 2017). In other words, an office chair not only needs to support your back, but it also needs to allow you to be comfortable doing the tasks related to your job. Especially if your job requires you to be seated for extended periods of time; something pretty common for the jobs in today’s technological workplace. Depending on which study you choose, office workers can spend from 5 to 6.5 hours a day sitting. 7 to 8 hours if you are like my boss and me. When you're this dedicated to your job, it's tough not being at your desk all the time. It is for this very reason that nicer office chairs give a “Maximum Recommended Usage Time” that can help narrow down the perfect chair for your needs. If you consider yourself a hard worker, ICC even offers a chair that is rated for 24 hours of continued use. As the title of this post states, “Everyone Deserves a Throne” yet this does not mean that these “thrones” should all be the same. Luckily I don’t think I will ever be working 24 hours straight, but that’s not to say that someone else won’t be.
Can't we just get the "Universal" office chair?
A person’s needs will vary based on the role that she/he is in and the daily tasks involved in said role. Thus if you are looking to buy just one chair model for the whole office, then you need to make sure that it can be adjusted to fit every unique body type in your office. I personally have a standard sitting desk and thus my “throne” looks like most typical office chairs. In fact, my cubicle buddy and I have the exact same chair. However she is a 5’ 3” woman and I am a 6’ 0” tall man, so you can safely assume that our chairs are adjusted to different heights. Yet the differences do not just end there, you see we also vary in the height of our armrests and even the tilt of our chair. Thanks to the customization capabilities of our chairs, we are both able to be seated in postures that we find comfortable. Comfortable workers are both happier and more efficient than someone stuck in a painful chair. Keep in mind that my cubicle buddy and I are both office workers, and thus a lot of our tasks are similar. Which is why our needs are able to be met by the same exact chair model. Don’t be tempted to think that the same chair will be equally beneficial to all your employees. Yes my cubicle buddy and I do similar tasks but ICC has a wide range of departments and thus our employees have a wide range of chairs. Our warehouse workers, who work at standing desks and spend a majority of their time on their feet, opt to use "leaning" chairs. As these chairs better serve the movement of their daily routine. Although they may seem like a Pogo stick, these chairs allow the user to comfortably lean against them relieving the stress from their pressure points while still allowing dynamic movement. It may not seem like a “throne” to you, but you can bet that our warehouse workers are happy to have them!
Don't we all deserve a “throne” of some kind or another?
Although they may differ in size or appearance, each office chair is truly the foundation of an employee’s workday. It provides the necessary support to keep an employee happy and healthy. So when it comes to prioritizing buying office furniture, make no mistake, the chair is the one piece you do not want to cut corners on. Put my theory to the test. Within two weeks of using a new and improved office chair you will notice a difference in not only your work, but also your wellness.