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Factors to consider when buying office chairs

Woman sitting back in a chair

The right office chairs can do a lot for your company. They can boost employee morale and make working more comfortable and productive by limiting distractions. On an aesthetic level, the right chairs are a reflection of your corporate image and form a lasting first impression of your company. The good news is there are thousands of chairs for customers to choose from, and one of them is bound to be a perfect fit; the bad news is that finding that fit in a sea of chairs can be overwhelming. Our list of considerations is intended to help answer some of the more weighty questions involved when deciding which office chair to select for your workplace.

Versatility

One of the most important considerations to make when purchasing office chairs for people of varying statures, with differing perceptions of comfort, is how versatile the model is. A good chair should be designed to adjust so as to accommodate different bodies in terms of fit and preference. In addition, checking the specs is imperative. Look for a chair that offers adjustable arm support, seat depth and height, and tilt tension range. Be sure that the chair you consider encourages healthy postural change and is equipped with a backrest that changes shape to provide continuous support.

Reflect on how intuitive these adjustments are, and how easily they can be made from a seated position. Even the most ergonomically sound chair is of little use if your employees are unable to seamlessly operate the chair. Finally, because you'll be purchasing chairs for such a wide range of individuals, consider opting for a few models that meet your requirements and let your employees make the choice as to which suits them best. Engaging your employees in the decision of which office chair they prefer boosts morale and ensures that every employee is matched to a chair that makes them feel most comfortable and productive.

Intended Use

You may also want to consider purchasing a few models based on the intended application of the chairs. If your employees are seated for 8+ hours a day, you’ll naturally want to look for different specifications than you would for a chair that is used primarily for brief meetings or conference calls. If your company tends to do a lot of collaborative work a chair with wheels will limit the hassle involved with moving from one location to the next. The right chair for someone who uses multiple desktop monitors will inherently vary in comparison to someone who does most of their work on a laptop. Keep in mind how chairs are most frequently used in your office space, and look for chairs that meet your specific needs.

Materials and Maintenance

You’ll also want to think about which materials will hold up best. Generally, office chairs shouldn’t require too much routine maintenance, but certain healthcare regulations might require that chairs be cleaned and sanitized. Vinyl and leather tends to be the easiest fabric to wipe clean, and both rip infrequently, but they also tend to trap body heat and might require a breaking in period before they become optimally comfortable. Many newer chairs opt for the use of mesh, which is a more breathable (and often more affordable) option, although it tends to provide less lumbar support. Dark colors are less likely to stain, and black chairs remain the most sleek and popular of color choices.

Quality vs. Price Point

One of the biggest mistakes you could possibly make when buying office chairs is not thinking of them as an investment in worker health and productivity. Take the time to read independent reviews of any chair that you’re considering purchasing, but remember that no review can stand-in for actual applied use of the chairs. Rather than performing momentary sit-tests, buy office chairs whose specifications and reviews meet your standards in small quantities and allow your employees to test how the chairs function in the work environment before making big purchases.

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