People looking to buy office furniture have often asked us what is an executive office chair and how does it differ from a task or operators chair?” This is usually followed by, is an executive office chair, or high back office chair comfortable, and does it provide good ergonomic support?” 

These common questions made us realise that not everyone is as knowledgeable in office chair terminology as we are. It therefore makes sense to explain the important differences between the chair types.

Classic executive chairs

The classic executive leather office chair was big and reserved for “those at the top”. The bigger the chair, the more senior was your position in the organisation. If you commanded power and authority, then you had the right to sit on a high chair with sturdy armrests and premium upholstery, preferably leather. History of the office chair. In many cases, these chairs were not particularly comfortable, but that was not the point. The chair was a ‘throne’ and sent a signal to everyone else….I am the boss.

The classic executive chair, or ‘bosses’ chair, has only basic features like a simple swivel & tilt mechanism and fixed armrests.

Classic executive chairs lack the adjustability and advanced ergonomics of their modern counterparts.

Modern executive office chairs

In the modern era, executive office furniture is far more functional. Senior managers insist on desks and chairs that include all the state-of-the-art ergonomic features. What is an ergonomic chair?

Height adjustable desks are common, and chairs must be exceptionally comfortable and provide superior ergonomic support. Best practices for ergonomics in the workplace.

Where can I buy the best executive office chairs in Johannesburg and Cape Town?

Standard features of a modern executive high back office chair

Today, an executive chair is not just about image. The high back and premium ergonomic features guarantee that next-level of comfort, and in some instances, leather upholstery. What is the difference between the different types of leather used for office chairs?

A distinguishing feature of the modern chairs is a backrest that includes a headrest of some sort. Standard ergonomic features typically include:

ergocurve ergonomic office chair with headrest
ErgoCurve Executive Chair

What is the difference between executive and task chairs?

The single key feature that differentiates a modern executive office chair from its task or operators counterpart, is the addition of an adjustable headrest.

This inclusion ensures that our executive office chairs are our most comfortable products, with many having a 5 Star Ergonomic Rating.

ergocurve ergonomic office chair without headrest
ErgoCurve Task Chair

Why buy a high back office chair?

These chairs are naturally aimed at managers and other senior people within an organisation. However, they are also perfect for anyone who is:


Although classic executive chairs are quite different from their modern counterparts, there is still a significant demand for these leather office chairs, particularly for anyone who doesn't need to sit at their desk for many hours each day. Modern executive chairs have more ergonomic features and provide greater comfort for anyone spending long hours at their workstation.