Jill Munger, CEO of time&space, writes about the importance of choosing the right chair for your office redesign. An office chair is a bigger investment than most people think and not just from a user (think comfort and ergonomics) perspective. The way a chair looks and fits into the design of a space is just as important.
As commercial interior design experts, when the time&space design consultants team start a project we design with both form and function in mind. So when it comes to picking a chair for our clients we know that the aesthetics of a chair are crucial element to consider.
Your chair is the one piece of equipment that ensures your comfort (or discomfort) at work, you will also most likely have several chairs in a space. You can use a plank for a desk but you cannot substitute a decent office chair for something else, and with office chairs you really do get what you pay for. That’s why it’s important to invest in a good office chair that will support you and your team comfortably for many years to come – and one that also supports the design of your space aesthetically.
Here are some tips to remember when choosing the right chair for your office space:
- Remember the key aesthetic elements
When it comes time to choosing the right chair for our clients we look at the lines of the chair, the shape, the height of the chair and the overall styling. Upholstery detailing is also a consideration. All these elements need to look great but also work well in the space. It’s vital that the chair is visually suitable to the style of the proposed design of the office space.
- Don’t leave your chair as an afterthought
I’ve seen many unsuitable office chairs in my career and they really do bring the entire office environment down, visually. So often we see a beautiful office environment, where money has been spent on beautiful finishes and the office chairs have been an afterthought. Incorporate them into your design process to make sure they visually flow with the look and feel of the space.
- You get what you pay for
Good quality chairs usually come with some sort of guarantee on the parts, including any aesthetic elements like upholstery and finishes. By choosing a good quality chair, you might incur a slightly higher cost at the beginning but you are assured that your money is well invested – saving you money over time.
- Comfort is still key
Given the fact that you can spend up to 8 hours a day in your office chair, comfort and support are the most vital considerations, so it’s important to remember that comfort should always be the first consideration when choosing an office chair. Aesthetics should be a second priority. We recommend that you ‘test drive’ a demo chair to ensure the comfort.
- Make sure you understand how the chair works
Selecting a chair is like choosing a car; office chairs also come with various ‘bells and whistles’, from gas height adjustment to synchro mechanisms and arm adjustments. It’s important to understand how the chair works so that you can select the features you want.
At the end of the day, there are such a wide range of chairs available to us now that one is almost guaranteed to find an office chair that ticks both boxes; comfort and the right aesthetic. So, even if you don’t have an eye for design, there really is no reason to choose an ugly office chair. And if you need that little extra assistance you can always ask an expert for some advice.