Make Your Office A Chair Democracy
A recent workplace study found that, "The greater control employees have over the adjustment of interior workstation features, the lower the stress they experience." This is an necessary fact office designers and employers need to let sink in. Employees are less stressed when their workstation features conform to their individual needs.
One of the most important of the features that can be adjusted at the workstation is the chair, but for some reason, chairs are generally bulk ordered in a sort of one-size-fits-all manner that totally leaves out the individual.
Create a Chair Democracy
I've recently come to the conclusion that companies considering rolling out an entire fleet of new (or used) office chairs should allow employees the ability to choose their chair.
- Choose a budget per chair, say $700
- Select 4-5 chairs at or below the per chair cost
- Give employees the opportunity to try out chairs if possible
- Allow employees to research the chairs to provide informed decisions.
Selecting the Right Office Chair
One recent infographic notes that people spend an average of 5.7 hours per day in their office chair, so selecting the right one is in some ways like selecting the right mattress (very important!). It also noted that 86% of office workers say their workstation is uncomfortable and 50% of those blame their chair. Either human weren't made for chairs, or somewhere along the line, the chair selection process has gone haywire.
There are a number of criteria for selecting the right chair ranging from comfort and mobility to flexibility and price. Each user will probably have different features that they care about, and as long as they find a satisfactory option at or below the chair budget, you win. Employees are happier, more comfortable, and will be less stressed.