January 25th, 2017

Why Care for the Office Chair?

Making sure employees are comfortable while they are at work should be a high priority for employers, as happy employees are generally more productive. In fact, a recent study at the University of Warwick found that happy employees were actually 12% more productive than neutral employees. Additionally, unhappy employees were 10% LESS productive than neutral employees. The researchers found that the companies that invested in employee satisfaction and support often ended up with happier workers. You can read about this study here.

If you have ever seen pictures of Google headquarters, you will notice the inside of these buildings often look like an elaborate adult playground. This is because this company is one of many that understands that it is not just financial incentives that create productive employees. The environment that the employees work in are also ultra-conducive and encourage better work performance. Although employers have very little control over the moods of their employees, there is a good deal they can do to make their workers feel comfortable. A way this can be achieved is by providing the right office furniture.

Picture

Inside Google Dublin, Ireland.

At Buzz Furniture in Melbourne, we understand that not all companies are created the same. Employers may not have the time, space, or budget to create their dream office spaces. That’s why we have a great collection of durable and functional office furniture choices that help employers achieve the desired goals of their workplace without the outrageous expenses seen dished out in large-scale progressive companies.

In this article, we explain why employers need to consider how their office chairs can affect the productivity of their employees, and the variety of office chairs available that can cater for varying roles and workers in busy office environments.

Mesh vs. Fabric Office Chairs

Office chairs are probably considered one of the most important furnishings that influence the productivity of employees. Employers are quickly realising that the benefits of good ergonomic office chairs far outweigh the quick-fix, budget-friendly options that can be purchased in generic home and office furniture stores. When considering ergonomic office chairs for their workplace, employers generally have an option between mesh and fabric chairs, and should consider these points before purchasing:

1. Ventilation
Ventilation is an important point to consider- particularly when the working environment can get quite hot or there is minimal temperature regulation in the office. These workplaces should consider purchasing ergonomic office chairs with mesh backs. The mesh design enables airflow across the employee’s back, which helps to keep them cool as they sit and work. Workplaces that can be kept cool also have the option of fully upholstered and moulded chairs, which can offer more comfort- particularly for extended periods of sitting.

Mesh chairs offer considerably better ventilation than fabric chairs, which enables airflow across the employee’s back. Buzz Furniture’s Edison, Monroe, and Washington (pictured left to right) mesh chairs are great examples of good quality mesh office chairs.

2. Maintenance and Durability
For workplaces that have a high turnover of staff, or several staff using the same chairs, a mesh ergonomic chair should be considered as they are easy to clean for the next person to use. Additionally, they are not too impacted by sweat, or food and drink and can be easily wiped away. Upholstered and moulded office chairs can often soak up sweat, and require a much more thorough cleaning process which can be costly to employers- particularly for large-scale offices. Good quality mesh chairs are also surprisingly durable, and have little issue with fading, tears, or flattening of padding. This makes workplaces with mesh office chairs look ‘fresher’ for longer periods of time.

Many offices with long-term staff or employees with their own office desk opt for upholstered chairs as they offer greater comfort and often greater back support than their mesh counterparts. Moulded chairs with memory foam also have the benefit of fitting to its user exactly, reducing pressure points and aiding circulation. High quality ergonomic office chairs, regardless of whether they are mesh or fabric will also come with long-term warranties that guarantee the quality and durability of their product.

 Buzz Furniture has plenty of office chairs that offer extended warranties to guarantee the quality of our products and our confidence in them. These include the Emerson, Galen, and Faulkner office chairs (pictured left to right).
3. Style and Choice
Mesh and fabric chairs offer different profiles. Mesh chairs offer a minimalist, modern appearance, and fabric chairs less so. However, fabric chairs offer an unlimited selection of colours, which is appealing to companies who are looking for a specific colour scheme in their furniture rather than the limited colour palette offered with mesh chairs. Particularly for certain materials (such as corduroy or suede), or custom colours to suit a company’s brand, fabric is definitely the way to go. On the other hand, mesh chairs offer a variety of styles, and tend to look more “cutting edge” and minimalist than their fabric counterparts which can create a great first impression for employees, clients, and office guests.
Choosing the right office chair goes a long way in helping to identify your brand and how you want other people to identify with your business. In this example, the Buzz Furniture Frankie chair ties together an industrial boardroom with a quirky pallet frame.
4. Support
Both good quality ergonomic fabric and mesh office chairs offer support for the employees that sit in them. Most mesh chairs are ergonomically shaped in a way that forces employees to sit with good posture and prevent back soreness that can negatively affect work performance. Good ergonomic mesh chairs also come highly adjustable, which allows employees to customise their chairs to fit their seating preferences no matter the dimensions of the user.
High adjustability of office chairs is essential to any aspiring ergonomic workplace. Pictured left to right are the Hume, Cook, and Emile fabric chairs offered by Buzz Furniture in Melbourne.

Good office chairs keep employees comfortable why they work, which helps increase productivity. Chosen appropriately, office chairs enhance the look of an office which can raise workplace morale and make work a more enjoyable place to be, especially if the office chair can be particularly customised to its user for great comfort over longer sitting periods.

It is therefore important for employers to do the right research before purchasing office chairs. Gone are the days when it was a simple matter of walking into a generic furniture store! The increase in the importance of ergonomics and employee morale in the workplace has placed more pressure on employers to choose high quality chairs that satisfy employees and their job roles.

Stay tuned for our next article, where we run through important features of office chairs that employers should consider when determining what works best for their workplace and the employees working within them.

Got questions or are thinking about choosing the right office chair for you? You can email us at hq@buzzfurniture.com.au or call us directly on 1300 113 771.

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