A classic “This is Sportscenter” Ad that I am sure many people have had experience with, having other people in their office “borrow” their office chair…Maybe not a throne, but you get the idea!
We love the Office here, for a variety of reasons that if you’ve seen the show you’re most likely familiar with. Great writing, acting, and above all, ironically deadpan office comedy. It’s great.
The last episode of the latest season, aired 12/4/08, hit close to home for us. Titled “The Surplus” it essentially focused around a budget surplus and what to do with it – 95% of the office battling to get new ergonomic office chairs, and 2 other people wanting a new copier. It seemed that the only person on the show who didn’t know what the value in new chairs is was the boss. (He even pronounced “ergonomically” erglonomically, or some disasterous version of the word!) It was funny, but true to the point that chairs are very much overlooked…
Anyways, we have an “older” copier here at Sitbetter…And man, do those copies sometimes suck! That said, at least it drives a complaint only when it is used, as opposed to a really uncomfortable, old office chair – they can be horrible and complaint worthy every minute spent on it.
Do I recommend buying chairs over a copier? Not if we sold copiers too! On a serious note, though, all I am saying to take from the episode and this post is you cannot overlook the seating in the office. You can always use carbon paper to make copies – can’t exactly have employees be productive sitting on a crappy office chair.
So, you’ve finally decided to get with the 21st century and set up an ergonomic office! You might only have a few dozen questions or so on how to do it, why go to all that expense and where to go, etc, etc, etc!
Some great questions, because setting up an ergonomic office can not only be confusing, but expensive, so do it right the first time, not guessing about how to go about it and spending far too much on the wrong products!
I googled ergonomics, and I came across a particular ‘ergonomic’ e-tailer who was passing a chair like this one off as an ergonomic chair! Now, don’t get me wrong, this might be a perfectly great chair, but an ergonomic office chair?…. Not a chance!
So then you start looking around, and discounting the chairs which likely are not ergonomic office chairs, you start to see the price tags and the coughing, hacking and spasming starts!
After you wake up, drag yourself up onto your chair and sip some water…. let me explain to you just why it makes economic sense to set your employees up with as good of ergonomic office chairs and accessories as you can….
A recent study shows that the average employee, when outfitted properly with a sensible ergonomic office, chair, accessories and everything, is going to be 10-15% more productive.
Imagine that, figure if that employee is paid 40K a year, and gets even 5 % more productive…… (does math in head….. grrrr, not coming….. )…. carry the two…. ohhh forget it (grabs calculator)…. That’s 2000 more a year in productivity!
So figure, if a chair costs $800, keyboard tray, monitor arm, footrest and light another $600 or so…. (grabs calculator again…)… that setup pays for itself in 8 months! Or 4 months if you go with the 10 percent!
Quite simply, putting together an ergonomic office makes great business sense!
So how to do it? Well, you don’t have to take my word on it, you can look at Cornell University’s ergonomic website and see what they recommend. In short, however, a good chair, monitor arm, keyboard tray, footrest and task light. I’ll recommend the Freedom Chair as a great high-quality ergonomic office chair, and Humanscale’s keyboard tray, monitor arm and footrests are very good and quality pieces as well.
So, who to buy from?
Find someone who knows what the heck they’re talking about!
If their idea of an ergonomic office chair is like the one about…. ummm not likely a great place to shop!
Of course I recommend SitBetter.com, but heck, I’m biased!