Some say his entire house is made out of deconstructed chair components and that he sleeps upright on a Positiv R600 (medium back). All we know, is that he's called the Chair Guru.
David Kirtley, chair expert and general ergonomics enthusiast, is our go-to seating specialist here at Posturite. When businesses want the best possible office seating for their money, we send David (AKA the Chair Guru) and his team in to find the perfect solution. Now, we've managed to borrow him for a blog.
There are hundreds of chairs on the market...so how do you choose?
Buying all new office chairs is a big investment, so David suggests making sure the models you choose are going to:
A) Be worth the money - i.e. protect your employees as far as possible from back pain and other musculoskeletal issues commonly caused by office life.
B) Be suitably designed for the daily tasks your employees carry out.
C) Look great and reflect what your brand is all about. Shabby or ugly office chairs are going to bring your office's vibe right down.
We've produced a handy guide to choosing the right seating, which you can download here.
David and his team get to the core of your organisation's needs in order to find the perfect chair. In this post we're going to focus on hot-desking, which is a key part of agile working. Hot-desking is, as you probably know, when workers alternate use of workstations instead of sticking to the same desk each day. This is most effective when employees have the freedom to work anywhere they deem suitable (agile working).
So, what is the best chair for hot-desking?
"This is a tough one, and depends on a number of factors," says David. "There are many, many great hot-desking chairs out there but for the purpose of this brief blog, I'll focus on my top three."
But before we reveal what these are, let's talk about why hot-desking is such an attractive idea for businesses, and how it's easy to get it wrong.
Every workstation costs money to run
Running a desk costs money. In fact, the average desk space in central London can cost up to £20,000 a year. If you can get staff to alternate desk use with a portion of employees working remotely and a portion in the office, then that cost can be significantly lowered.
But according to David, there are too many organisations launching hot-desking without a good agile working strategy in place.
"I get so frustrated with companies who adopt agile working and get it so wrong. I mean, REALLY wrong," he says. Employee health and wellbeing should always be the top consideration when it comes to hot-desking but not all organisations make enough investment in this area and end up with disgruntled employees getting injured by poorly set-up workstations.
"Here's an idea," David says with just a hint of exasperation, "Call me crazy, but what about investing some of that cost saving into providing the best possible workstation for your employees? I know – it’s a crazy idea, but there you go."
Getting started with a good hot-desking station
A good hot-desking station is very simple, consisting of three core components:
- Sit-stand desk - this can be adjusted to any height, perfect for multi-use.
Chair Guru's advice: "Why not go for electric now? The cost is coming down sharply. When I sold my first sit stand desk it was £2,400 from a company in Denmark. Now they are comfortably around £700, with the nifty sit-on-top style like the DeskRite 100, just £139.95 (as of publication).
- Ergonomic chair - with plenty of functions to adjust the seat depth, height and back rest.
Chair Guru's advice: "In addition to the normal adjustment of a chair, the depth of the seat should be adjustable," David adds. "We are all different sizes and statures, so make sure you can adjust the seat. While the ‘norm’ won’t notice this as mush, the tall ones and the short ones will thank you for it. The more the better, but 6 cm depth adjustment is minimum.
"Make sure the mechanism is easy to adjust, and that your staff understand the benefits of movement. If it’s complicated, or not set right they will just ‘switch it off’.
"Fixed, static or poorly designed armrests can turn a decent chair in to a horror show. It doesn’t matter how good the rest of the chair is, if the armrests ‘butt’ up to the edge of the desk and you can’t get close to the desk – you’ve got issues."
- Adjustable monitor - it's important that the eyes are in line with the top of the monitor and that it's quick and easy for hot-deskers to find this position.
Chair Guru's advice: "Dual, laptop, tablet big screen? We stock some of the best monitor arm solutions on the market. Just make sure they're easily adjustable and employees know how to use them properly. It'll save on neck pain further down the line."
The Chair Guru's top 3 hot-desking chairs
"And now to my favourite subject – the chair! So, who does it best?"
"Sorry, HÅG have been my favourite for years, and I struggle to find much wrong with both the H05 and SoFi chairs in an agile working environment. Easy to adjust, reliable, comfortable, look great (especially the SoFi), and with armrests that every other manufacturer should be envious of.
I have long been a huge fan of the HÅG H05, its simple, and it adjusts in a matter of seconds. It’s fun to sit in, comfortable and fits a huge range of users."
HÅG SoFi Mesh
"The HÅG SoFi Mesh is simply the best mesh back chair on the market. It looks amazing, it’s very comfortable indeed and simple to use. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be fine-tuned for it to be comfortable for the end user."
"For those with a more economical budget, then the Positiv R600 is one that stands out.
The Positiv R600 features a medium tri-curved radial back and independent back angle adjustment mechanism.
The independent back and seat mechanism allows more specific adjustment of the back plate angle and gives a greater personalisation to individual users."
*All prices excluding VAT