Chair Guru: How do I convince my boss to get ergonomic chairs?

Some say he eats adjustable gas stems for breakfast. All we know, is he's called the Chair Guru.

Illustration showing a man sitting on a chair, with 'The Chair Guru' written underneath

How do I convince my boss to get ergonomic chairs?

As far as I'm concerned, buying a good ergonomic office chair should always be regarded as an investment, and NOT a cost.

To help you build a case for investing in ergonomic office chairs, we've put together an informative document which you can download here:

Invest in seating brochure ›

Why wouldn't a company provide its staff with the best conditions possible? Why limit them with ill fitting, poorly designed chairs? After all, if they work in a comfortable environment then you will get more work out of them. Even if it’s just that they finish their lunch break a couple of minutes earlier to go back to their desk.

And that’s all it is. A couple of minutes.

A couple of minutes a day is the payback that you get from decent office seating. With many of the leading brands, most notable RH and HAG offering a 10 year warranty (on all parts, including upholstery). Over the life span of the chair, which is around 15-16 years in these cases, then that breaks down to around 15p a day. 15p is about what you would pay someone on a £25,000 salary, for around 45 seconds work!

And while there are no worthwhile productivity studies done (yet) on the effects of seating, you will never convince me that a comfortable employee is less productive than an uncomfortable one.

What are the benefits?

While we focus purely on productivity, what about absence rates? The NHS has produced a great calculator, to measure the benefits on absence rates relating to pounds and pennies.

A few things we know. Nearly half of work absence is due to musculoskeletal injury. Average work absence floats at around 5-8% depending upon where you are in the country and if you’re public or private sector. You can do your own maths, but you don’t have to see much improvement to see a significant financial benefit.

We don’t have any formal studies, but when we sold nearly 3,000 HAG H04 chairs to a telecommunications company in 2009, their spend on musculoskeletal issues dropped from £240,000 to just £22,00 the following year. That’s quite a lot of money saved, regardless of how big you are!

While the average Brit spends around 60% of their working days sat down, it’s important we get the chairs right, right?

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