Take a load off
People interact with chairs more than just about any other piece of furniture in their daily lives. At work, it is no different. Selecting the right office seating is a crucial piece of the puzzle in designing a productive office where people can love the way they work.
Many Kinds of Office Seating
Office seating is a vast category, and although typically bundled in under office furniture, there is almost a broad enough spectrum of office seating available to be an industry all of itself. Let’s look at the most critical kinds of office seating that you need to run a healthy and productive office.
Ergonomic Task Seating
Task chairs are designed to provide ergonomic support to your body for extended periods throughout the day. Most quality chairs will provide at minimum lumbar support, adjustable armrests and an adjustable height.
The average office worker spends as much as 1700 hours a year in their task chair, making task chairs arguably the most crucial piece of furniture you purchase for your office. The only piece of furniture that most people interact with more is the mattress on which they sleep. I hope it’s comfortable!
Executive Task Seating
Executive task chairs are, at their core, enhanced versions of standard task chairs. Sometimes those enhancements take the form of extra customization or adjustment options. Other times they take the form of premium finish options (ex. Leather and chrome vs upholstery and plastic).
Executive seating is designed to be able to mimic their users and move seamlessly from the boardroom to the C-suite. Their improved aesthetic appearance gives them a distinctive and memorable look, and their ergonomic support is second to none.
For this reason, executive task seating will usually cost much more than a regular task chair.
As the name suggests, these chairs are designed for the conference room and are basically scaled-down versions of a task chair. Conference chairs are only intended to provide enough ergonomic support for meetings and other short durations (one to three hours), so they often include fewer adjustment options.
By scaling back their ergonomic features to what is needed for short periods of use, manufacturers can reduce their cost, and sometimes even their footprint, letting you comfortably fit more chairs in your meeting areas.
Since they do not contain all the ergonomic functionality of a task chair, they are not recommended for heavy use or long periods of sitting.
Guest chairs are best used in waiting rooms, reception areas or for guests and colleagues meeting with you at your desk. They rarely include any adjustment options and few ergonomic features. Many do not include armrests at all.
Guest chairs should not be used for anything other than short-term seating due to their lack of ergonomic support. However, they do have a few distinct advantages over the different types of chairs.
For example, some guest chairs can come in “stackable” or “nesting” models. These unique models are ideal for situations where space is at a premium or many chairs need to be quickly stored or set up.
The most varied of the office seating classes, lounge seating comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. It’s essential to determine your goal for lounge furniture before selecting any particular model as the sheer range of options available can be overwhelming.
Lounge seating can transform common spaces into multifunctional collaborative areas and allow users to remain productive even when away from their desks. If you have selected modular lounge furniture, then your team can actively adapt your space to their needs of the moment.
A few of the attractive features you can incorporate into your lounge furniture include:
- Laptop arms or cupholders
- Built-in tablets or mobile devices
- Power & data ports
- Sound and privacy screens
Why is Seating so Important in the Office?
At Office Interiors, we believe everyone deserves to be comfortable at work. Seating is a crucial part of your offices’ ergonomics. Your chair should be comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, ergonomic and can be adjusted to meet the needs of everyone on your team.
You will spend almost one-third of your day in a chair. If that seat isn’t comfortable, how are you possibly supposed to love the way you work?
Features all Ergonomic Chairs Need to Have
When it comes to selecting an ergonomic task chair, make sure it comes standard with these features:
- Adjustability – The more aspects of the chair that can be adjusted, the better. You want to be able to change the height, armrests, and reclining angle.
- Armrests – Match the height of your typing or writing surface so that your shoulders are not hunched
- Seat Depth – This is what causes strain on your legs and back. An appropriately configured chair will have three to four fingers of depth between the back of your knees and the edge of your seat.
- Comfort – No matter how great the rest of the chairs features are, if it isn’t comfortable, you won’t want to spend hours working in it.
- Lumbar Support – A good office chair will have support for the lower back. Some of the premium chairs have adjustable lumbar support to allow the user to fit the chair to their lower back.
Questions to Ask When Selecting Office Seating
Ok, so now that we have discussed to death why picking the right seating for your office is so important and what seating options you have available, how exactly do you decide which seating option is right for your office?
There are a few critical questions that, once answered, will point out which type of office seating solution will best fit your needs and drastically speed up the process of specifying your furniture once you decide you are ready to buy.
- How do you plan on using the seating?
- Are you looking for seating for extended periods (task seating) or for a waiting area (guest seating)?
- How mobile or reconfigurable does the seating need to be?
- Will your seating be used in multiple training rooms, or does it need to be fixed in place for safety reasons (like in an auditorium)?
- Should your team be able to easily roll seating from one location to another (ex. gathering for a meeting), or will moving furniture be a rare enough occurrence that it can wait for an installation team (ex. in a reception area)?
- Where will the seating be used?
- The finishes preferred for the C-suite are very different than those preferred for breakrooms or kitchens
- Seating in high-traffic areas require durable and cleanable materials
- Who are the users?
- Will the seating be used primarily by employees, clients, students, or guests?
- How soon do you need the seating?
- Lead times can vary dramatically between manufacturers
- Large or complex orders can take much longer to manufacture and ship
- What types of finishes do you want?
- Does your seating need to match your office’s existing furniture?
- Do you require healthcare grade materials?
- Will you want fabric protection applied to your finishes upon manufacturing?
How Much Does Office Seating Cost?
Each of the distinctive categories of office seating is priced quite differently and can vary dramatically, even within each category. So instead of giving a single firm price, we are going to provide you with an excellent minimum budget from which you can build your expectations.
Regardless of the category, however, keep in mind that as you add features, customizations or premium finishes, you will increase your final price. That can be considered a universal rule when pricing any office furniture.
Task, Conference and Executive Seating Prices
We have bundled these three categories as there is a sizeable overlap between the three classifications. There is nothing to say that you can’t equip your entire team with executive task chairs, and some of the more premium conference chairs are virtually indistinguishable (by feature, appearance or price point) from many task chairs.
For this reason, we suggest you budget at least $350 when looking to purchase a task chair, conference chair or executive task chair. For a more detailed breakdown of what impacts the price of these popular chairs, check out our full article titled “how much does a task chair cost.”
Guest Seating Prices
The price for a new guest chair typically starts at around $150 and goes up from there. As with most furniture, the finishes you select are usually one of the most vital factors in determining the price, but features such as choosing casters rather than glides and including fixed or adjustable armrests can add to your final cost.
Lounge Seating Prices
Of all the seating categories, lounge seating is the most variable since it is the most encompassing. Everything from a single small ottoman or seat to a sizeable sofa configuration seating more than a dozen is considered lounge seating.
Finish selection still plays a key role in determining the price, but with lounge seating, the physical size of the furniture is also a significant player. The third factor to remember is the integration of additional features. Configuring your lounge furniture to contain power and data ports or including privacy screens and laptop tables will generally increase your price.
It is critically important to think carefully about the purpose of your lounge furniture when trying to determine a budget. If your goal is to provide an informal space for your team to collaborate, your budget should be substantially lower than if your goal is to catch the eye of your office’s visitors.
Ultimately, a single-seat piece of lounge furniture should start at about $200, but we have also seen some more substantial and sophisticated pieces that have cost over $10,000 each.
Want to Learn More?
You have two choices if you want to learn more about what kind of seating might be best for you, how much it costs, or any other question you might have concerning office seating. You can either:
- To learn about one specific category of office seating, scroll down and select the category about which you want to keep reading.
- Fill out the form on the right of the page to ask your question directly to one of our experts!
Task Seating is designed to support employees regardless of their posture or changing work habits and positions. These chairs pair easily with the look of any office, while offering important features such as adjustable arms, seat depth, and lumbar support that enhance productivity and comfort.
Executive Seating is completely adaptable, and can move from the boardroom to the CEO’s office with ease. These award winning chairs are scientifically designed to provide support to your neck and back. Anyone who sits down will experience long term comfort while they work.
Conference Seating is slim enough to easily navigate a busy boardroom without sacrificing comfort or style. These seating solutions offer ergonomic support for daily meetings, and are completely adjustable, keeping every employee and client comfortable and focused.
Guest Seating ensures all your seating needs are covered, even for temporary visitors. Our comfortable and stylish guest seating options feature lumbar supports, armrests, and slender profiles that make it easy for them to fit in any environment. Many of our guest seating options are also stackable for quick storage.
Lounge Seating transforms common areas into multifunctional collaborative environments. Thanks to intuitive and versatile designs that include such options as built-in tablet and laptop arms or power and data ports, our lounge seating solutions allow employees to remain productive even when away from their desks.