When it comes of office furniture, the chair has to be the most important. It is where we spend most of our day and getting the best angle and positioning is a nightmare in your average office chair. The best we can do is to take regular breaks from our chairs, get up, have a walk around, get a coffee – anything other than sit in it for eight hours a day without moving. You will find if you do this, that when it comes to standing again nothing wants to work. The hips have seized up, the knees have locked, the feet are wondering what the sudden onslaught of weight is and your shoes won’t fit because your feet are swollen with fluid.
Taking regular breaks is the best thing if you cannot buy the most ergonomic chair that the budget will allow. If you have a task master boss who doesn’t want to buy decent office furniture or allow you to take breaks, docking money for the privilege, simply mention health and safety and compensations claims and that should be enough to shut him up.
It was said for many years that it was best to sit upright when working at the computer and to this end chairs were made that didn’t lean back. Contraptions were made that resembles torture devices but were called stools and billed as giving a person the perfect posture. I don’t believe this. I think they were designed by some office manager as a way of not letting people away from their desks as, once you were in one of these things with your legs wrapped around at odd angles, the chances of getting out again were pretty slim. Not the best invention of office furniture ever made and how many offices do you see with them now?
Swivel chairs are good for maneuverability and make great tea break entertainment. Most of them also have the ability to tilt back slightly. Research has been found that the office furniture budget that allows for chairs that tilt slightly back are doing the best for their staff. This position puts less pressure on the bottom of the spine and current trends say this is the best. It would seem Homer Simpson has a point after all when he leans back in his chair with his feet up. I bet he never has problems getting his shoes back on at the end of the day.
If you work in an office with a fairly relaxed atmosphere, which I am lucky enough to do, then feet up on the desk happens occasionally. I, for one, consider this dangerous. If the young man next to me puts his feet up under my nose once more he is very likely to suffer a bleeding nose!
However, we have come up with our own range of office furniture that we would like to see implemented. This consists of a hammock in the corner of the meeting room for afternoon naps. This is not because we are lazy but because we are writers and power naps are an untapped source of refreshment and enlightenment that mean we are ten times more productive afterwards (am I sounding convincing yet?) We would also like soft areas where we can take out our frustration at writers block without doing damage to the computer screen or our neighbour. If my boss is reading this, please take note.