Cheap Office Chairs Are Expensive
You have all probably seen flyers from mass market stationery or furniture stores promoting what seem to be impossibly cheap office chairs. Your natural reaction may be that you should get yourself a bargain. However, if you go ahead and buy your “cheap bargain office chair” you will probably find after a short time that it was not such a bargain after all. Cheap office chairs aren’t cheap on your wallet at all. often they can be quite expensive.
The problem with cheap mass market office chairs is that they are made for one purpose: to meet a tight budget. They are not made to improve the productivity and lives of the people who sit in them. Shortcuts are often taken in the production process, poor material is used (particularly in the cushioning) and important usability features are often eliminated or pared down to keep the chairs within budget.
Now, if you are simply buying a chair for your (small) kid’s bedroom, one of these cheap chairs may be fine. However, they are terrible for any office situation, including home offices where adults may wish to sit down and do anything productive. They are not even going to be much use to your teenager trying to focus on his or her homework.
Better Comfort Leads to Higher Productivity
It is hard to keep your attention on your work if your chair is uncomfortable. Your focus tends to drift to your nether regions and away from whatever important task you are trying to perform. Too many businesses who skimp on paying for quality furniture suffer from this reduced productivity – and often they don’t even realise it.
Think about how much you pay your office workers per hour. Now, if your workers were able to be even 30 minutes extra productivity per week, it would not take long for an investment in quality office chairs to pay off.
Suppose you pay your workers $20 per hour. If you were to buy them quality chairs you are likely to have more comfortable, happier and productive workers, who could generate another 30 minutes’ worth of work per week, compared to when they were using uncomfortable cheap chairs. They would earn you an additional $10 per week each, without you having to pay a cent of additional overtime payments. Over a working year, each worker would produce 48 x $10 = $480 extra income for the firm.
Let’s assume that the high-quality office chairs have a life of four years before they deteriorate enough to be no better than cheap ones were when new. This means that your business would have earned an extra $1920 of extra productivity – all for the cost of probably no more than a $200 premium on a quality chair.
You may be cynical about a chair making that much of a difference. However, workers will concentrate more if they feel comfortable. If they are fiddling and having to constantly shift their weight, their focus will be on their discomfort, not their work. This is particularly the case for any of your larger workers. Most cheap office chairs have small weight limits on them if you read their fine print, although these are often not advertised.
An uncomfortable chair may be enough to lead to one mistake a week, and mistakes take time to rectify. What could a mistake cost your business?
“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
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- Mark Redshaw