Choosing furniture for your employees and clients is an important decision. Since your reception area is one of the first areas your customers will see when they enter your business, it's important that the seating is clean, professional-looking, and comfortable.
Besides making a good first impression with your clientele, you should consider how comfortable your furniture is for your employees. Uncomfortable furniture can decrease productivity and increase the rate of repetitive strain injuries (RPIs). Here are some tips to help you choose the right furniture for your office.
Make Ergonomics a Priority
Ergonomics is an area of study that is concerned with designing and arranging equipment so that it helps people interact with their environments safely, comfortably, and efficiently. For instance, ergonomics doesn't just apply to furniture, there are different ergonomic keyboards to help people avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
While style is an important factor, ergonomics should be the priority for your employees since they will be sitting in these chairs for hours. Look for seats that have adjustable armrests, headrests, and seats. Look for well-padded chairs with lumbar support. While thin-meshed chairs may be cheaper, these don't provide adequate support and can strain your employees' backs.
Choose the Right Fabrics
Expensive and delicate fabrics, like satin, are usually bad choices for commercial furniture, since they can be harder to clean and receive lots of wear and tear. Engineered synthetics are better choices than natural ones since they have tighter weaves that can withstand wear and tear. Also, printed fabrics tend to break down more quickly than woven, so if you have a choice, choose woven. Printed fabrics just use a dye on a base cloth, but woven fabrics are actually created on a loom.
You want to consider your client base when you choose your fabrics. For instance, if you work in a medical office, then look for anti-microbial vinyl upholstery. This material will help your patients avoid illnesses, and it is easy to clean. Faux leather is also a nice choice since it looks nice, while still remaining affordable and easy to wipe clean.
Offer At Least Two Different Styles
Some people prefer chairs, while others may prefer love seats and couches. If you have the room, consider offering a few different seating options. For example, bariatric chairs are an important seating choice since they are designed so big-and-tall individuals aren't uncomfortable. Some people like chairs with armrests, while others like open designs. It's okay to mix and match furniture as long as the styles project your business's image and are maintained.