The seat of power, the comfy chair, the head of the table, the best seat in the house. We can’t seem to get away from the significance of the chair – at home or in the office.
Take a seat. Let’s talk about that.
There’s something about being ushered into a cavernous office, decked in understatement, awash with good taste and finished in the rarest of power-mahogany. And there, crouching behind the bison-sized desk is… THE CHAIR. Not any chair, the chair! It silently screams power, self-assuredness and power and you may not even have met the owner yet.
There’s a lot to be said about your chair because it says a lot about you, especially when you’re not there. It’s your proxy, it’s the impression you leave after you’ve left for lunch or to run an errand, it’s you. Your job? Make sure your chair’s doing you justice because yes, it would be a crime to be misrepresented by an inanimate object. The message is clear. Choose your chair wisely!
It’s not merely a practical question of ergonomics, hydraulics, physics and OHS. They are important but do precious little to enhance one’s personal brand. Here’s what will.
A call to arms
For the purposes of this article, all discussion will be confined to arm chairs for three important reasons.
- If it doesn’t have arms it has no place in this article (read the title again)
- Without arms there’s nowhere to rest those things that hang off your shoulders and perhaps most importantly
- If assigned a chair without arms you’re probably expected to rest your wrists on the desk or table in front of you so you can keep typing and typing and typing.
If you are shown to an office chair without arms, you’re expected to toil for most of the day, not consider issues, circumstances, ways forward – that sort of thing. That’s the sort of thing left to people whose chairs have arms. In short, an armless chair isn’t harmle.. (Ed. nope, that would be a “dad joke” and we don’t do that here)… isn’t for thinkers, considerers and ultimately decision makers – they’re for implementers (to put it kindly).
Tip: if you want to show your staff/team/group that you respect them enough to encourage their ability to reason – arms! And if you are seriously entertaining hopes that valued clients will arrive at decisions like “Yes, I will pay these people for their goods/services”, offer them a chair with arms.
Leave the armless stuff for poker tournaments and day-hire conference rooms, in terms of brand, expectations, ergonomics, esteem, a stylish armchair pays for itself in no time.
Next time, we’ll consider the age old “size matters” proposition… as it pertains to office chairs.
PS thanks to my excellent friends and colleagues at D&C projects (dream & create) for helping me understand the value and joy of a well-wrought office chair, tailor-made for the "girthier" (Ed. that's not a word) gent.