The talk around workplace design this year will invariably focus on coworking, third space, collaboration areas, and meeting pods. Despite this, the one place where the vast majority of office workers will spend most of their time this year, will be sat at their desk, in their humble task chair.
Many decision makers might be swayed into channelling their budget towards these big ticket products, but if employees still spend so much time sat in their task chair, does it not make sense to invest in a good quality, ergonomic product, which improves productivity?
We take a look at some of our favourite task chairs of the moment; chairs which combine aesthetics and ergonomics with quality and value for money.
1. Viasit ‘Drumback’
Viasit is a German manufacturer which has enjoyed a long held reputation for quality, ergonomic seating products. However, in recent years, they have lost ground in a saturated, competitive marketplace to rivals with more desirable, design-led chairs.
All that has changed with Viasit’s launch of the Drumback.
The Drumback has a uniquely designed back where the cover fabric is stretched, like a drumhead, over the backshell of the chair. As Viaisit says, this ‘combines the benefits of the cool comfort of a mesh back and the stability of a closed back without the need for upholstery in a fresh and contemporary look’.
In its short life, the chair has garnered a host of industry awards, including a coveted Mixology ‘Product of the Year’ gong and a 2017 Green Product Award. The Drumback is set to be one of the most specified task chairs in the UK workplace during 2018.
2. Orangebox ‘Eva’
For five years, Orangebox has had one of the market’s best selling products with its award winning ‘Do’ chair. The striking looks and infinite customising options made it a designer’s dream. Not one to rest on their laurels, Orangebox have launched the Eva, which is sure to be a popular choice in 2018.
The Eva employs the same ‘less is more’ philosophy of Humanscale and their ‘Diffrient World’ chair. The simple mechanism works by responding to the user’s bodyweight to provide the right amount of resistance, eschewing their new design approach of ‘light touch’ task seating: easier to set up, fewer adjustments and an experience where the user becomes at one with the chair.
Eva is creatively designed, with a die-cast back yoke which contours into the intuitive arms. An intelligent knitted mesh, finishes off the simple, elegant design.
3. Boss Design ‘Trinetic’
Since their founding in 1983, Boss Design has been feted for its stylish soft seating, meeting and conferencing products. Their brilliant, design-driven lounge and meeting chairs have been a regular feature on BBC current affairs and entertainment programmes.
More recently, Boss has focused on bringing its creative ingenuity to the task chair. The result is ‘Trinetic’ - the world’s first fully certified task chair to provide dynamic support without the need for manual user adjustment. Three independent pivot points combine with a flexible seat and backrest to cradle the user in an ergonomically-sound position, without the need for manual intervention.
The chair has been designed specifically to meet the changing needs of the modern workplace. In agile and coworking spaces, where the same chair can be used by multiple users, its paramount that the chair is versatile enough to adapt easily to the needs of each user.
As with the other chairs in our shortlist, the Trinetic is easy to customise, being offered in a variety of frame, base, mesh and fabric finishes.
4. Hood Seating ‘V46’
Hood Seating is the new kid on the block in the UK task seating market. The business was only founded in 2017 - the brainchild of MD, and co-owner, Jamie Hood. Jamie has more than 15 years of experience in the high-end ergonomic task seating sector. He became tired and frustrated with the brand leading manufacturers releasing imitations of each others’ products and felt he could offer something different. Hood has an infectious personality and its not long before his passion for getting people to sit in comfort, rubs off on those in his company.
The V46 is one of his key launch chairs. Unlike the majority of the other chairs featured in this list, the V46 takes the approach that a chair should be fully adjustable and tailored to the requirements of each user. This technical approach, brings with it more functionality.
The chair has both a mesh seat and back for comfort and support. It has an intuitive mechanism and easy to use controls, which adjust seat height and depth and allows dynamic movement, or the ability to lock the chair off in a preferred position. The chair also has a fully patented floating lumbar support, which moves with the user when the chair is in dynamic mode.
The V46 takes ergonomics to a new level and offers excellent value compared to some of the established market leaders. It’s great to see a new name in the marketplace and 2018 could be a big year for Hood Seating.
5. HAG ‘SoFi Mesh’
HAG is one of Norway’s most successful brands. They are responsible for creating some of the most iconic, ergonomic chairs ever made, such as the unique ‘Capisco’. They have had a long tradition of partnering leading external design houses with their in-house designers. The SoFi Mesh was the result of a collaboration with Powerdesign. Designer Aleksander Borgenhov said: “The major challenge for us was to create a beautiful object from something that is in fact a highly advanced machine.”
SoFi Mesh is a chair which combines beauty with function, to meet the demands of the modern workplace. Easy to function, and flexible enough to be used at desks, in meetings or collaboration spaces, its one of the first chairs we’ve seen which caters for the multigenerational workforce.
As with the other chairs in our list, the SoFi Mesh is very configurable. The contoured frame and lumbar support pad clad with fabric to match the seat, give the chair a very distinctive look.
Opus 4 is a nationwide provider of workplace solutions. We have tried and tested these chairs and many others from the world’s leading seating manufacturers. If you would like to know more about any of the chairs featured, or would like a free consultation and furniture appraisal, get in touch today.