Work at Home: The Office Chair

Ah working at home, free from the constraints of the office, the desk and the office chair.  I wonder at the photos of people working away from the office: people with laptops on planes, trains and automobiles.  People working on beaches, mountaintops and in forests.  It all looks wonderful.

So distracting!  How to they get anything done out there in the wild?

Woman-working-on-lap-top-in-bedAnd then there are those who work from the comfort of their bed.   They look so dang happy, these people!  And don’t get me wrong, working at home is wonderful!

But seriously, how long are you going sit in the middle of your bed with a wee laptop in front of you and actually get any work done?   Like this woman in the photo without paper or pen or cup of coffee or phone? Not a thing spread out around her.  Just herself in her p.j.’s on the bed.

 

Maybe I’m jealous that my desk is always such a wreck but does anyone else’s back hurt just looking at the photo?!

Another good photo is a woman sitting on the floor at the coffee table.  She actually had some work spread out around her.   I can’t say that I’ve never worked in odd places in my house.  Deck, kitchen counter, bed and vanity table have all served their time.

I am currently holed up in my Lazy Boy in the t.v. room.  It works for a few online chores, but ultimately real work involves me going upstairs to my office, away from distractions and noise.

Just because you are working at home does not mean that you HAVE to work on the kitchen counter or the dining room table.  If you try it, you might find that it is terribly uncomfortable.  It may look good on the photos but sitting that long on the kitchen chair with the counter at the wrong height for your neck may really prove to be a burden.

Also, if your desk is your kitchen counter, it makes it much more difficult to put your work away when it’s time.

The solution is to have a dedicated space for your office.    It doesn’t have to be extravagant but set up some space that is solely for work.  This helps your mental health, your back, your family life [boundaries] and the IRS likes it too.  It is simply better.

I understand the part about the freedom in working at home, freedom for the shackles of desk and office and all.  Just be cause you have a dedicated space doesn’t mean that you are chained to it.  You can go sit on the beanbag or in the middle of the bed or in flower beds if that what you want — ANY time you want.  You can work there as long as you find it comfy and inspirational and pain free !  I simply want you t set up  a a good space for yourself for when you need quiet and boundaries and a place to leave the work and close the door on it when it is time for your life!

In my opinion, that space would have a good chair.

By good I mean: functional, useful, comfortable, ergonomically correct.  With a little luck, it can look nice too but function, health and comfort should be the deciding factors in choosing your office chair.

Most chairs are meant to be sat in.  But not all!  Some are just decorative.  Sometimes you cannot tell until sit in it. It’s difficult to pick a chair from a photo.   Why not take a few field trips to some office stores and try out some chairs?

I am short and I find any chair or couch difficult to sit in.  Often, the even though the chair is adjustable, it still won’t work for my height.  Sit in the chairs and ask to try them at desks where you can measure the proper height for you before you buy anything.

Those ergonomically correct positions are important for your neck and arms and wrists.  Insurance companies are beginning to train businesses in the importance of having desks set up properly for their employees rather than pay for the endless therapies and surgeries resulting from repetitive stress injuries and incorrect seating.

There’s no reason that working at home shouldn’t be  as physically comfortable and healthy as well.  You are your own boss at home – take care of your employee’s, I mean your back!

I really like the old wooden banker chairs.  I should say I like the LOOK of them.  Even if it was the proper height, I know I could not sit on that hard wood for 8 hours. Although there is a Banker’s Chair padded seat version here!

Retro Banker’s Chair

I’ve sat in some executive chairs and for the most part, they are just too big for me.  The adjustments can’t compensate.  The back is 2 feet away from me.  I am either sitting forward or slouching back.  My feet aren’t on the floor. The arm rests are at the wrong places for me. It is just not manageable (for me).  They may fit you perfectly.

Remember you will be sitting for large amounts of time in this chair so choose wisely.


Task Chair

 

Office chairs have wheels on them for a reason.  You may not realize how much you move your chair around in the office until you have a chair with no wheels!  And then you realize that every 2 seconds you have to scooch out and you are caught in the carpet or afraid to scratch the wood floor!

I think wheels are important for an office chair but  try out different chairs and scenarios around your house and see how it feels to work there.   You just don’t want to wait until the day of the big project is due to find out that the chair you have is unbearable.

If you are working in a carpeted space, you’ll probably need a mat for your wheeled chair.

But what if you’re not? What about hardwood?  The regular wheels will make mincemeat of your hardwood.   Changing out the roller balls on your char with these made for hardwood is a good idea!  Roller Blade Style Office Chair Caster Wheels!  There are also chair mats for hard surfaces.

Something to keep in mind when looking at chair mats.  You want to be sure that you are choosing a mat that is for the appropriate pile of your carpet (low or medium or plush).  Also, you will notice different grades of mats depending on how much use you are anticipating.  If you are working at home, this mat will be taking a beating so opt for the heavier mat.  The lightweight mats are for the home office where someone sits down to pay the bills and do the taxes and a few odds and ends like that.


Roller Balls

 

Some people think that sitting on their exercise ball is good for them.  It is not a good idea to work on a ball for long stretches. But if you like them, they’ve put support bars and wheels on them!  Proponents insist that they will help you ultimately because they are good for your core.  Here is an idea if you are so inclined!   Gaiam Balance Ball Chairs.

There are racing bucket chairs, soccer ball chairs, pink and green and mesh and plush, leather and wood, modern and retro, task or executive or reclining, traditional boss, with arms or without, mesh or memory foam, those with a neck rest or animal print, knee chairs and exercise ball chairs  — literally 100’s of chairs from which to choose.  Before you decide,  sit it lots of them and then when you’ve picked out what you are looking for, you might find the perfect chair at the perfect price here.

Even a chair that you can take a nap in!
Napping Chair

I hope that this will help you in your quest for a good chair.  It will be your good friend and is an integral part of your successful working at home!

Cheers!

 

Patt Timlin – Marketer, Blogger, Entrepreneur at Patt Timlin Online.
*****************************************************************

Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and loves to share it!

Patt is the author of: Patt Blogs

Patt Timlin’s Spot4 Blog

Work At Home Product Guide

Spot4Connections.com and Patt Timlin Online.

Please reach out on Facebook at Spot4connections on Facebook

 

2 thoughts on “Work at Home: The Office Chair

  1. Brad says:

    Hi Patt,

    I know what you mean about having a wreck of a desk! But because I have a desktop PC, this is where I do all my work.

    The biggest problem is the amount of time I spend sitting. I have tried different chairs, even a fit ball, but I just have to remind myself to get up and go for a walk or move around regularly. Did you know that your brain actually works better and thinks better when it is stimulated by movement! Pretty amazing, just another good reason to get up and have a shake (not a milk shake though)!

    It is also vitally important to set up your work station correctly. I found a really good article about ergonomic desk set up here

    http://treatbackpainnaturally.com/ergonomic-desk-setup-how-to-do-it-right

    This really helped me alot.

    Thanks Patt.

    1. Patt says:

      Perfect! Thank you for that article on how to set up your desk to be ergonomically correct. I might have some more questions for you about that in the future. I agree that sitting is a problem. I do try to stand up often. I stand any time I am on the phone. Someone told me the other day to get your energy up by ‘grounding’ – laying down on the ground, preferably outside. Well outside is a single degree right now, so I won’t be laying out there, but just laying down on the floor for a few minute might be good for energy and our backs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*