Here is a picture of a typical boardroom chair or “executive” type chair which you can buy from the IKEA or Officeworks website. The price of this chair is $149 and is typical of the “value” chairs they sell.
This one is actually advertised on Milan Direct – who are in fact very similar to Officeworks in that they are not a commercial furniture specialist. Rather they are a big furniture company (Officeworks is an office supplies specialist) who use their buying power to get extremely low prices from Chinese factories. They then flood the Australian market with these cheap chairs and sell to people & businesses who want a “affordable” and value solution.
The problem is, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. No where is this more evident than in office / boardroom chairs.
Here’s why you should avoid these IKEA, Milan Direct or Officeworks boardroom /executive chairs.
Faux “Synthetic” Leather
Faux leather is made from a fabric base, which is chemically treated with wax, dye, or polyurethane to give it colour and texture. Ultimately, it is a synthetic material. We have tested chairs exactly as the one above in our office in North Sydney and within 2 to 3 months, the armrest synthetic leather started to crack and split open.
Now imagine you are using the above chair in your executive office or boardroom environment. Is this the impression you want to leave on potential clients or visitors?
The Warranty “Upsell”
I can see why this one would get many people. The chair comes with a 1 year warranty, but you can add a 2 and 3 year warranty by paying extra. This is the classic “upsell” technique in sales that plays on your desire to get peace of mind.
As a consumer, it makes sense – you’re just about to buy a cheap office chair for $149 but you are a bit concerned with the 1 year warranty. Why not spend that extra $39 to get peace of mind for 3 years?
The problem is, as demonstrated above, the faux leather will tear on both the seat and armrests. It will crack and start to tear and expose a white fluffy material underneath within a few months.
The point is: Your warranty won’t cover this.
Fixed Armrests & Limited Adjustment
Non-adjustable (fixed) armrests (as in our chair above) are useless and can ruin your posture. Not only can they result in your shoulders drooping too low or being pushed up, they may place your arms out too much to the side, thus increasing twisting of the wrist.
If you want to save money (and don’t won’t fork out for adjustable armrests) then avoid armrests altogether rather than getting a chair with these fixed armrests that can cause repetitive strain
injury and other musculoskeletal disorders.
1 Lever seat adjustment means limited comfort. A good ergonomic chair should have the ability to adjust the chair’s height, lumbar height and chair tilt…
If you’re after an ergonomic chair, definitely AVOID Officeworks, MilanDirect and
IKEA. Sure, you’ll get a chair for ~$150, but they definitely cannot be
labelled ergonomic and they really only last a few months if you use them regularly.
So what is a more stylish option that not only looks better but will give you more comfort and last longer?
For an extra $200, you can get an AUSTRALIAN MADE executive office chair that give you the following:
1. 7 Year Warranty
2. AFRDI Approved to Level 6 (highest Australian rating for quality).
3. Adjustable Armrests
4. Easy-Breathe rubber mesh back for style & comfort (*black or white mesh option)
5. Excellent seat cushion and upholstery & quality foam density.
6. Seat Depth Adjustment
7. Tension Control
8. Tilt Mechanism (locking)
If comfort, style and your health is more important to you than $200 – then I would definitely buy this chair instead.