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Herman Miller released the iconic moulded-plywood Eames chair in seven new colours.
Herman Miller released the iconic moulded-plywood Eames chair in seven new colours.

Start: Mark Evans

Hail to the lowly chair Add to ...

What’s the most important piece of equipment in the office? Is it your computer? The photocopier? The video projector?

What about the lowly chair?

The chair doesn’t get much love and attention but most of us spend a lot of hours – probably too many – sitting on one without giving much thought to whether it’s the right fit.

Chairs are often an after-thought after the desks, filing cabinets and computers are purchased. When I worked at my first start-up, we took great pride in the fact we had purchased $30 chairs from Staples that we assembled ourselves.

When someone offered us a “deal” on $1,000 Herman Miller chairs, we laughed at the absurdity of spending so much money on, of all things, a chair. Keep in mind, this was during the dot-com boom, and the person making the offer had just bought 300 Herman Miller chairs as part of a new office.

In hindsight, maybe we should have taken the deal, or explored the idea of buying something other than DIY chairs. When you take into account how a bad chair can wreck your posture and make sitting for hours truly uncomfortable, spending more rather than less money on a chair makes sense.

After all, a good chair could last five years, so spending $1,000 on one (something I could never bring myself to do!) works out to less than 60 cents a day. Is your health and back worth 60 cents a day?

That said, the chair in my office is something I inherited from the people who used to own the house – it was a parting gift along with the mini-fridge, which is another important part of your office equipment to store Friday afternoon refreshments.

In theory, I have a plan in place to buy a new chair; one that is comfortable, durable and purchased as a long-term investment. Of course, that means chair shopping and figuring out where to go other than Staples.

Have you made an investment in a chair? If so, was it worth it? And where do you buy it?

Special to the Globe and Mail

Mark Evans is a principal with ME Consulting, a content and social media strategic and tactical consultancy that creates and delivers ‘stories’ for companies looking to capture the attention of customers, bloggers, the media, business partners, employees and investors. Mark has worked with three start-ups – Blanketware, b5Media and PlanetEye – so he understands how they operate and what they need to do to be successful. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshUniversity and meshmarketing conferences.

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