Working from home – Buy a nice chair

A nice chairAbout three months ago I started working as a remote Oracle database consultant, remote meaning I now work from home most weeks. Though I’m still fairly new to telecommuting it’s something that has always interested me.

In the few short months I’ve been working from home I’ve found that I am amazingly productive, but also that there are a few things I couldn’t do it without. Mileage will vary of course, but I wanted to write about some of the things I’ve found most helpful when working from home and one of the most important of these is a really good chair.

I’ve found being comfortable helps me work longer without loosing focus and the office chair is the most essential part of that. Working at the couch works for me for half days, but long stretches lead to neck and upper back problems. I even knew a woman at a previous job who got a pinched nerve from working with her laptop on her couch too much. When I need a change of scenery I’ll move to the couch, but I work at least half of every day from my desk chair.

I found a nice fabric covered Morrill chair at Staples but it’s essential to test-drive your own and choose the best one for you. I tried dozens of chairs before settling on this one.

I’d say plan to spend up to $350 on a good chair. It’s likely you’ll find one for less (mine was on sale for $129, regularly $179) but this is one thing you don’t want to compromise on. Height, padding, back support, arm design and tilt and swivel features should all be considered. If this seems like a lot to spend on a chair, just consider what you’re saving in gas by working from home (in my case no less than $200/month) and you’ll feel better.

You will also probably want to consider some type of floor protection for under your chair. The plastic mats are good on carpet and a version is also available to protect hardwood floors. After seeing recently what only a couple years of office use can do to even industrial carpets I was glad to have picked up a good mat.

I’ll be writing more about working from home in the near future. If you have tips or questions about working from home feel free to leave a comment.

telecommute, telework, home office, office, work

5 thoughts on “Working from home – Buy a nice chair”

  1. Thanks for this, Jon. It’s very timely from a personal point of view because I’ll be starting to work from home in the next few weeks. Looks like I should go furniture shopping 😉

  2. Jared,

    I’d like to say yes, but I’m yet to find a desk I’m happy with. I’m working on a fairly old desk who’s only feature is that it’s big.

    Staples has a good selection and I’d say start there. The build quality isn’t great on some of their cheaper stuff, but it seems like in the $250 and up range you can do okay (depending on the features you want.)

    My problem is I’m trying to find a nice big desk that will fit in my small office. It doesn’t leave me much leeway.

    As far as shopping for a desk, I look mostly at the overall size, the height, the leg space and the storage, in that order. I figure storage is least important as I can always buy another bookshelf or file cabinet.

    I’m not sure how much all that helps, especially since I still don’t have a desk I’m happy with, but that’s where I’m at.

    Good luck!

  3. LOL!

    I understand your problem there. I’m just lucky that my current cat has little interest in furniture. Now if I could just figure out how to keep cat hair out of the computer, the keyboard, food, drinks… I guess you can win them all.

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