The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Workplace Furniture

Guiding Your Office to Enhanced Comfort and Functionality

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With an extensive portfolio of blue-chip clients, we at Vanguard understand the need for careful consideration when it comes to your office refurbishment. We’re here to share a little insight into why it’s so important to get your workplace furniture right, and how you can keep your team comfortable and your business on track with our comprehensive guide to office furniture.

importance of selecting the right workplace furniture


Employee comfort is directly linked to workplace productivity. A 2019 study from the University of Oxford highlighted that workers are 13% more productive when they’re happy, and comfortable workers are happy ones.

By selecting office chairs and ergonomic desks to create functional workstations, you can boost employee comfort, happiness and productivity.

enhancing productivity and comfort


The use of ergonomic furniture benefits you as well as your employees. It not only promotes productivity in the workplace, but also acts by enhancing employee wellbeing.

If your workforce is uncomfortable, they’re distracted and less productive. You’ll also likely see a higher staff turnover, with employees seeking new opportunities with workplaces more centered around their wellbeing, which can cost you time and money in constant hiring and training.

Creating a Positive Work Atmosphere

The cost of benefits and salaries makes up roughly 90% of the overheads of most moderately sized businesses, so any efficiencies you can make to get the best ROI should be worth considering. Making sure your employees feel comfortable and looked after in the workplace, and that the workplace is an engaging place to be, will make them more productive, and provide you with a more favourable return.

Conversely, uncomfortable employees will be less productive and less enthusiastic about their work, leading to a much more solemn working environment.



factors to consider in workplace furniture selection

Now we’ve laid the foundation for just how important it is to get your workplace furniture selection right, there’s a few key factors you should keep in mind when it comes to actually making your purchasing decisions, including functionality and practicality, and style and aesthetics.

Functionality and Practicality

Functionality in office furniture is one of the most important aspects you should consider. While it’s important to have a visually appealing workplace, for the sake of your employees and any clients that might come knocking, it’s definitely a matter of function over form when it comes to making your final decision.

Practical workplace furniture should support your staff in their work, serving to support a range of body types, and reduce office-related fatiguing such as repetitive strain injuries and back problems.

Style and Aesthetics

If your workplace is a dreary, uninspiring place to be, it’s not hard to imagine that your employees will have a hard time facing it each morning. Creating visual appeal in office space is possible, and important.

By balancing style and aesthetics with a cohesive office design, you can create an engaging and comfortable place to work, that helps to boost productivity from multiple angles.

types of workplace furniture

When making your decisions about your desks and workstations, it’s important to recognise that there are multiple different types of workplace furniture. Selecting the right one for your application is key – getting it right can boost employee satisfaction, productivity and retention, and getting it wrong can hinder all of these.

Seating Solutions

As with desks, there’s a varied selection of ergonomic seating solutions to choose from. For the sake of economising, it’s likely you’ll want to select one that fits the broadest range of requirements while offering the best support possible.

  • Seat height – the comfortable range for most is roughly 15-20” (38-51cm)
  • Width – people come in all shapes and sizes, and comfort is important for everyone, a seat width of around 17-20” (43-51cm) is recommended
  • Depth – the pad of the seat should be deep enough that users can sit on it comfortably with roughly 2-4” (5-10cm) between the edge of the seat pad and their knees
  • Tilt – the seat or seatback should be tiltable as required
  • Lumbar support – ergonomic chairs should offer support for the lower back (lumbar support), and that support should ideally be adjustable
  • Seat back – the backrest of the seat should also be curved to accommodate the curvature of the spine and should be roughly 12-19” (30-48cm) wide
  • Arm supports – armrests should be included, and should be height adjustable to allow the user’s arms and shoulders to be relaxed
  • Comfort – above all, the chair should be comfortable enough to accommodate eight hours of sitting

Desks and Workstations

Different workplaces call for a different approach to desks and workstations. Standard work desks are often a good size and provide enough space for necessary equipment but lack some functionalities that are increasingly prized among those seeking to improve employee wellbeing.

With growing awareness of the health risks associated with prolonged periods of sitting, height-adjustable desk options including standing desks are an emerging trend. These allow employees to alternate between sitting and standing at their workstation to improve comfort and mitigate health risks. They also allow for the near-infinite adjustment of desk height to reach the perfect sitting setup when required.


Storage Solutions

An often overlooked aspect of comfortable office design is storage. Storage solutions for the office should be easy to use, to avoid costing you in wasted time, as well as be space efficient, so as not to waste your valuable square footage.

It’s also important that your storage solutions match the décor of your office, and don’t make an obstruction of themselves in any way.

making your final workplace furniture decisions

Making informed decisions about office furniture can be a big step in improving the well-being of your workforce, and, in turn, your workplace productivity. There’s a balance to be found between ergonomics and design, and getting it right will deliver an improved return on your workforce investment.

If you’re still struggling to find the right solution for your workplace furniture or are struggling with the effects of an uncomfortable or demoralising workplace, Vanguard can help. We’re an experienced office fit out company, with years of experience creating ergonomic workplaces with visually pleasing designs.

Get in touch with us today using our contact form, by calling us on 01905 759 700, or by emailing us at

Get in touch with us today using our contact form, by calling us on 01905 759 700, or by
emailing us at

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