If you are a boss, then chances are you have a lovely big executive office chair. However, did you realize that the way you use your chair and your body language can be giving off the wrong signals to your employees. Do you ever lean back and put your feet up on the desk? This is a brazen territorial/ownership gesture and may feel intimidating to others. Do you stand behind your desk with both palms flat leaning on it? This is a power pose and you will be seen as the dominant one in that particular interaction.
If your chair is higher than the guest chair on the other side of your desk, then height represents a higher status. If you want to be seen as a more approachable kind of boss, then you may think about lowering your chair or bringing it around from behind the desk so as to be on the same level.
It might be a good idea to have two separate areas, one for serious matters when you need to be a ‘boss’ and another for casual chats and brain-storming sessions when you want to come across as more approachable. For the informal meetings, a sofa or armchairs and a low table can offer an approachable and level playing field where employees can open up and feel like they are being listened to and appreciated. Speak to your office fit-out company and try to include separate areas in your planned layout. For an Office Fit-out Company to help you, contact mobiusatwork.co.uk/
Chairs can have a kind of aura about them that makes people afraid to sit in them. Most families can relate to a family member who always had a specific chair that no-one dared sit in. Well, the boss’s chair is a bit like this. When offered a chair that belongs to someone else, people will hesitate and choose another one.
It’s not just bosses that have specific seats. Most office workers will sympathize with the following scenario: you’ve been on leave and when you return there is a different chair at your desk. Despite having your name on it, your cardigan draped over the back of it and your unique butt indentations – someone has pinched it. What happens next is an office hunt, a bit like a witch hunt, to find the culprit and rescue your beloved chair. Sound familiar?
Your chair represents something other than purely a place to park your bottom. Office chairs can almost become an extension of the person who spends so much of their working life seated in it.