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Choosing a bar leaner and bar stools for an office...

Updated: Mar 26

Bar leaners and bar stools for an office
Bar leaners and bar stools for office use

It may not surprise you to know that bar leaners and bar stools were originally designed for ...well.... bars ?

They were there for you to lean against while chewing the fat before the 6 o'clock closing (in New Zealand anyway). They found their way into an office setting when communal eating areas and kitchens became standard in a modern office.

Now they are starting to be used as meeting areas and what we call "overflow" areas. Let's have a closer look at how this has happened.

Bar leaners as meetings areas

Bar leaners nz are ideal for meeting because they allow the option of either sitting or standing. You can pull up a commercial bar stool or you can stand. Bar leaners are easily fitted with display devices so you can present standing up and there is something about their original use for eating and drinking that creates an informal atmosphere.

As bar leaners and stools have increasingly been adopted for meetings they have been adapted for use. We sell bar leaners fitted with power and connection options. This can mean hdmi connections for external monitors or power points, wireless charging and USB (C) charging. Basically the bar leaner has evolved into a home away from home for office workers who dare venture away from their desk.

Bar leaners as "overflow" areas.

This needs a bit of explaining. Basically offices (post-covid) are not being fully used. A recent estimate of Wellington office space usage by Colliers says that over 30% of desks in the CBD aren't being used at a particular point of time. This is down to hybrid or remote working. It's incredibly difficult to predict how many people will be in the office at any point of time and ,in general, there are far fewer than the office space was originally set up to handle.

So as office managers adjust their space requirements (who wants to pay for unused space at $600 sqm which is what premium Wellington office space costs) they are faced with the possibility that there may be spikes in demand for desks that they may not be able to cater for. That is to say they have "over downsized" their requirement.

Enter the bar leaner as an "overflow" option when desks are at capacity. You can fit 6 people easily around a 2m x 1 m bar leaner and provide them with charging and external display options - if necessary. We sell a lot of bar leaners and stools for this purpose and the great thing is that they can be repurposed in the event that they need to be replaced by desks and office chairs.

So keeping in mind the above, we are going to make you a little checklist of what to look for if you are considering a bar leaner and bar stools for your office set up.

  1. Make it stable. Cheaper bar leaners lack stability and you do not want a wobbly bar leaner. It will annoy the hell out of your workers.

  2. Make sure it has charging options. You cannot expect people to take their laptop away every 1/2 an hour to charge their laptop or phones.

  3. Choose a white top. It may seems boring but White lasts WAAY better than any other colour and black scratches badly. If you want it to withstand rugged use - go white. - as boring as that may sound.

  4. Choose commercial spec bar stools. Nothing wrong with Freedom Furniture but their stools are spec'd for home use and they won't withstand office use. Tubular steel legs have a completely different specification for commercial use so if you don't want to replace them within a couple of years - go commercial.

  5. Go with a powder coated steel frame. I know there are lots of wooden frames out there that have a nice rustic feel but power coated steel frames will last longer and are easily cleaned. Wood simply isn't.

We sell heaps of bar leaners and stools. They are a great alternative to standard office desks and chairs and they break up the chicken-coop look of many offices with rows and rows of desks. You can stand or sit at them while working and they give you an area where people can collaborate on projects. We think they are a great addition to any office.


How many people can you seat at a bar leaner ?

We suggest that a 2 m by 1 m bar leaner can have 6 people working at it with 2 on each side and one on each end. Of course, this depends a bit on their wing span :-)

What's the best way to set up a bar leaner as a meeting table ?

Are bar leaners a standard height ?

Does wireless charging work ?

How do you get power to the bar leaner if it is away from the wall ?


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