The Art of Sitting is Perfected at Lake Constance

Interview with Thomas Möller, CEO of Klöber GmbH

Thomas Möller, CEO of Klöber GmbH
Thomas Möller, CEO of Klöber GmbH

To score points with qualified employees in times of skilled worker shortages, many companies are also investing in high-quality office equipment including attractive seating furniture, such as that developed and manufactured by Klöber GmbH from Lake Constance for 90 years. CEO Thomas Möller spoke to Wirtschaftsforum about current market developments, social responsibility, and about when perfection is achieved.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Möller, true to your company motto, Klöber GmbH stands for ‘the art of sitting’. How exactly do you turn sitting into an art?

Thomas Möller: Actually, humans are not born to sit. On the contrary: we need physical activity and movement. The art, therefore, lies in designing a chair in such a way that the user can sit on it as ergonomically pleasant and as healthily as possible, feel comfortable, and can concentrate fully on their work without having to constantly think about the best possible sitting position. Because of the resulting demands, a certain technical competence is required - the days when a chair consisted only of a seat surface and a backrest are long gone.

Klöber Office Equipment
Especially in the context of the shortage of skilled workers, attractive office equipment is becoming increasingly important
Klöber - timeless chairs
Klöber aims to impress with modern, yet timeless chairs

Wirtschaftsforum: What makes a good chair?

Thomas Möller: Besides an appealing, modern, yet timeless aesthetics, a lot of high-tech mechanics are involved, which allow the chair to adapt to natural movement patterns, thus ensuring the best possible ergonomics. This means that it is important not to look at the different requirements individually, but to merge them together into an overall picture that fits the overarching context of Klöber. In this process, we rely on appropriately specialized in-house designers, engineers, and technicians who share the goals of our company and actively want to participate in shaping it: The underlying question of purpose plays a central role in our daily business.

Wirtschaftsforum: What standards does Klöber have for its products?

Thomas Möller: It's not just about the chair itself. We also constantly ask ourselves what we actually want to achieve in society. Of course, sustainability is of special importance here: We consistently aim to produce our chairs with as high a recycled content as possible, which naturally must be accompanied by a certain vigilance in everyday business practice if it is to be taken seriously: After all, we do not want to intervene in the wrong cycles and really only want to use materials that come from another previous use and were not produced just to be shredded as primary material afterward. In the context of this strong emphasis on sustainable materiality, Klöber also stands for a lived regionalism: 90% of our components are from Europe, three quarters from Germany. Moreover, we aim to fully develop and manufacture the corresponding mechanics and final products at our location on Lake Constance, consistently standing by our word - our partners are welcome to see this for themselves on-site unannounced. We do not operate a small show production only to have the bulk of our products manufactured by contract manufacturers abroad, but rely on local production with comprehensive manufacturing depth directly at our company headquarters.

Klöber - ergonomic chairs
The chairs from Klöber stand for an ergonomic seating experience ...
Klöber - Kitchen Counter
... and a comfortable living atmosphere

Wirtschaftsforum: As a subsidiary of Sedus Stoll AG, a strong commitment to social responsibility is also a focus of their activity.

Thomas Möller: All profits generated by Klöber that are not reinvested into the company go to two foundations, which support children in socially disadvantaged situations and aim to offer them a better future, for example, by offering self-defense courses or by providing spaces for social activities. At this point, perhaps most clearly, one can see that our shareholders and we as a company are truly serious about our overarching goal of putting people at the center of our actions.

Wirtschaftsforum: How much do the demands that end users place on chairs change in this context?

Thomas Möller: Of course, swivel chairs today have many more functions than the first models our company introduced to the market in 1935. For a long time, this also came with a significant increase in adjustment levers, which, however, is no longer particularly appreciated by today's customers. Instead, many users now place great value on solutions that are as automatic as possible. Since many companies also want to score points with their employees by offering pleasant office equipment due to the shortage of skilled workers, many of our B2B partners also place more and more value on high-quality chairs with high comfort and a pleasant living atmosphere. We are of course happy to accept these technological and aesthetic challenges, based on our decades of experience. Finally, the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: 'It is not perfect when you cannot add anything more, but only when you cannot take away anything.'