frank willmann, sales manager



Klöber’s sales manager for Switzerland and Germany BW South, Frank Willmann, offers a candid insight into sitting in general, telling us what it’s like to work at Klöber in particular with its Bodensee lifestyle…

What ticks your boxes in terms of sitting? 
When you consider that we spend up to 14 hours a day sitting down – not just in the office – you realise how important dynamic sitting is for our health! And in this context I have the greatest respect for Margarete Klöber’s visionary idea, the Polstergleich chair, which offered optimum support for dynamic sitting back in 1935. 

Klöber stands for “the art of sitting”. Are you an art lover or do you think it’s all a load of nonsense?  
I love art. Some of my favourite disciplines are photography and music. I’m passionate about listening to analogue vinyl records, and I also occasionally enjoy photography using an analogue camera. But I’m also keen on discovering new music, which I find on diverse music streaming services.

What’s your favourite office chair: which model and colour, and why?   
Without a doubt it’s our Connex2 – in black. The Connex2 is straightforward and intuitive to operate, making it the perfect solution for supporting dynamic sitting. Its 3D diamond-structured mesh design quite deservedly won the “red dot” and “German Design Award”.

What was your most emotional moment on a chair?
Attending the births of my four children, during which I was able to sit on a chair and take a breather from time to time.

Are you already living the New Work life or are you still working? 
As a travelling sales manager I really like being able to work in such diverse locations. As well as visiting customers, I work from home, at the Klöber head office, in the car, or in a variety of coworking spaces.

Do you prefer working at home or in the office?   
I absolutely love working in the office because I enjoy chatting with my colleagues at Klöber. I’m certain that innovations can only be created where people come together and can exchange ideas “in full colour”. The best ideas often happen in an informal setting, for instance at the coffee bar.

What really gets on your nerves when you’re working from home? And what about in the office?   
Neither of these options get on my nerves – after all I’m free to choose where I want to work at any given point, and where I feel happiest. However if all four of my children are at home, my concentration can take a hit. But I can “escape” to the Klöber office whenever I need to – and luckily for me I only live 1 km away from it.  

How do you work at home? 
I have a room with a small desk and my Connex2 task chair. I like to make my sales outreach calls from home. But I always use my headset for that. Because our house is very open-plan, I can only do the sales calls when the kids are at school and nursery.

How important is a chair’s design to you: is it a case of function follows form, or should ergonomics come first? 
The first thing to catch my eye is good design. If the design doesn’t appeal, I’m going to struggle with that product. But as an ergonomics coach I attach great importance to a perfect ergonomic set-up. It’s a good job Klöber products are a fusion of both – so I don’t have to make any compromises in these key aspects. 

What’s the most annoying thing about the coffee break?
Nothing! I can get outstanding coffee and great conversation with awesome people at home, on customer visits (even in Switzerland), and at the new Klöber office.

Before you came here, what came to mind if someone mentioned the Bodensee – Lake Constance – and what do you think now that you live and work here?
I’ve lived and worked in the beautiful Lake Constance setting for 10 years now. I’m lucky enough to work where others go on holiday. I still see it as a privilege to live and work on the shores of Lake Constance, and it’s certainly not something I take for granted. If possible I try to have sight of the lake every day – the motto here is “Wenn ich den See seh‘, brauch ich kein Meer mehr” (when I see the lake I don't need the sea). I often go kayaking on the lake with my family, and we enjoy the peace and relaxation on the water.

How important do you consider the regional character and affinity with nature? 
Very important. If possible we buy regional produce – we particularly like Martin, a local farmer in Owingen. As sales manager for the home region Germany BW South and Switzerland, I’m thrilled that many of our customers also prioritise regional origin and sustainability. Of course this means our regionally manufactured, sustainable products with their “made am Bodensee” label are going to be a huge hit with them. Spending plenty of time outdoors with my wife, four children and two dachshunds is very important to me. We might be hiking, kayaking, cycling or skiing. We’ve done a winter camping trip in the Black Forest for a few years now. At weekends we often stay in our caravan and enjoy nature. Without TV or phones.

Do you tend to find inspiration outdoors in nature, or on the internet?
Both. Lots of ideas come to me when I’m outdoors experiencing nature. One example is colour schemes for customers. You only need to take a look at the natural beauty of our region here on the shores of Lake Constance to find some inspiration. But I’m also quite happy to research online, for instance when I need information for presentations and panel discussions about ergonomics or New Work.

What inspires you the most about your work at Klöber?
Interaction with a wide variety of people, both at Klöber and when I’m with customers. And the fact that Klöber is constantly evolving.

How would you describe the working culture at Klöber?
Klöber friends and family.

What does Klöber mean to you…? 
After more than 35 years at the company, it feels like part of home.