Being tasked with buying office furniture for your company is a major responsibility. Purchasing new office furniture and equipment can be a major decision not only because it contributes to and supports the well-being and comfort of your staff, but it also impacts office productivity. Before spending days visiting office spaces and browsing the Internet for office furniture that everyone can agree on, it will pay to spend some time reviewing a few key strategic considerations.
When Buying Office Furniture, Price Isn’t Everything
Buying office furniture can be an arduous process, especially if you have to take into account a large number of opinions, special requests, and differing opinions on style. Much more important are things like comfort, ergonomics and long-term value.
Here are a few simple tips to make sure you make the right choices for your organization or office.
- Consider Your Budget
Yes, we said that price isn’t everything, but it is often the “main” thing. Every dollar spent is an investment and your investments need to be wisely spent. Before buying any furniture, you do need to consider the cost.
- Look at Ergonomic Needs
Employees will be sitting and working most of the day, so providing them a comfortable chair and desk is a must. More importantly, ergonomic chairs and desks are critical as they make working easier and healthier, as supported by numerous studies. Ergonomics considerations like contoured seats, lumbar backrest supports, adjustable seats and armrests are important.
Aside from ergonomic chairs and desks, you can style your interior layout depending on your business type. If you want a cafe-like atmosphere where employees can easily communicate and collaborate with each other, then consider investing in a large table and a few chairs. If you need to retain a more formal environment with cubicles be sure to allow for sufficient work spaces and ease of access between cubicles. Your furniture buying choice should make your office environment conducive for work.
- Flexibility and Functionality
Office furniture with multiple functionalities is usually a better choice. When you balance functionality with a reasonable price you obviously are getting more for your money. For example, do the desks have storage for files? Are the drawers easy to access and provide enough storage capacity? Can you stretch your legs and move them freely under the desks, or tables? Are they comfortable enough for your employees?
To answer these questions, it can be a good idea to have some coworkers test out different chairs and desks. What feels comfortable and functional can depend on several different factors, such as the kind of work they do, and their height and weight. Think about the kind of furniture you need and consider how your office will function. A beautifully appointed office is great, but if it’s not really functional, you’ll find yourself more frustrated than inspired. What kind of work does the furniture need to support?
For example, if people spend some time in the office but mostly work outside of the office, perhaps there’s no need for multiple desks if a worktable might suffice. Are cubicles necessary, or can you function with an open-office layout? Is shelving and storage really necessary, or are most of your company’s records digitized and stored on the cloud?