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 or browsing the internet for collaborative workspace furniture, it would pay to spend some time reviewing a few key strategic considerations.
The Time factor:
Similar to making any major investment, purchasing too quickly could lead you to regret your choice later. It would be significantly more helpful to save some valuable time to chalk out a strategy. This strategy can basically be an assessment of needs regarding your office furniture.
Spending time talking with your staff about their needs, looking towards future organisational requirements and taking into consideration the ever changing working environment will ensure your office fitout works for you now and into the future.
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.
Consider not only what’s comfortable to your colleagues, but also what’s designed according to ergonomic best practices. When you find furniture that does both, it will be worth the investment.
Flexibility & 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?
Health & Safety Post Covid-19:
With workers heading back to the office post Covid-19 it is important to provide them a safe working environment. Considerations such as space between colleagues, "sneeze screens", cleaning measures and materiality of furniture are all important.
Try not to think that purchasing office furniture is going to be a staggering job. Take a lot of time in your research, plan accordingly for what you need, and be smart in regards to your choices and design that will take you from the now and into the future.