Let’s talk office furniture …
Posted on 17th February 2023
From desks (albeit there is of course more than one type of desk) to chairs, sofas and reception desks to storage, conference tables and more.
“How do you change the world? Bring people together. Where is the easiest big place to bring people together? In the work environment.” Adam Neumann
Luckily for you as consumers and buyers, there is plenty of choice out there when it comes to the furniture type itself but also when it comes to design, size, material, colour, shape, fabric, price and much more. As the humble desk has evolved since its developed in the 17th and 18th Centuries (or even earlier than this some say), this piece of furniture alone comes in a range of forms from bench desks to wave and radial to sit to stand/height adjustable desks.
Then there is the wood and finish to consider.
The same goes for chairs in terms of arms, legs, lumbar support, chair vs stool, colours, materials, height of the back, adjustability and so on.
So if you are kitting out your home office or boardroom or reception area or fitting out a brand new or whole refurbished workplace, what is there to consider when purchasing office furniture?
Space and purpose
Firstly, consider the space you have in terms of size, dimensions and structure and then consider the purpose of this space. Is it for day to day working or is it for meetings only or for hot desking and flexible working. Knowing what space you have and what functionality the furniture needs to have will help you determine quantities, sizes and types.
Also consider who will be using the furniture, such as children and animal related workers and pet owners in waiting rooms or surgeries will likely consider how easy the furniture is to clean and how durable it is. If you are accommodating teams, will their ages vary, will illnesses and disabilities need to be factored in for ergonomic and suitability purposes? Will a home from home vibe be needed?
Consider also footfall eg will the area be used a lot eg for making cups of tea, showrooms for masses of visitors or reception areas for welcoming visitors, or will it be for occasional meetings and usage.
Culture and communication
What is your company culture? What is your branding and colours like? Do you need to incorporate these messages, colour schemes and ethos in your furniture, your workplace layout and in your surroundings? What look and feel are you going for?
Consider productivity levels here as well as users, usage and more. And also consider learning and whether the space you have/are creating will aid learning for education, teaching and training.
Having an idea in mind will help narrow down the brands and ranges out there and will also help decide which material, finish and fabric is best suited for you.
Furniture can be brand new but it can also be used or second hand, yet still good quality.
If being sustainable and environmental is important to you, then ranges and furniture that is recyclable may be something you want to consider and ask your dealer.
Also where the furniture manufacturer is based may be important to you if you are looking at reducing your carbon footprint.
Staff and team attrition
Holding onto valuable and reliable staff and teams is also very much a consideration. What are they looking for in their workplace and surroundings? What will lure them away from their home office set up and into your team and building? You don’t have to go down the indoor slide and bar on the roof top route, but simple and more cost effective ideas from tea bars to soft seating and sit to stand desks to booths and pods can be just as enticing and effective. Plants are also an easy win and brighten up any workspace.
Other considerations or factors to factor in may include do you need to accommodate hybrid working or what are the acoustics like in the space or building? You may also want to consider what else you need for your office space design wise that will impact what furniture you need and when in the process do you need it eg if you are decorating or putting up/taking down walls and partitions.
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