People are picky about how they furnish their homes, because they know the characteristics of their furnishing affects their sleep quality, level of comfort, and even how well their home is organized. The same amount of thought should be given to how you furnish your office.
For most people, the office becomes like a second home. But it’s also the one place where the average person has little to no control over their environment.
As employers, it’s important to create a space that’s comfortable and functional, and picking the right furniture is a major component in doing so. It can boost productivity, contribute to employee wellbeing and even entice potential employees. But choosing the perfect furniture for your office can be a challenging endeavor.
Here are 6 things to consider when shopping around for the perfect office furniture:
Office furniture is an investment. Each piece costs dollars from your business’ bottom line. Before shopping for furniture, consider how much money you’re able to allocate and how many of each item you really need – desks, chairs, couches, conference tables.
Consider the balance between aesthetics and functionality and determine how much of one you’d sacrifice for the other.
You should also weigh quality versus cost. Lower cost will often mean a sacrifice in quality. While you could buy higher volumes of lower-cost furniture, you may ultimately spend more than the original difference replacing it.
If you’re working with a smaller budget, consider buying fewer pieces that are of higher quality when feasible. You can always add more as your budget increases.
Your staff spends a substantial amount of the day sitting and working so it’s important to provide them with comfortable chairs and desks. Ergonomic furniture makes working easier and healthier with considerations like contoured eats, lumbar backrest supports, adjustable seats and armrests.
Finding furniture that strikes a balance between comfort and ergonomic best practices will be well worth the investment and will go a long way in improving your employees’ well-being and productivity.
3. Environments and Workstyles
Forward-thinking offices understand that employees perform best when there are spaces available to suit many work styles and needs. For instance, you can create café-like atmospheres with comfortable and informal seating where employees can relax, communicate and collaborate as well as formal cubicle spaces for individual working. Ultimately, your furniture choices should make your office more conducive to work.
4. Flexibility and Functionality
Functional office furniture equals better bang for the buck. If you can balance functionality with reasonable pricing, you’re maximizing your money.
To achieve the right balance, consider the type of work that the furniture needs to support. If your employees work remotely and only spend smaller amounts of time at the office, do you need multiple desks, or could a communal work table suffice? Does your business need shelving and storage, or are most of your company’s records digitized and stored in the cloud?
There’s also a delicate balance between aesthetically pleasing and functional. If it looks great but isn’t functional, you’ll find your employees more frustrated than inspired.
5. Size, Layout and Feel
It’s intuitive to buy furniture that fits within your space. But you also need to consider how the furniture will make your office feel.
If space is cramped by furniture, your employees won’t be able to move freely or easily. Too much furniture can also make space feel claustrophobic for employees and affect stress levels and productivity.
Try to arrange furniture in a way that makes your office look more spacious. The key is to provide your employees with great furniture and leave them enough room to be comfortable in it.
When laying out your office, it’s also important to consider things like phone jacks and outlets and the best place for desks in relation to them as well as the amount of natural light available and the need for lamps to compensate and proximity to doors, closets and restrooms.
6. Brand Identity
As much as furniture design enhances the environment and affects employee well-being and morale, it’s also important to choose furniture that compliments your brand identity. As much as possible, your furniture should be reflective of your brand and culture. For a creative agency, colorful furniture featuring outside-the-box design may be a great choice, whereas for a financial company, it may be better to purchase furniture with more refined styling and coloring.
You should also consider furniture and materials that suit individual spaces within the office. Mesh is great for a desk or chair used in everyday work as it provides flexibility and ventilation for the user. High-traffic areas like lobbies or break rooms may do best with materials that are durable and easy to clear. And executive meeting rooms might be best suited with leather and luxurious, high-end fabrics.
Choosing the right office furniture is a big job. But understanding your exact needs and the budget you have available can make the task a little bit less daunting.
Your office furniture should be conducive to work. It can affect productivity and morale and even entice potential employees. But it can be extremely challenging to pick the right furniture for your workspace.