When starting and operating an office, the furniture used for employee workspaces isn’t usually high on the priority list. Yet, office design can be an unmistakably powerful key to success that is all too often overlooked. After all, when employees are happy about where they work, they are 12% more productive and outperform the competition by 20%. Believe it or not, your office furniture and layout are contributing factors to that level of happiness and success!
This guide will explore the reasons why you should think twice about the office furniture you purchase and how to find the best options to suit your business and its employees. We’ll cover 7 factors that you need to remember when buying office furniture and how those factors should influence your final purchasing decision.
#1: It All Starts with Price
The first factor in any purchase is the price. Filling an office with furniture can be an expensive task. Most office furniture suppliers estimate the costs of furniture based on the square footage of the space. For example, low-end office furniture can cost about $40 a square metre. If your office is 2,000 square meters, then your office will cost $80,000 to fill with furniture. That price escalates quickly, depending on the quality. A high-end office of the same size can cost considerably more.
If you’re buying individual pieces of furniture, there is also a broad range of prices. Naturally, you need to find pieces that fit within your budget but still deliver the style and comfort that you desire.
#2: Your Office Furniture Reflects Your Culture and Brand
Do you have clients visit your office regularly? If so, you are lucky to have brand loyal customers. These brand loyal customers will spend 67% more than new customers. For this reason alone, your space needs to reflect your brand.
If your office furniture and design seem dated, your company will also feel dated to visitors. Thus, your furniture needs to reflect your brand image and highlight your unique company culture, not detract from it.
This is an essential factor to remember when choosing the style of your furniture. You want to pick a style that reflects well on your business. In an example, a technology-based company may opt for a modern or industrial style of furniture, while an outdoor lifestyle business would find greater appeal with a rustic aesthetic for their office.
#3: Pay Extra Attention to Your Office Chairs
When it comes to buying office furniture, you need to spend extra time picking out the right chairs. You and your staff are prone to sitting for long hours throughout each day. You need the correct type of chairs that deliver the necessary support and comfort to survive this tedious activity day in and day out.
A study by the American Medical Association found that companies lose around $81 billion each year in productivity due to employee discomfort. Spending a little extra on the right chair can go a long way in boosting your bottom line.
It’s wise to shop for AFRDI-approved office chairs; these products undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they are long-lasting and supportive in the right areas.
#4: Consider the Flow Of Your Office Design
Once upon a time, the office design standard was cubicles and simple office furniture. This is still a highly fashionable design. By keeping each workstation separated with cubicle walls, it helps each individual employee focus. They aren’t distracted by what their neighboring colleagues are doing.
That said, open flow office designs are becoming more and more popular. In fact, studies indicate that 75% of workers rank teamwork as an essential factor in the office.
In open settings, cubicle walls are removed, and employees work in closer proximity to one another. An open design increases true collaboration and communication, and thus improves office relationships and your companies productivity.
Flow is an important thing to consider and is something that should be strategically approached to optimize efficiency and office communication.
#5: Expensive Office Furniture Is Not Always the Best!
Beyond price, there are four primary qualities that we look for in furniture: style, comfort, durability, and functionality. Typically, we’re going to sacrifice one or two of those qualities in place of another. For example, the most durable office chair may not be the prettiest to look at. Similarly, a high-end office chair may have style and comfort but could lack functionality.
Instead of spending a lot of money on office furniture that you feel will deliver all four characteristics, you should really think about what traits you need the most and focus on the furniture pieces that offer those.
#6: Think About Other Amenities to Bring To Your Office
When we think about “furniture,” we tend to focus strictly on office chairs, office desks, meeting tables, filing cabinets etc. However, there are other items that you can buy to enhance your office design and deliver a little more comfort to employees, such as a nice coffee machine, a pool table, beautiful lounge furniture, a centerpiece, etc.
These features, while not work-focused, can really enhance life in the office by injecting a little entertainment and fun into the environment. The fact is, 97% consider their office spaces as a reflection of how valued they are. You need to make sure their area is of your appreciation.
When employees are happy at their job, they are going to be more productive and want to stick around longer! So, if you have a little money left in your office furniture budget, think about some extra amenities you can offer employees.
#7: Choose The Right Office Furniture Supplier
There are suitable office furniture suppliers, and then there are not so good suppliers. The difference is often in the services they provide beyond selling you the furniture. Great furniture companies will also offer top-quality delivery and installation services. Some even work with interior designers to really deliver the ideal office environment.
You may want to interview a few different suppliers and find the one that promises to offer the best service. While you may pay a little extra, these benefits will be invaluable and provide a much better experience.
Office furniture is notorious for being dull and mundane, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s a lot more that goes into buying office furniture than some business owners realize. With this guide, you have the knowledge to find the right office furniture solution to meet the needs of your company and its employees.