The 10 Biggest Office Furniture Blunders:
Office furniture is an integral and essential element of your work space. You cannot function without somewhere to sit, a desk to place your computer, an area to welcome visitors and clients.
Furnishing your office is never going to be cheap so it pays to get it right from the outset.
The 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Office Furniture
1 – Planning: "We need new office furniture!" Great, but you also need to draw up a good plan to ensure that you buy the right furniture for the space that you inhabit.
By drawing up a comprehensive plan you can more accurately assess the needs of your workers, analyse your existing furniture to see which pieces might work fine in your new plan, and to see exactly how your new space will look once fully furnished.
2 – Testing: If you work in an office you probably spend more time sat in your office chair than you do at the wheel of your car. Would you buy a brand new car without first taking it for a test drive? How do you know that you will feel comfortable in your new office chairs and that your desks fit well with your needs unless you have sat in/at them?
Look at a variety of desk designs, and try out the chairs. Check if the chairs that you like fit properly under the desks that you want. Testing doesn't take much time, especially in comparison to the money saved in buying the wrong items.
3 - Functionality: Looks great but a pain in the, er, proverbial? Can your office chairs be moved from one area to another easily? Can you adjust the height? Do they offer enough back support? Comfort and functionality is a must. Choosing "designer" brands for the sake of the name could backfire on you if the furniture isn't functional in your workspace.
And on the other end of the scale, you get what you pay for in life. If that bargain only lasts a few months it wasn't worth the time spent sourcing it, installing it, removing it and replacing it.
4 - Materials: How durable are the fabrics? Are they clean-able? If the furniture you are buying is going into high use areas like entrance halls, lobbies and break-out areas you need them to wear well rather than quickly becoming worn and tatty.
Buying the latest trends in materials may seem a sound investment - state of the art, modern office furniture. But if you have followed all of the other advice about buying quality products that will serve their purpose for a lengthy period, are those materials going to go out of fashion?
5 – Price: We've touched on this in functionality. Buy cheap, buy twice. If you are investing in new furniture for your office it is tempting to seek out the best bargain. We are not advocating that you should always pay full price, but it's worth trying to find out why it's such a bargain. Is there perhaps a design fault? Or is the product impossible to clean? Or does the design scream "that's so 2011 darling!"
Choosing price over quality may be appealing to your wallet, but quality matters. To avoid the need for repairs and replacements, it is worth investing in good quality furniture even if it costs a little more.
6 – Homogeny: Office furniture equipment makers must meet fundamental safety and quality standards – but they don’t have to (and in fact, deliberately choose not to) have similar manufacturing and design approaches. Long gone (thankfully) are the concrete cubicles of old; what works well in one office may not translate to another workspace.
If you are keen to attract the best new talent out there a well-designed, planned and furnished office will help set you apart from your competitors.
7 – Branding: If all of your company branding is in blue you wouldn't then go and furnish your office entirely in pink - but if your branding is pink then you may well go all out for a cerise theme.
It is essential that you are giving out a consistent branding message across everything that you say, you do and in all areas that you represent yourself both to the outside world and internally to staff. Your office chairs, tables and cabinets should all compliment your style, design, and colour of your brand.
8 – Installation: If you've ever bought flat-packed furniture you'll know it is never, ever as simple as the instructions allure to. When sourcing new furniture you have to take into consideration the time and complexities of having it all installed. If you have ordered a lot of new equipment this could cause major disruption within the office and this has to be taken into consideration for both employees and clients. This aspect has to be part of your initial planning stages.
9 – Time: As above, the install is going to take time, but so is the initial planning, the testing, the sourcing, and the negotiating. The end result will be worth your time and effort, but you have to be realistic about the time it will take you overall before you get to sit at your perfect office desk.
10 – Memory: If you’re buying more than a few pieces of furniture, it’s always a good idea to keep an organized file of your plans, your standard pieces and preferred finishes and colours. This will enable you to reference back and be assured that every order you place matches your existing furniture.
Buying new office furniture can be challenging and time-consuming, but it should also ultimately be highly rewarding. You need to decide what pieces to buy, where to buy them from, and how much to budget. If you are thinking of buying office furniture for your new business or you want to carry out a complete make-over for your existing offices then please get in touch with us here at 20six: Brighton's leading office furniture specialists.