Office furniture purchases for most small and mid-sized businesses are handled “part time” by someone who has many other responsibilities. This means that most purchases are made by a person who is not an expert at ordering office furniture. However, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines, the products that you buy will keep your employees productive and will last for years to come. There are a few basic questions you should ask when considering your companies furniture needs.
The first question you need to ask is what space or spaces am I trying to furnish? What type of furniture will best meet the needs for each of these spaces? There are several common categories that your space will usually fall into and there is furniture designed to meet the needs of each of them. The more common spaces are the Reception Area, Lobby, Conference Room, Private Office, Break Room, File Room, Group Work Environment (cubicles), Lab Area and Call Center.
Next, you will want to determine how many employees will be using the furniture and how much space are you trying to fill? You will want to be sure to provide adequate working space for each employee. Your employees will be most efficient and productive when they have room to get their jobs done.
Are there any special needs for the employee user groups or their environment? There may be shared workspace, making the adjustability of seating necessary to accommodate multiple employees. Consider how much time employees spend working together on projects. This means buying office cubicles that promote easy communication and collaboration. What kind of filing and storage space is needed? Will a standard Box/Box/File pedestal be adequate or is a 2 drawer lateral file a better option? Do employees need binder bins to store binders and books? Also, are there any work place compliance considerations such as privacy (HIPAA) or (LEED) environmental?
The next question you will want to ask is what furniture do I have today? Do I need to match what I have in the office now, or does the space I’m trying to furnish let me create a new look? The variety of choices today makes it easier to buy new products that match your existing furniture, or at least coordinate with it.
What image do you need to portray? For example, a law office may want to convey professionalism and success. A physician’s office may need to show a clean and comforting atmosphere. Your atmosphere can be influenced by the design of the furniture you choose, as well as the colors, fabrics and finishes you select. You will also want to consider what image the user of the furniture needs to convey. Are you furnishing an executive space that requires darker finishes and richer textures, or are you furnishing an engineering workstation that needs to emphasize comfort and functionality?
What is the budget? Often, this can be computed by employee or employee space. You will want to consider the savings offered to you when using refurbished office cubicles, used office cubicles, used office furniture, or a combination of new and refurbished product.
Next, what are the growth prospects for your business? Do you need to select products that can be easily reconfigured and expanded? I suggest buying Steelcase office cubicles because they can be moved and reconfigured easily. This will give you the flexibility to change your floor plan, plus integrate new pieces into existing furniture arrangements.
By answering these basic questions, you will be prepared to consult with a office furniture dealer and make informed decisions about your companies office furniture needs.