Office furniture – the term usually conjures up images desks, cubicles and chairs. We rarely think beyond it. But these days, there is more to it than a single functional unit. Today, your office furniture has to do more for you; it has to multi-task just like you do. Moreover, it has to accommodate your stationary, your rolodex as well as your technology infrastructure!
Yes, now think of office furniture. Do you see something different? Thought you would! Now you have cubicles, chairs etc. and a desk with your laptop or PC, a printer, fax machine, headphones, phone(s), files, CDs, pictures, maybe even a coffee machine. And it has to do this in style. So whether you are planning to buy office furniture for you home office, or a relatively bigger office where you are in charge of the décor, there are a few basic rules which are well kept in mind.
Identify the needs
The first thing to do when thinking of buying office furniture, is to keep work related requirements in mind. Do you use too many gadgets? Do you need a lot of space to store things? Do you doodle as you talk over the phone? These and many such questions will give you a good idea about how ‘functional’ your furniture needs to be.
All about logistics
Ask yourself logistical questions - How many employees do you have? Do you work from a home office or do you have a separate office space? How many hours do you plan to spend at work? Are you spending too much time sitting down? This will help you decide exactly what you need to spend on and what you can hold back on.
Create a list
Before buying furniture, make a list of what all you plan to buy and compare it with your needs. Further divide the list into “must have” and “nice to have” categories. This will save you a lot of trouble when you are picking things up and will let you stick to your core needs.
Stick to your budget
Identify a ceiling budget for your furniture shopping spree right at the onset. Else you may end up overshooting just because you had to have that overpriced and classy desk chair.
Functionality or style?
It is usually wise to purchase furniture which is more functional rather than just stylish. But this would largely depend on the reason for the purchase, and for what type of business you are purchasing it. If you need chairs for the reception area of your employer, you might want to invest in stylish furniture. However, if it is for your home business, you might reconsider doing that. But if you get both style and function, which is not so rare these days, go for it!
Purchasing the work desk
The work desk is by far the most important piece of furniture you shall purchase. And because you are going to be using it so often, it is well worth investing a little extra so as to purchase a nice, sturdy functional and comfortable work desk. Make sure the surfaces of the work desk are non-staining thought.
Storage areas and wall units
Every office needs storage space. Make sure you purchase storage cabinets and units can be installed nearby the desk and well within reach. Also, make sure that they are sturdy and strong. Storage spaces are usually the first to fall apart from wear and tear caused by frequent opening and closing of the units.
Renting office furniture
Many big and small businesses consider renting furniture for their office space. This may not be the best option if you are planning to stay at the same place for the long haul. However, it is a great option for businesses which need to be mobile as it saves you heavy investments.
Health and safety
Whether you are purchasing furniture for yourself or your employees think about the ergonomics of your investments. Investing in good furniture is always profitable in the long run. You do not want to purchase a bad chair and have your employees stay at home because they developed a backache, do you? And nor do want to expose yourself to fatigue, eye strain, headaches etc. Buy furniture that is people friendly and made especially for work areas.
Furniture too has personality
All said and done, the most important thing to remember is to invest in furniture that goes with your personality. Yes, you want something functional, and comfortable, and within budget. But who says you cannot find the perfect style too? The style of the furniture you choose should compliment your personality. This is the furniture you will use day and in day out, 5 days a week more than 8-9 hours a day. You do not want to be stuck with something that is functional but will simply not inspire you to work!