Selecting furniture for your office may seem like a minor item on your list of priorities, but it’s actually a decision that has a major long-term impact on your company and employees. It entails much more than choosing a design or color palette you like. Buying the right office furniture requires considering your employees’ needs, planning for your future goals, and investing in products that will give you the best value over time.
Steer clear of these common office furniture mistakes; your company will benefit from increased employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity – all good for your bottom line.
Not Having a Clear Plan
Rushing through the buying process leads to hasty decisions you’ll soon regret. Take the time to do your homework, and determine your office’s requirements. Evaluate the furniture you have now, assess what is missing, and talk to your employees about what they need. What annoyances and inconveniences could you solve with new furniture? What daily tasks could be streamlined with better solutions? Think about how each item will be used and how often. Look for pieces that have a simple, timeless aesthetic, so you can easily add complementary pieces as you grow.
Not Making Comfort a Priority
Employee comfort should be a critical priority as you furnish your office. People spend long hours at their workstations, and comfortable furniture makes employees happier and more productive (not to mention minimizes the risk of workplace injury). Invest in ergonomic features, such as desk chairs with lumbar support, adjustable armrests, and countered seats.
Choosing the Wrong Fabrics
Carefully consider how and where each piece of furniture will be used before selecting a fabric. Will it be used in a space where people will be sitting and working for long periods of time? Mesh is appealing because it is comfortable and breathable. Will a piece be in an area you’ll need to clean often, such as an employee lounge, or a medical examination room? Vinyl is easy to wipe down and clean without damage from strong products. Choose the right fabric for the specific needs of each space.
Opting for Products Not Rated for the Task
It’s important to be able to accommodate people – employees and guests – of different shapes and sizes. If you buy a desk or lobby chair that’s only rated for use by people who weigh 250 pounds or less, for instance, you run into safety and comfort problems for individuals who weigh more. A lower-rated chair may cost less to purchase initially, but that’s not factoring in any potential damage or injury resulting from misuse. It’s a wiser investment to buy higher-rated furniture that can be used by a diverse group of people.
Buying on Price, Not Overall Value
Opting for the least expensive furniture is not always the best long-term decision. Think about the role of each piece of furniture in your office: how often you’ll use it, how it will affect employee comfort and productivity, what repairs or replacement will cost. Weigh its initial price tag with how much value it will provide over the course of its lifetime.
Click here to read Part II of this series – more office furniture mistakes you should avoid!
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