Offices and workspaces are constantly evolving around us. Considering the change in tastes and preferences of people, the market is filled with various options to suit every requirement. You can pick from modern, eclectic, traditional, industrial-chic, to functional and minimalistic designs. The design you choose must depend on the number of employees, kind of work, and the budget that you have in mind.
How is office furniture different from home furniture?
- The main difference is that while home furniture leans more heavily on style and luxurious comfort, office furniture tends to be more functional and efficient. However, of late, there is an increased focus on using stylish pieces that are synonymous with the brand you promote.
- Another factor that must be considered is seating capacity. While home furniture may seat a maximum of 10-12 guests, office furniture needs to cater to the number of employees and prospective clients.
Major types of office furniture
When you talk about office furniture, it is not just tables and chairs. Several pieces of furniture come together to create the perfect office space you need for productivity. So, to begin with, you need tables that can house your laptops and desktops. Then, you must consider comfortable chairs that will allow your workers to spend long hours without complaints. In addition to this, you must consider filing cabinets and safes too. So, let us look at the different types of office furniture.
These kinds of desks are an important part of office furniture. Any small or large office space must feature managerial desks. Typically, such desks are larger than the regular work desks. The design caters to the tastes and preferences of the users. The design also aims to impress clients or guests visiting the office for important meetings. Depending on the needs, such desks may feature drawers and storage sections below.
- Height adjustable desks
These desks are highly functional and work in several scenarios. For instance, architects may find such office furniture to be extremely handy, as they can be used to discuss various proposals with clients. Such desks also make it convenient for employees to be able to use them while standing or sitting. An open floor plan accommodates such height-adjustable desks effortlessly.
- Floating desks
These kinds of desks are typically affixed to the wall. The advantage of such a design is the fact that it does not block the floor area of your office. So, if you are working in a small area, consider using a design for floating desks.
- Executive chairs
You can associate high backs, soft leather (faux or genuine, depending on the budget), casters, and wheels with these kinds of chairs. It is not unusual to see these chairs match the elegant design of the desks.
- Ergonomic chairs
This is an increasingly popular type of chair that is opted by companies. Since the employees spend considerable time at work, it makes sense to invest in chairs that emphasize the right posture. Most of these chairs are designed to provide maximum comfort.
- Task chairs
These kinds of chairs are the most common and affordable in the office furniture market. They feature simple foam, casters, and wheels. Most of these chairs are height-adjustable.
Depending on the kind of business you have, you must pick the right safety vault. While some may only need to protect financial papers and other documentation from burglars, others may need fire-proof safes.
- Electronic or traditional
You can choose between traditional and electronic safes, depending on the budget and your needs. Thanks to a large number of options available, you can pick from vaults made of different metals. You can choose to have a safe that protects valuables from natural disasters too. Safes are an important part of office furniture. You must also consider the crime rate in the area where your office is situated. Make sure you pick a vault that can be secured and is hard to crack.
Cabinets come in numerous sizes, shapes, and styles. It is hard to imagine office furniture without considering the right filing system. First and foremost, think about your filing system and your accessibility needs. Consider the office space, and what kind of a filing system will suit you and your employees. Thanks to innovative designs, you can pick from different colors, materials, and sizes. Here are the possible options when it comes to cabinets.
- Lateral filing cabinets
These kinds of cabinets house letters and legal sized paperwork. This is a versatile design, as it can hold several different sizes.
- Vertical filing cabinets
Vertical cabinets are great when you are struggling with floor space. As these cabinets are more tall than wide, you can arrange more than one side by side. Although, you may have to invest in a sturdy ladder.
- Card file storage cabinets
These kinds of filing cabinets are great for institutions or libraries as they can keep your index cards well-organized.
- Mobile file cabinets
These cabinets are fitted with casters, making them portable and convenient office furniture pieces. You can move them to a meeting room, or store them in your office.
- Flat-file storage cabinets
Architects, imaging, and other creative art companies may find these kinds of cabinets great for their large documents. The spacious drawers can hold blueprints and other documents without creases.
- Side-tab filing cabinets
This is the perfect office furniture for firms in the medical business. The sturdy construction and spacious racks allow for easy document-filing and access to the same. The cabinets can be purchased with or without a door, depending on your need.
Top tips to pick office furniture
So, now that you know the different kinds of office furniture you need, it is time to pick up the right ones. Here are ideas and tips on how you can pick the best office furniture.
This is probably the most important tip as cost plays a huge role in your decision-making process. While the best option may seem way over your budget, office furniture is not something that you will change quite often. Plus, you will want to keep your employees safe, comfortable, and happy. This will motivate them to work harder. One option is to look at flexible furniture designs. While these may be expensive as they will be customized to suit your needs, they will serve multiple purposes, saving you cost and space in the long run. On the other hand, if you are a start-up, you may be worrying about your budget. One of the options that may work for you is second-hand office furniture. You can save money, and consider the items carefully before you decide to buy the same.
Having furniture with multiple functions is always appealing. When you are out looking for furniture, think about how flexible the design is. Always think about the future and consider if the furniture can grow with your business. For instance, filing cabinets must always be picked to support a business that is larger than your current state. You do not want to end up spending additional funds every time your cabinet reaches maximum capacity. So, plan your furniture according to functionality, the present, and the future.
This is vital if you want your employees to be happy and comfortable in their space. Imagine having to spend 6-7 hours in a chair that does not support you well. So, carefully consider the requirements of your employees and the needs of your specific kind of business. So, if you are an interior design business or an architecture firm, consider using tables that are wide and spacious. It will be easier to look at the blueprints and large drawings without being uncomfortable. Think about using standing tables, and alternate them with seated ones. Be creative, but mindful of the needs of your business.
This is a simple tip for office furniture choosing, but most people ignore it. You must pick the furniture based on the overall size of your office. If you have a small office, you should avoid elaborate, leather-trimmed office desks, even if they are on sale. You cannot afford to cramp up the space in your office with heavy furniture, if it does not allow it. A sparsely but neatly-arranged office will present a far better picture than a cramped office that features designer office furniture. Another important tip is to measure your office first. Using these dimensions, you can design a space that maximizes the occupancy. With a few creative design tricks, you may even give your office a spacious look.
- Aesthetics and clean look
Last but certainly not the least, office furniture that contributes to the aesthetics of your office may contribute to increased business as well. Think about the overall look before you buy furniture. Color schemes and placement play a huge role in presenting the right look. A good office design always contributes to reducing stress, increasing productivity, and lightening up the mood. Whether you employ a professional to design the interiors or not, understand a few things about the psychology of colors in a work area. So, if your work involves a creative process, consider orange as the perfect color. On the other hand, if you are looking for a feel of tranquility, opt for blue. While these are great suggestions, it is always important to follow your gut as you pick office furniture that aligns with your brand and its message.
Tips to maintain office furniture
If you maintain your furniture right, it will last for a long time and prove to be value for money. So, check out these tips:
- A proactive approach is best
Hygiene and maintenance are critical in any office set-up. While your employees may report damage or an issue with any of the furniture, it is important to conduct regular maintenance and check-ups. Some offices hire a third-party vendor (janitorial services) who can carry out these maintenance checks. These regular checks will ensure that your furniture lasts long. Always ensure that expensive and heavy-duty investments such as file cabinets and safety vaults are under warranty. If servicing is required, make sure that it is done as required. The bolts and screws in the office furniture should be regularly tightened and maintained. Make sure you circulate information about the right use of equipment and furniture in the office.
- Know the needs of your furniture
It is important to maintain the office furniture in the right way, especially when you have invested time and effort in picking it. Most of such furniture pieces will come with maintenance and care manuals. Always ensure that you use the right cleaning products to keep the furniture clean. For instance, leather surfaces can only be cleaned with specific agents. Make sure the janitorial service company (if outsourced) is aware of the specific requirements. Care manuals may sometimes provide leather cleaning kits, which can be used to ensure the surface is spotless. Unless otherwise mentioned, other surfaces may be cleaned with a moist microfiber cloth. Cleaning is important for sanitation and safety as well.
- Deep cleaning and hygienic surroundings
If you want your office furniture to last long, make sure you have a cleaning schedule in place. Most offices will ensure that the janitorial service comes in when the employees are leaving. However, depending on the kind of business you have, you can repeat the cleaning process throughout the day. Deep cleaning services may be required, but not as frequently as daily services. Occasionally, the drawers, shelves, filing cabinets, and the space behind and around computers must be cleaned. One of the most important things is to ensure that the janitorial service has a maintenance checklist that covers all the above. The firm may decide the regularity and extent of cleaning.
To conclude, the process of picking the right office furniture may seem to be more than what you bargained for. But, remember this is a project that you are undertaking for your company and business. Hence, it will all be worth it when your office space makes employees content and productive and your clients impressed.