When looking to redecorate an office, the first thing that comes to mind is furniture. Modern jobs and businesses as a whole demand for modern solutions. There are many factors to consider. Practicality, aesthetics and potential legal considerations are just some of them.
Basically, it takes a lot more thought and effort than just going online and choosing what catches our eyes the fastest. The type of furniture we pick for our office primarily needs to address all the practical requirements for our specific industry and niche. Another purpose it has to serve is to maximise employee comfort and efficiency.
As we can see, it is not a straightforward task as it may initially seem. Here are some of the things to consider when selecting furniture for an office workstation.
Financing does not come easy, especially for small companies and start-ups that are in their infancy. Every little bit counts. Furthermore, we have to show our investors that the money is spent as wisely as possible. These are some of the reasons we need to consider all the associated costs beforehand and develop a plan. How much can and will we spend on a desk or a chair and how many of those do we need? It is a simple calculus, but make sure to add additional costs like transportation and installation.
Determining our budget should always be the starting point as all other decisions stem from it. It will narrow down our choices and focus our efforts while prioritizing quality, comfort and efficiency.
Stepping out of the preconceived notions of our office and imagining a blank canvas can give us a big perspective with what we are working with. The main question is: “How can we make the space available more efficient?”. Some of the essential factors to factor in are chairs, desks, storage, machines, electronics, power and data cables, etc. These need to work in conjunction with one another and take up more space than the sum of their parts.
On top of that, there needs to be enough space for people to move around freely and comfortably. Daily business operations, processes and collaborations need to flow freely and not be obstructed by the new setting.
Functionality is an aspect that we cannot stress enough. Different industries and niches have different requirements that need to be fulfilled. An office might be configured for meetings. In that case, a larger oval desk is better suited than a smaller work-bench style one. Other environments might greatly benefit from smaller, individual desks that accommodate working professionals like programmers for example.
One of the solutions that can be used in open-minded business environments is putting standing desks in the office. This type of desk allows employees to stretch their legs and work standing up for a while. Standing desks can also have their own accessories and can act as regular ones. You can accessorize them with potted plants, a stress ball, personal pictures, and even add a stand-up desk mat. Experts at Mat Shop can help you to choose the right mat and you’ll have all the essentials for creating a comfortable and productive workspace.
When talking about function, we need to consider desk space and comfort. Space needs to be adequate to facilitate whatever the person sitting there needs to accomplish. Usually, that means fitting a computer with at least one monitor. Some professionals might require several monitor configurations which can take a lot of space.
Today, real estate tends to be on the expensive side. The reason why it is important for this topic is that there are many ways for us to optimize and reuse our available space and furniture. We need to organize our space and furniture in such ways as to accommodate a multitude of purposes.
Small businesses might not have the clearest idea where they will be in a few years. A more flexible setup will save them the hassle and expenses of completely redoing their office every couple of years. Maybe our business will rapidly grow and in consequence, so will our need for work power. If we need to add another fifty people, it is much easier done by reorganizing a flexible workspace rather than buying or renting a new space.
The combination of individual pieces of furniture can really set the entire vibe and mood of an office. It can be modern, with sharp edges and smooth colours and textures, or it can be retro with natural, unprocessed materials such as wood or ceramics. What kind of atmosphere do we want to nurture in our office? That is the starting point that we can work off of. Plenty of modern design choices are modular and can be quickly adapted to different needs and tastes in a moment’s notice. A meeting area should be professional in appearance but also with a subtle degree of style and personal touch.
On the other hand, break rooms are best completely dedicated to rest and relaxation. Colours, gadgets, artwork, more relaxed furniture such as beanbags and fun activities such as a pool or air hockey can serve us best. Our only limitations are the space available to us and our imagination. If we are building a look, we do not have to acquire everything right away. We can start with an idea, get a few necessities, and slowly work our way from there.
Modern businesses require a lot of storage. Depending, of course, on the type of industry and niche we find ourselves in, a certain degree of storage space is necessary. Storage comes in various forms, shapes and sizes, depending on the type of objects we need to store, again, leaning heavily on our area of expertise. Bookcases, filing, cabinets, side tables, closets, warehouses, all of these fall under this category and need to be used appropriately.
Storage does have one common trait, no matter the industry and it is the space it occupies. It tends to be big, bulky, in your face and has a tendency to keep increasing as more things need storing. Thankfully, there are plenty of choices to choose from today and it can fit into any office design. The option that we go for has no excuse to be gaudy or out of place, not matching our office furniture.
Space should never be sacrificed to clutter as that is usually a downward spiral into messiness. Use vertical space. The space above our heads is usually the most neglected. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for storage solutions. Think about it, stored items usually do not need to be accessed often. What better place to put (or store) them than somewhere out of sight and out of mind. Just a tip: keep a list of exactly what is where when it comes to storage, it will save you tons of time and effort trying to find that report from a few years ago.
Employee comfort goes a long way and is worth investing. We want our employees to be as stress-free, relaxed, happy and focused on their work as possible. Employees are the bread and butter of any business and it stands to reason to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.
Start with ergonomic chairs and desks. Some of the advantages these pieces of furniture offer are lumbar support, backrest, armrests, and padded seating. All these little things combined can go a long way. Employees will report back or neck pain much less frequently and will, therefore, be productive and content.
Speaking of productivity and efficiency, the happier and comfortable they are the more these factors are working in our favour. An employee with chronic back pain from improper seating conditions is surely not to perform as one that does not suffer from these ailments. Collect feedback after and beforehand to see what the employees want, what will serve them best and how to improve on what you already have.
Selecting the right type of furniture for our office can be a surprisingly intricate task. No business is identical and our choice depends on a multitude of factors. But with a little foresight and planning, we can get that perfect feel and environment meant to impress clients and employees alike. One thing is for sure, everyone will feel happy to come into our office, every time.
Emma Williams is an Australian writer with a master‘s degree in business administration, who has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river.