Office furniture plays a bigger role in getting a business up and running than many people think. Your employees need comfortable, ergonomic furniture in their workspaces to be productive, and choosing the right items can make a huge difference in their satisfaction levels and long-term health. The selection process involves asking the following questions:
- Do they prefer sitting or standing at their office desks?
- Are there separate offices for each employee or group of employees?
- How many desks and chairs will you need in each office?
- Will you also need to provide waiting room seating, conference tables, break room tables and chairs, and more?
- What about task lighting and storage options?
Office furniture selection can seem like an overwhelming part of the already daunting task of setting up a new office. It’s one you don’t want to neglect, though, because the items you choose are also your chance to make a great first impression on clients and prospective employees. This guide will help you choose furniture that your clients and employees will love.
What Your Furniture Says About Your Company
Picture yourself as a new client walking into your business for the first time. What impression does your furniture give? Is it professional, classy, and inviting, or shabby, out-of-date, or uncomfortable? Will your clients look forward to coming back many times in the future, or will they wonder what in the world they’re doing here in the first place?
Choosing the right items tells visitors about your company from the moment they step through your door, setting you up for a successful future. New office furniture that is stylish and comfortable will invite visitors to come in and take a seat rather than causing them to make a hasty retreat. It’s thus crucial to take the selection process seriously.
Important Factors in Office Furniture Selection
The first step in choosing office furniture is deciding what kind of culture you want to create, then seeing what you need to make that happen. Here are a few tips to help move things along:
- Ask yourself about your intended workspace
Will employees work in individual offices, open workspaces, or a combination? How many rooms will you need to furnish? How many pieces of each furniture type will you need to adequately furnish the various spaces?
- How can you ensure comfort
Will you need standard office chairs with armrests or more flexible options? What about office desks and conference tables? Making sure your employees and operations have comfortable, functional furniture is a must.
- Think through organization
Where will you keep office supplies, file cabinets, and other equipment? Will each office have its own or will you use a centralized space?
- Company growth
It’s easy to count up what you need now, but is your business expanding? Are you hoping to grow in the future? Don’t forget to allow room for company expansion.
Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to consider the types of furniture you’ll need for each different space. Those rooms might include:
- Waiting or reception areas
- Conference rooms
- Other workspaces
- Flex spaces
- File rooms
- Copy/fax machine spaces
- Break rooms
After you’ve taken inventory, you can move on to choosing a design style and office layout.
6 Ways to Create an Attractive, Functional Office Space
Style is important for impressing employees and clients, but other factors are equally important. Your office furniture must be comfortable for long work days, and its functionality, durability, and practicality are also important. If it’s also stylish, well, that’s the cherry on top!
The truth is that the design style you choose is the first thing a potential customer will notice when walking into your space. Mix-matched, shabby furniture may make your company look dated and out-of-touch, while ultra-modern and sleek designs might be too far on the opposite end of the spectrum. Yours must fit the type of company you have.
Here are some designs to consider when designing your office space:
- Biophilic design
A biophilic design focuses on elements of the natural world. It incorporates greenery, furniture made of wood, and abundant light to connect workspaces with the outdoors. Those that incorporate biophilic design help reduce stress while enhancing employees’ mental health and sense of wellbeing.
- Flexible design
Flexible office spaces allow employees the freedom to move around, change positions, and work together as needed. Comfortable employees are also productive employees, and adjustable desks and chairs allow them to quickly change to more helpful positions. Sliding doors or even walls allow for easy collaborations or privacy as needed.
- Collaborative design
A collaborative office makes it easy for employees to work together on projects and incorporates freestanding media units, data sockets, adjustable table heights, large desks equipped with power outlets, adjustable task lighting, and privacy pods. Generally, all the furniture is arranged in small groups within one large, open space. Each grouping can be anchored by colorful area rugs that delineate different “office” areas.
- Cozy design
A cozy, home office-like atmosphere can improve employee comfort and satisfaction. You can achieve this look by adding couches, easy chairs, and coffee tables to lounges and conference rooms. Something fun like a ping-pong table or pinball machine in the breakroom may help your employees burn off stress, meaning they’ll return from their breaks refreshed and ready for more work.
- Bright and bold design
Bright spaces, bold colors, and interesting shapes help spur creativity, which is why they’re an important part of design for many tech-focused companies. These elements are particularly inspirational for younger workers who can’t see themselves working in a hive of boringly identical cubicles.
- Modular design
A modular design incorporates lightweight furniture components that can be moved around and mixed as needed, or stored out of the way when not in use. If you think you may need to move in the near future, modular furniture is a particularly good choice.
Buying office furniture before you’re sure of what you want can get expensive. Consider renting quality options to try out different designs and configurations until you figure out what works best for your workspace. Rental furniture used to look cheap and flimsy, but much of it now is just as high-quality and stylish as the new items you might buy.
Are You Ready for a New Office in Washington, D.C.?
If you are, contact The Genau Group today to schedule an appointment! We help business owners with everything from figuring out how many square feet of office space they need to the best office design and layout for their companies. Our experts are always exploring the latest office design trends to better meet the needs of our clients.