Your office says a lot about your business. It’s also where you will spend a substantial amount of time. Unfortunately, with all the other aspects of setting up an office, as well as the numerous options to pick from, many people fail to pick the right office furniture. The following are some tips to help you pick the best wood furniture for your office.
This is a huge consideration more so for startups. In as much as this is an investment, do not let it take up the bulk of your funds as this can leave your business cash-strapped. Determine a budget beforehand to help you narrow down your choices right from the beginning so that the only thing left is to find the best quality and functionality for the budgeted amount. Depending on your budget, you can also look at offers in thrift stores and second-hand furniture outlets for slightly-used, good quality pieces. You may also consider buying in bulk and request for a discount. Most furniture stores are likely to give you one.
Be keen on the size of the furniture in relation to several factors:
• Office space: The furniture you pick should fit in your office well, and leave space all around for people to maneuver easily.
• Balance: A huge imposing desk in the executive’s room, for example, can seem to overpower a small office. Find pieces that complement the size of each room they will go into.
• Equipment: Plan for electronics and gadgets that will be atop the furniture. For a desk, for example, think about what other equipment should be easily accessible to a desk user. Depending on your needs, a laptop, coffee mug, file trays, pencil cups, and working space is a good baseline.
There are several things to look for in determining good quality. These pointers should aid your search:
The surface of the furniture should be relatively scratch resistant.
Look at the number of wood knots. Knots weaken the furniture’s structure and can be the origin of cracks. The flipside is that they make a piece look more rustic and natural. But when going for a long-term investment, its best to avoid pieces with knots altogether. For quality and durability too, avoid fiberboard, pressed wood and particle board.
If you go for veneers, ensure the base piece is plywood or solid wood.
First impressions matter and your clients, potential investors and potential financiers will judge you based on what they see. Further, your employee’s productivity is optimized when working in a pleasant environment which is a plus. Do the following when choosing your furniture:
Ensure no glue is showing out at the edges. This is unsightly and screams cheap.
Ensure the finishing is even. Pieces you can re-polish later on are great because you can use a fresh coat of polish to bring them back to life, cheaply extending their use.
Avoid staples and nails. These indicate sub-par quality and durability as well. Go for dovetail joints, mortise- and -tenon with reinforcing blocks on corners. These look great and are sturdier.
Go for pieces with a similar underlying theme. Too many different designs across the same space will look dysfunctional and messy.
5. Safety, portability, and cleanliness
Safety is key. Ensure there are no jutting edges or uncapped nails and screws. All the furniture you pick should also be easy to clean and move around from time to time.
This is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing office furniture. Whatever piece you choose must be practical and must add value to the office environment. Consider the following:
• Shelves: Does the height allow most employees to reach the top shelves? If not there will be a significant amount of time wasted in fetching stools and sits to climb on to reach top shelves. Instead, go for wider, mid-height shelves that most people can comfortably reach. Again, your office space will be a huge determinant of this.
• Drawers: Ensure desks come with drawers for storage. This is quite convenient for employees to store their stuff, and declutter desktops, making the overall office look neat and well-organized.
• Office culture: You want to encourage your office culture through the furniture as well. Desks with high cubicle dividers, for example, are best for a more individual-based work culture, while larger desks with cafeteria-style seating encourage more collaboration among employees.
There you have it. Again keep in mind that the most expensive does not necessarily mean the best quality. Go for pieces that meet the above checks, and you are off to a great start.