When you’re designing an office layout and need to buy furniture, it’s not only about matching design and colour. Sure, you could buy a few cluster desks and office chairs, arrange them neatly and it will look fine. But if you want to utilise your space efficiently, you need to consider more than the aesthetics.
Here are some tips to help you choose your furniture:
1.Your business needs
How your office space will be used will determine the type of furniture you buy. For example, in one type of industry, a desk may need to accommodate two wide computer monitors; while in another simply a laptop. Executive-sized desks with sliding chairs will work well in a creative loft, while smaller cubicle-style desks will suit a busy call centre much more effectively.
Consider your storage needs too. If you have loads of files to lock away, filing cabinets are a must. Then again, if your work is mostly electronic, then these will simply take up valuable space.
Also, consider your clients. Will they be spending time in your office for meetings? You not only need to consider board tables and plug points, but also side tables and ergonomically smart seating.
Most of your staff will spend approximately 40 hours at their workspace every week. Unfortunately, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to office chairs. Different employees have different size desks depending on their role, and this will affect the type of chair they need. Also, some chairs look amazing but are incredibly uncomfortable. It is important to test a few and not just view them as another accessory for the desk.
Be very clear about the dimensions of your office space, including windows, door entrances, and electrical outlets when you’re buying furnishings. Not only do you need to fit that chair behind the desk, but it must also be able to move freely on its wheels without bashing into open drawers or printer table.
You should consider creating separate areas for different types of staff. For example, a receptionist may spend most of her time on the phone, while others might gather around a single monitor looking at design ideas. Dividing an office space doesn’t mean you must build dry walls and expensive glass panelling, however. You can invest in cleverly engineered partitions, desk designs that piece together, or shelves that create height and storage space at the same time.
4. Furniture function
These days you can customise your office furniture per your needs. It’s no longer just a desk; it’s a way to promote efficiency. Integrate your technology, for example. Think about your computer, printer, cell phone charger, Wi-Fi router, and landline. All those cables don’t need to be bunched up under your desk. With proper wire management, you can keep those unsightly cords out of view.
There are also innovative CPU tower storage solutions that not only keep this clunky computer equipment out of sight, but also protected and well ventilated. It also means much less stress when you spill a cup of coffee!
Forget about piles of boxes with files and papers in a back room. There are several ergonomic, cleverly designed storage solutions that you can utilise. Drawers, cabinets and pedenzas can be mobile for added flexibility, and lockable for added security.
5. Beautiful design
Your personal taste and business brand can be reflected in the office furniture you choose. There are different finishes to choose from, such as fabric colours and types of wood. You might want to stay traditional, venture into contemporary, or be bold and make a statement. Your business may require dark wood that has an old school feel to it, or it might be better suited to a modern, industrial glass and steel design. You could even combine the two.
The important thing to remember is to stay consistent and ensure your desks, storage cabinets, chairs and other prominent features blend well together.
6. Expanding your business
When you think about the furniture you have chosen, the final thing to consider is the growth of your business. Will you be able to expand your office layout in the future? If technology changes or you add new staff members, will your chosen design be able to expand organically?
If you keep these tips in mind, you should be able to set up an effective workspace that enhances your productivity. Whether you’re designing a large corporate office building, or a small home office space, the same principles apply.
There are a vast number of office furniture ranges available, but you can narrow your choices down and determine what is best for you by remembering these 6 criteria: Business needs, comfort, layout, furniture function, design, and expansion.