Home-based workers tend to over-economize on office furniture – at least in the very beginning. If you are a solo worker, the workplace design will simply depend on your individual needs. You can just take some old chairs and a table from your garage, and voila, you’ve got yourself a furnished office!
Home office furniture plays a very important role in every business. The furniture inside an office creates the atmosphere and sets the mood; nobody wants to work in an office with drab, dreary furniture. And by “office furniture,” we mean more than just the desk. Office furniture also includes other items: chairs, bookcases, file cabinets, storage containers, wastebaskets, and more. No matter what type of office furniture you would like in your office, there are a variety of styles to choose from.
However, the furniture will become a considerable concern if you begin to employ other people and they work in your home office. Instead of putting individual requirements first, the needs of the group should receive primary consideration. With the addition of employees, your workspace design now calls for a stronger emphasis on mobility and adaptability, a new blending of ownership and sharing. It demands open displays for shared information. And it requires support for shared technology, storage, and vertical and horizontal surfaces.
Here are some furniture buying tips for your growing office:
1. Define your home office furniture requirements
The office furniture you choose for your business should be based, first and foremost, on what you and your employees need to work effectively. This calls for a stronger emphasis on mobility and adaptability, a new blending of ownership and sharing. You need to consider open displays for shared information, as well as support for shared technology and storage. As the employer, your goal should be to help workers communicate more effectively and function better in teams. In providing more collaborative environments, you need to ask these questions: What kind of furniture do we need? Tables for meetings? Acoustical panels for privacy?
2. Generate a list of the minimum furniture you require
Buy only the things you need, and try to avoid buying furniture that you don’t really require. Space, for one, is a problem for most home offices. Oftentimes, you will need to furnish your office vertically to maximize every square inch of your office.
3. Buy furniture for its functionality, not for image.
If the furniture is not appropriate for the way your people work, it becomes impractical.
Although appearance is important, comfort is the most significant factor in choosing office equipment. You will want to make your office as comfortable as possible; it should be like a second home to you as no one wants to spend their days sitting in an uncomfortable chair and digging through papers at an unorganized desk. Office furniture should always be the appropriate size as well because if it takes up too much room in the office, you will obviously feel cramped. On the other hand, if office furniture is too small, there won’t be enough storage space to organize everything in.
You should add a very comfortable office chair to go with your contemporary desk as well. Office chairs are made in a variety of colors and styles also. First and foremost though, you should choose an office chair that will be very comfortable for your back and there are special contemporary office chairs that are designed for every type of back shape.
4. Consider leasing or renting furniture, particularly if you need 100 percent financing.
This will increase your flexibility as your company grows or shrinks. Leasing is best if you expect to upgrade your furniture quickly and if you don’t expect to cancel your lease before it is finished. However, if you can afford to pay cash, then buy the furniture to avoid the financing and leasing expense. Buying the furniture is also advisable if you plan to own it for quite a while. Another advantage of buying the furniture is if you want to keep your balance sheet clean of liabilities and keep your credit line open for other purchases.
5. Think about health and safety
Be sure to consider comfort and ergonomics. The wrong desk and chair can make you and your employees susceptible to ergonomic disorders such as backache, headaches, eyestrain and other irritations and inconveniences. Fatigue, loss of concentration, and irritability can also be attributed to the use of the wrong furniture.
Recommended Books on Setting Up the Home Office:
- The Smarter Home Office: 8 simple steps to increase your income, inspiration and comfort
- Working from a Home Office Successfully: Best Practice Tips
- Building the Custom Home Office: Projects for the Complete Home Work Space
- Stomp the Elephant in the Office: Put an End to the Toxic Workplace, Get More Done — and Be Excited About Work Again
Originally published on November 7, 2012. Updated on February 19, 2020.
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