10 Biggest Mistakes When Buying Office Furniture
There are so many mistakes to be made in life, who would have thought that buying office furniture could be one of them? But, many people make crucial mistakes when picking out office furniture, usually because they are focused on only one aspect: cost or looks for example.
If your business is in the market for new office furniture, take the time to explore your options, understand your needs and equally weigh comfort, aesthetics and practicality. In the end, you’ll have a better looking office and a happier, more productive workforce.
Here are 10 mistakes to avoid when picking out furnishings for the workplace.
1. Buying with No Vision in Mind
Some purchases are not to be made on a whim, and office furniture is one of them. Before opening a catalog or setting foot in a store, assess your needs, get input from staff and think about how each item will be used.
2. Overlooking Comfort
A workplace needs to look good, we get that. But the people sitting at their desks all day need to feel good, too. Employees that are comfortable and feel valued are happier, healthier and more productive. Consider ergonomic designs that will benefit your staff such as lumbar support, adjustable seats and contoured seats.
3. Forgetting about Future Growth
Don’t just think about what your business needs today. Think about the future growth of your company and what types of office furniture will accommodate it. You may not be able to buy everything at once, but a large conference table and few chairs makes a great start that you can build on.
4. Not Factoring in Technology
A chair is a chair, right? Well, not exactly. When investing in office furniture, make sure you factor in emerging technology. Will the desks accommodate printers, mobile phone chargers and task lights? Can you conduct video conferencing in the meeting room? Do the desks and cabinets hide cords well?
5. Selecting the Wrong Fabric
There’s more to consider than just color. Vinyl is a great material in break rooms or medical facilities where stains are common. Some fabrics do a nice job of hiding stains or reducing moisture and bacteria. Mesh is another big seller because it increases airflow to the skin, keeping staff cool and comfortable.
6. Buying Everything New
You can save a lot of money by buying refurbished office furniture. You would never know that it was used by anyone else, so it’s like brand new to you! Also, companies like Extra Office Interiors allow you to select your own fabrics and surface colors on refurbished products.
7. Choosing a Company that Offers Little Support after the Sale
It’s common for vendors to be helpful when the sale is in progress, but they tend to disappear afterward. Check with the vendor to see how they will handle warranty repairs or problems during shipping. Also, does the vendor offer additional services such as space planning, interior design, quick-ship programs and professional installation?
8. Underestimating the True Cost
When you get your quote, take into account additional expenses such as shipping, assembly and installation. Also inquire about the warranties on the products. All of this equates to money, so it’s important to know what you can expect to pay out today and in the long run.
9. Ignoring Brand Names
It’s amazing how many businesses will buy office furniture without knowing who the manufacturer is. This is a good way to invest in furniture that is low quality. When you select a vendor to work with, ask about the brands they carry, their warranties and their reputations.
10. Looking at Cost, Not Value
Say you find a great bargain on office chairs. The thing is that the chairs are only designed for occasional use, not everyday use. Just because you save on the initial purchase doesn’t mean you’ll save in the long run. You’ll end up having to replace the chairs in five years instead of ten. When comparing products, focus more on the value for the money rather than the dollar amount.