You can’t start a business without office furniture. Whether you’re building a home office or leasing a commercial space, you’ll need a comfortable chair, sturdy desk and good lighting to maximize productivity and stay focused.
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Office Furniture: Cost vs. Quality
While thrift stores may seem like a good place to find inexpensive furniture, you’ll likely end up with a mix of colors and styles. While that might be the right look for the neighborhood coffee shop, it might not convey the polished image you want to project to prospective clients as you build your new business. More importantly, this furniture is often not made to withstand the rigors of frequent use — especially in commercial settings. If you prioritize quality, you will have office furnishings that grow with your business.
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On the other hand, outfitting a startup workspace can be costly, and as with anything, smart decisions are essential. Prioritize the most important pieces first, knowing you can add other items that will complement your company’s image and culture as your business grows. When buying new office furniture, try to focus on quality — even if that means you’re only able to buy a small number of products. Not having to frequently replace items will save you time and money in the long run.
4 Key Questions
Consider these questions to help you shop for new office furniture:
1. What furnishings do you really need?
While all workplaces are going to need some of the same basic pieces of furniture, each workplace ultimately has its own unique needs. For example, a company that does most of its work digitally will need some options for storage around the office, but they would probably need less storage than a company that relies on paper records. Or a large company might consider a big conference table an essential item for their office, while a small startup with a few employees could get along with a smaller one.
2. How many people will be working in the startup workspace? Does each employee need his/her own desk, or would shared spaces make sense?
It’s very important to think of your workplace not just from a style standpoint, but from a functional standpoint. Of course, you need to make sure you have enough furniture for all of your employees to be able to do their jobs, but you also need to make sure you choose furniture that allows people to work efficiently. Shared desks are ideal for workplaces that thrive on collaboration, while other types of environments call for a bit more space and privacy.
Also, don’t forget to think about how people interact with a workspace beyond their desk. Do your employees frequently work on mobile devices? If so, perhaps you’d like to create a lounge so that people have the option to take a break from their desk and work from there.
3. What’s your budget?
No business has an unlimited budget for office furniture. Your budget is going to limit you in terms of how much furniture you can buy, the materials furniture is made of, and the quality of the furniture. Depending on what your budget allows for, it may be best to prioritize certain things over others. If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy everything you’d like to have, start by focusing on things that would most directly impact employees, like high-quality desk chairs and desks.
4. How long do you expect to be in this office? (Easy-to-move furniture is great for evolving offices and growing teams).
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Startups can grow and change very quickly, so it’s smart to look for furniture that can easily adapt to your evolving needs. Modular designs and lightweight pieces of furniture are ideal for fast-growing workplaces since they give you the flexibility to expand and rearrange as needed, or can easily be moved to a new space in the future.
Your answers to these questions will help you prioritize what to buy first. Furnishings like ergonomic chairs, basic desks and appropriate lighting will pay for themselves and help you and your employees get work done.
As always, do your research and know when to ask for help. Our experts offer complimentary consultations and are on hand to offer planning assistance through the design process. Leverage all the services available to you for an effortless process that results in a new space to love.