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The Three Most Common Avoidable Mistakes of Buying Office Furniture

Here are several mistakes people make when buying furniture.

Office furniture: it says so much about your company, from your philosophy to how you value your mission and employees, and even about your environmental awareness. Whether it helps your clients’ first impressions or your employees’ every day use, your office furniture matters. Here are three common mistakes that cost more in the long run, and not just in financial terms.

Consider investing in high quality furniture that can withstand a lot of use such as a conference table.

Mistake #1—Not considering the needs of all your employees.

A diverse workforce is something many companies champion, but that diversity can mean one size does not fit all. In an open plan office space, some people thrive in the collaborative environment, but even the most talkative of employees need privacy for phone calls or to focus on that presentation due in two hours. Providing furniture in considerate cubbies or larger conference spaces for face-to-face meetings will give those people who work better in a low-key space more room to do their jobs and do them well. Overall employee satisfaction with their environment increases employee retention, which reduces costs for everyone.

Consider the long haul for how your furniture will grow with you.

Mistake #2—Lacking adaptability for the long haul.

Furniture needs change with the movement of the business. Cubicles are becoming a thing of the past in a workforce used to collaboration and presentation at an ever-increasing pace. Mobile furniture may suit your needs longer, and the multi-functionality will frustrate your employees less when the creative juices are flowing and they don’t want to stop that brainstorming session to find a more suitable environment to have that meeting. Furniture frequently moved or rearranged also utilizes office space more efficiently, so there are no wasted spaces and no wasted opportunities.

Price is typically equivalent with the quality of furniture you'll receive.

Mistake #3—Choosing price over quality.

Your people put your office furniture through its paces every day, and that wear and tear isn’t only on the furniture, but also on your employees. Comfortable, ergonomic furniture saves their physical and mental health, allowing them to focus on their jobs and keep your clients happy. With less frequent repairs or replacements, a higher initial investment saves in the long run. Consider as well the length of warranty on the furniture. If your office depreciates the furniture on a ten-year term and your warranty runs out after 5 years, you could face replacement costs before your budget is ready.

At the end of the day, your employees are the driving force of your business. What they do and how they do it make a difference to your clients and therefore your overall success. Providing the tools for that success goes beyond computing systems and office equipment. Fostering comfort and quality through the furniture your people use every day is as important as the people themselves. It shows you care.

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