By Nicole Tinkham
Choosing furniture for the office is no easy task. Yes, you can find a “great deal” on a desk or chair on any given day, but what do you do when that “great deal” ends up costing you more money? Think about it. You spend most of your time in the office, so you should invest in furniture that suites your needs, is comfortable, and will last for years to come. How exactly do you figure out what your office needs? Start by asking yourself the following questions and you will be well on your way to choosing the perfect office furniture.
1. What are your needs?
The first and most important thing to think about is what your office needs. Look at your current office situation. Are there areas being unused? Is it currently lacking something (storage, desk space, etc.)? Keep this in mind when thinking about what you need in your updated office. Make a list of all the equipment your office must have including items like a computer, printer, fax, phone, etc. Also think about how you will use the space. Will you need a large desk or workspace for planning? Will you need a lot of storage space? Do you need an area to meet with clients? It’s important to write everything down so you have a clear understanding of what you need in your office. It’s also a good idea to have this list handy when stopping by the furniture showroom or browsing the catalog.
2. How can you use the space?
Before jumping in and purchasing just anything, you must consider the space it’s going in. If you’re working with a small office, you want to be able to get the most out of the space. There are compact furniture options that may be ideal for these situations. Also think about windows – you always want to make the most out of natural lighting. Wall outlet placing is also an important factor to think about. You want to make sure all your devices that need to be plugged in are aligned to your outlets. When it comes to home offices, you must choose your space wisely. Make sure you are blocked off from any distractions. Having your office by a flat screen TV may not be the best idea!
3. What type of storage is needed?
This is a big one. What would an office be without adequate storage? It’s important to keep the office well organized (just see our office organizing blog) and it’s impossible to do without the proper storage space. Consider all of your storage options including filing cabinets, drawers, cabinets, and shelves. Shelves are especially helpful in small spaces because they allow you to go vertical with your storage, saving valuable floor space. The number one rule in organizing is to have a place for everything. While desk accessories (drawer organizers, pencil cups, file trays, etc.) can provide this, it all starts with the furniture. Think about what you will be storing and how much space it will take up.
4. What’s your style?
So far we’ve talked about the importance of function in office furniture, but we can’t forget about style! Just because a certain furniture set accommodates your needs doesn’t necessarily mean it fits your office style. You spend the majority of your time in the office so choose a style you LOVE. Think about whether you would like to go with something more traditional or contemporary. Wood furniture will give you a more traditional feel while steel and glass are more modern. You can also mix the two styles but make sure everything is consistent. If you do mix styles, it should be a well-balanced combination of the two.
5. How does it feel?
When it comes to comfort, your office desk probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The office desk is however just as important as an office chair when it comes to comfort. You may be thinking “how can a desk be comfortable”? Your desk needs to work with you, meaning it should provide easy access to everything you need. Think about your electronic devices (printer, phone, computer, camera, iPod, etc.). With many electronic devices, you may need a desk with wire management to hide and organize cords. Storage is also important. You want to make sure you have plenty of storage space that’s easy to organize and find what you’re looking for. As mentioned, a comfortable office chair is also very important. Luckily, we have a few blog posts that can be helpful when purchasing chairs for the office. Check out The 4 Types of Chairs You Should Know About and The Chair Mat Buying Guide.
Choosing office furniture is a process, so don’t rush into making a decision. Your office furniture should be functional, comfortable to work in, stylish, and provide the storage you need. Since this is no easy task, we do our best to provide resources to help you along the way. You can design your own office using the Visual Planner on the Keeton’s website , read our blog posts on office chairs and chair mats (more furniture posts to come), or talk to Carole, our furniture expert. Just give us a call (941-747-2995) or stop in!