Functional. Affordable. Attractive. These qualities belong on a list of "must-haves" when furnishing offices of any size. Whether it's a home office or a suite of cubicles you need to outfit, the solution lies in determining your needs and seeking out where to fulfill them. Some preliminary questions you should ask include:
- How much furniture do I need?
- Do customers or clients visit my office?
- Should I buy new or used?
- What's my budget?
- What's my timeline?
Big or small?Where you shop depends upon your needs. A sole proprietor and a national sales team will have different budgets and office layouts. Know how to shop small, big, or in between.
New or used?While it takes more digging, it's possible to find great bargains at auctions when large companies go out of business or upgrade. Eco-minded companies might want to purchase office furniture made from recycled materials as part of their media image. Used or refurbished office furniture is often indistinguishable from new other than by price.
Online or off?You may prefer to shop locally to test out chairs and desks in person and save dough on shipping. Or the ease of clicking and awaiting delivery might hold more appeal. Either way, myriad options exist for appointing your workspace.
- Be sure to take shared spaces into account when ordering furniture and desks to guarantee elbow room aplenty.
- Take advantage of payment plans offered by many retailers - and pay off the items before interest payments kick in.
- Consider portability - if you're not sure whether you're going to expand or relocate your office, don't buy anything too bulky or built in.
- How much is your time worth? Many companies will assemble office furniture for a fee - well worth it for complex pieces like computer armoires or hefty entertainment centers.
- If in doubt, go with practical and comfortable before pretty, especially if you're on a budget.
- Don't be blinded by name brands - discount retailers often make products that outperform trendier, pricier offerings.