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When Should You Buy New Office Furniture?

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

Should you buy new furniture for your office or repurpose your old furniture? Here are the benefits of either approach and some places to buy.

  • When you're buying new office furniture, the ultimate factor to consider is your budget.
  • With minimal budgets, old furniture can be refurbished to minimize costs.
  • In an open plan office space, you can incorporate both old and new furniture.

There comes a time in the life of every business owner when they must ask the question, "When should I buy new office furniture?" Maybe your business is moving to a new building, or maybe you'd like to encourage more collaboration with an open office plan, or maybe your old furniture is on its last legs and it's time to move on.

Luckily, you have a lot of options. Old furniture can be refurbished and repurposed, and new and used furniture can be added to the mix. To help with your decision, let's weigh in on the benefits of buying new furniture versus repurposing your old furniture.

Benefits of buying new office furniture

  • It's a great chance to freshen up a dated office. If your business opened its doors in the 1970s when avocado green and burnt sienna were all the rage and your employees are complaining about their desks giving them splinters, it's definitely time for an update. New office furniture is easier to install and reconfigure as your office changes or grows, and it's more technology friendly, with built-in cabling and charging stations. New and contemporary furniture shows customers and clients that you are a forward-thinking business.

  • It shows customers that you're sticking around. To be sure, buying new furniture is a big investment. But nothing reassures a new client more about your plans for future growth and your confidence in your business quite like a big investment.

  • It's more ergonomically friendly. The lowly office chair has come a long way over the years, from a squeaky-wheeled back-breaker to a lumbar-supporting, perfect-arm-resting seat of productivity. You can show your employees you care about their long-term health by investing in seating that won't leave them with a sore neck come 5 p.m.

  • It has a warranty. Chances are if a leg falls off of an old table or an arm rest breaks on a chair, you're the one who has to fix it. Purchasing new office furniture means you can take advantage of a warranty, allowing you to call on the manufacturer to repair any broken parts and pieces. This leaves you more time to deal with other problems – like all those complaints about how the office is colder than the Arctic tundra.

  • It's tax deductible. For small businesses, the cost of office supplies (including furniture) is tax deductible. These expenses can either be deducted in the first year (up to a certain amount) or depreciated.

Benefits of repurposing old office furniture

  • It saves money. The most obvious reason to stick with your old furniture is the cost savings. New furniture without a lot of frills can cost $1,000 to $5,000 per workstation – and can run more than $10,000 per station the more space and storage you need. A company with just 100 employees could easily spend more than $100,000 on new furniture alone.

  • It's good for the environment. These days, the word "sustainable" is like the nectar of the gods for businesses (not to mention the earth). The EPA estimates that 3 million tons of office furniture ends up in landfills each year. Repurposing your office furniture shows that your company is committed to reducing waste and decreasing its carbon footprint, because you're saving the raw materials and energy required to produce new furniture.

  • It's better for your health. Most furniture is manufactured using volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are released into the air in the form of gas throughout the lifetime of the furniture. The newer the furniture, the higher the VOC levels. According to the EPA, exposure to VOCs can lead to eye, nose and throat irritation; loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system.

  • It can get you LEED points. If you're working toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, repurposing furniture will give you points in the categories of waste management, materials and resource reuse, and recycled content. You can also get credit for improved environmental quality for using pieces that have lower VOC emissions.

  • It can be freshened up. If your old office furniture is a bit tired, there's no reason to give up on it completely. Chairs and couches can be reupholstered, wooden pieces can be sanded and refinished, and everything from squeaky chairs to tilting tables can be repaired. Office furniture was built to last, so get all the mileage you can out of it.

Where to buy new office furniture

Wayfair

Wayfair is a website that offers a variety of office furniture and has customer-friendly prices. The platform regularly offers promotions and discounts.

From rolling chairs to desks and bookcases, Wayfair offers over 250 pieces of furniture on sale. It also boasts free shipping for products over $49. Its highly rated products include an Angelette glass desk and a back-swivel executive chair.

Lulu and Georgia

This store offers high-end products at affordable prices. It has a wide range of chic furniture, from stunning velvet beds to unique accent tables. It also has a stylish children's selection for your little ones' furniture. The store allows returns on almost all its products.

Amazon

Amazon not only offers tons of furniture from third-party sellers but has its own line of furniture, offering pieces for many different office styles at competitive prices. 

Walmart

While Walmart is mainly known for selling groceries, it offers a wide range of office furniture. It also offers free delivery within certain regions.

Steelcase

Steelcase is one of the world's largest furniture stores. It has been in existence for over 100 years and offers many resources to help you improve the look of your office. It offers comprehensive warranties and environmentally friendly products. 

National Office Furniture

This store offers furniture to suit any workplace. It can design office furniture to mesh with your company's culture and sense of style.

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