This post is part of our Spending Hacker Business Class series which helps small business owners secure the BEST deals on products and services they need for the ongoing operation of their business.
This guide was written for us by JasonL Office Furniture.
They are an Australian company with stores &display centres in Sydney and Melbourne but sell and install office furniture Australia-wide.
They are also preferred suppliers of office furniture to organisations such as the Australian Customs Service, ANZ Bank, LJ Hooker and NSW Transport.
Here is a short video of their founders talking about the business:
And here is a short showcase of the type of office furniture they source, supply, deliver and install:
And now, let’s hear what tips the boys have up their sleeve.
The office is our second home.
This is true for many people these days because we work during most of our waking hours. Just as we love to decorate our home, we should love to decorate our second home, too.
However, the factors in deciding what furniture should go into an office are vastly different from picking a coffee table for the family room.
Make the wrong choice, and you will be faced with disgruntled, exhausted employees and decreased productivity, or even more dire consequences in the long term. Buying the right office furniture is an investment that you won’t regret.
Factors to consider when choosing office furniture
What kind of office do you have?
This is the most basic factor to consider as not every office needs the same things.
Will your office be a consulting company? Then, you would need a special room or space to meet with clients.
Do you plan to build a co-working space? If so, then probably you won’t have to install a computer because everyone is bringing their own laptop.
Are you a design company, such as graphic or interior design? If you answer yes, you would want to invest in a large drawing table.
You get the idea.
To avoid getting overwhelmed by the amount of furniture you need to buy, write down a detailed list of your office’s very basic needs first and go from there.
Once you have done that, move to the next step.
Choose Comfort Above All
Back pain is one of the most common discomforts reported by office workers, yet so few of them do anything about it.
This type of discomfort most likely results from spending too much time sitting. Aside from back pain, sitting for too long can increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disorders.
There are many ways to remedy this situation.
Employers can opt for ergonomic chairs that will support the lumbar and neck area, and therefore promoting good sitting posture.
Another good idea is to provide standing desks to increase employees’ physical activity. Not all desks should be made standing, but install a few so employees have the option to switch desks when necessary.
Look Inside when Decorating
If you’re confused as to what kind of style to use in your office space, choose one that reflects your company’s personality.
Are you an IT company with serious clients and projects? Perhaps sleek and futuristic is a good choice.
If you are an advertising company that deals with all kinds of media promotions, a quirky and colourful space can be used to inspire creativity.
Office decor can have a positive impact on productivity because they make everyone happy and less likely to miss a day of work.
Know Your Employees’ Working Habits
Everyone works differently.
Maybe Tim works best in a quiet, neat environment, but maybe Martha needs to listen to music and move around to be able to work.
If you force your employees to work in a certain way that is outside of their habits, a task that they usually can do in 10 minutes could take 1 hour to complete.
To avoid things like this, recognise the different ways your employees operate and support them to be the best that they can be because at the end of the day it is you that will benefit from their work.
Consider Where Files and Supplies Will Go
There is a saying:
Clean space, clear mind.
Sometimes, people get so overzealous in the planning and forget simple things like storage.
What a shame if you’ve designed an amazing, ergonomic office that supports all your employees’ habits, but as time goes by it becomes cluttered and messy because you forgot to assign a storage area.
Some people are naturally chaotic in their process, but no one enjoys working in an untidy environment. At the very least, it makes finding things difficult and therefore is wasting time.
A storage area doesn’t have to be a specialised room. It can be a corner of the office floor with cabinets of folders to keep all the documents, as well as supplies such as printer toner or stapler.
So now that you have a list of what you want and need in your new office, the only thing you have to do now is buy those items.
But, once again you’re stumped!
A million questions run through your mind:
- Where can I buy them?
- How much will this cost me?
- How can I get the best value for all my office furniture needs?
Take a deep breath and read this next section for tips to save money while shopping for office furniture.
How to get the best value office furniture?
#1. Get a Fit-out Quote
Get a quote for your desired fit-out before making any purchase decisions. This enables you to construct your desired floor plan and all its furniture
We at JasonL Office Furniture, provide free quotes and they come without any obligation to make a purchase.
Just answer our short questionnaire so that we know exactly what you’re looking for. The questions are basic but essential.
For example, you will be asked to mention the number of people who will be working in the office.
An office design specialist will then contact you and draw a rough sketch with the specifications you want.
When you have approved all the sizes and designs, they will give you a customised quote.
#2. Buy Ready-to-Use Furniture Rather than Custom Made
Anything bespoke is going to cost more money. If you are looking for value, ready-to-use furniture is the best option.
Not only it will save you money but also time.
You can buy them without even having to go to the store, make payments online from anywhere and have it delivered straight to your new office.
Moreover, you don’t need to explain your specific vision to a furniture maker who may or may not get what you really want.
Nowadays, store-bought furniture comes in a wide range of variety with premium materials and superior craftsmanship.
You will find what you are looking for, or even find something better that you didn’t know existed.
Another great advantage that could ultimately save you some bucks is that ready-made furniture comes with a warranty. If a manufacturing failure happens to your custom-made products, repair can be costly and time-consuming.
#3. Don’t Skimp on Your First Time
Furniture is supposed to last for a long, long time.
That is why you shouldn’t go for a cheaper version now because it will cost you later. Cheaper is not always better.
If you look closely, there must be a reason why it is cheap.
Is it damaged? Is it a refurbished product? Or is it made with low-quality materials?
All of these things will lead to early breakdown and eventually, you must purchase new furniture which will result in further expenditure.
Instead, invest in the right furniture. Perhaps it costs more at the beginning, but in the long term, it will serve you better and will actually save you money.
#4. Buy in Bulk
Everyone knows the advantage of buying in bulk. You can get discounts and save a significant amount of money.
However, there are some things you need to do to avoid any unpleasant experience.
First, prepare the space needed to store the furniture. This won’t be a problem if you’re building a new office, but take that into consideration if you’re looking to replace old furniture with new ones.
Second, you must know the quantity you need. If you need 40 office chairs but the discount is only applicable once you have bought 50, think through if the extra 10 chairs are worth it.
If you don’t need spare chairs, there is a chance that you will spend more than you need to.
#5. Wait for the Perfect Time to Buy
There are several days in a year when clearances can happen: Black Friday, Boxing day, EOFY (End of Financial Year) and Year-End are only a few of the many occasions where stores offer all kinds of deals.
While you can save money with this method, it may not be practical for you because it’s not likely that you can or are willing to wait around to start setting up or redesigning your office.
However, if the timing works out, why not? 🙂
Just keep in mind that you usually won’t have a lot of options and cannot make a bulk purchase.
In conclusion, the most important element in choosing the perfect office furniture with the best value is yourself.
You should know what kind of office you want to have first by factoring in your basic needs, your employees’ working habits, and the company’s personality.
Once you have an idea in mind, go ahead and pick your furniture.
Remember, they must be comfortable!
If you’re not sure what should and shouldn’t go into your office, consult with an office design specialist. They’re experienced designers who can help you achieve a professional and satisfying look and feel of your office.
Finally, to help you decide what type of office furniture you would like to have in your business, check out these office design trends.
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