3 Things to Consider When Reviewing Furniture Options

Startups and companies with tight budgets want ample funds to direct toward business development and the transition to computing’s third platform (mobile, social, cloud, and big data) – the latter of which “disrupts everyone,” according to CIO magazine. Since the virtual environment has become so essential to business success, the design of the physical environment is often forgotten.

When startups place excessive concern on IT projects over the built environment, they are more likely to choose used furniture over new furniture. Initially, that seems to be a sound and cost-effective choice. However, according to a Knoll study published in 2011, three primary factors should be taken into account when purchasing office desks and chairs:

1. Hidden costs

2. Manufacturer support

3. Compatibility with current landscape.

The third of those is really the most important and compelling reason to choose new over used office furniture. Let’s look at each of the factors below and then further explore current compatibility via the example of sunlight.

Consideration #1: Hidden costs

If you are only concerned with upfront expense, used furniture is clearly the best option. Knoll advises, though, that it’s wise to add in hidden costs. One major example is that generally when you buy used furniture, you get “an ‘all or nothing’ package.” You get the furniture cheaply but then must pay to store and handle whatever isn’t immediately needed.

Also consider that used furniture is a capital expense (purchased outright), while new items can be an operational expense (leased). Finally, glass is less common as a used furniture material (see discussion of sunlight below).

Consideration #2: Manufacturer support

Typically businesses have long-standing relationships with their office furniture vendors. In other words, it isn’t a one-time purchase. You want to both have the assurance of warranties and also to know that anything can get repaired or replaced as needed.

It’s not always easy to find replacement parts for used chairs and desks, so you can run into headaches if you want your design to remain consistent. Furthermore, when you have used furniture installed, you will often be working with a third-party organization that does not have top-grade certification and training.

Consideration #3: Compatibility with current landscape

Used office furniture often isn’t prepared for the incredibly vast and sophisticated technological needs of today’s office.

Used furniture also does not take into account all of the latest research that is built into the most modern and innovative office design. Studies have repeatedly shown that the right furniture doesn’t just make the most of your space but increases productivity and creativity.

The need for sunlight and open office principles

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that employees who sit next to windows (i.e., with regular access to sunlight and a view throughout the day) slept for 46 minutes longer per night than employees without windows. The best space planning and office design firms recommend new furniture because it is part of the overall environment that keeps your workers physically strong and mentally engaged.

Sunlight is just one example. The furniture being manufactured today is built for the flexibility and agility that characterize the environments of today’s top businesses. Contact us today to find out how we can meet your needs just like we met those of Dex Imaging, MMA Financial, and Glacial Water.