ARCHIVED  August 1, 1997

How to choose office furniture

Because people spend so many hours a day in their office, office furniture has become an ergonomic science.

People want comfort in their work space, whether that is at a home office or a company office. Fortunately, many office-furniture businesses now have people who can help you design your office. They can analyze your needs, assess what the business does and make recommendations. Just like everything else, buying office furniture has become an art.

If you are in the market for office furniture, you can simplify the process greatly by assessing your own needs and create a budget with which you can work.Most office-furniture sales people will tell you that the most common problem they encounter is when customers see furniture they would love to have, but find that it is too expensive for their budget. So be prepared to spend a little more than you had planned. Chances are you will be very glad you did.
One of the most-important purchases made in any office is the desk chair. People now spend many hours each day in their desk chair, so this is where you don’t want to scrimp on money. Most sales people will tell you that the chair is more important than the desk or any other piece of furniture. When it comes to sitting all day, you will want comfort and support.
Chairs are often ergonomically designed these days for better back support. Many office-furniture stores will allow you to take the chair and try it out in your office. Take advantage of this offer; chairs are not all alike, and some may look great but may not feel great. The best way to pick out furniture is to try it out. This may seem like a lot of work if you choose to return the furniture, but if you are going to spend the next five or 10 years in that chair, then consider your back first. You are worth the effort.
Desks, lamps, bookcases and file cabinets or other storage units are designed to be functional and attractive. Evaluate your space, and come up with a plan. Take advantage of the store staff. These people usually know the business very well. There are many pieces that are functional and cost-effective.
If you are in a high-profile office with lots of customer traffic, then very upscale office furniture may be a consideration. It can also be a much bigger expense than your budget will allow. Used furniture is often available from many stores that sell new furniture. Sometimes it is hard to find matching pieces, but not always. A good rule of thumb is to buy the best quality you can afford without going over – or too far over – your budget. Chances are you won’t regret spending a little more than you originally intended.
Be prepared to discuss the type of work you do in your office with the furniture-store staff. They can make recommendations based only on the information that you give to them. When choosing furniture for a whole office, try to get input from everyone in the office. Lots of good ideas come out of group discussions.

Because people spend so many hours a day in their office, office furniture has become an ergonomic science.

People want comfort in their work space, whether that is at a home office or a company office. Fortunately, many office-furniture businesses now have people who can help you design your office. They can analyze your needs, assess what the business does and make recommendations. Just like everything else, buying office furniture has become an art.

If you are in the market for office furniture, you can simplify the process greatly by assessing your own needs and create a budget with which you can…

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