Deciding what office furniture and systems will work best for a company, involves examining the designs, materials and quality that will work for the next 10 to 15 years. That’s the length of time over which most furniture pieces remain in use.Both initial and life-cycle costs are of concern, of course. Increasingly, so is the products’ impact on the environment.
Moreover, the office environment, including the furniture, can have a dramatic impact on employee morale and performance. But employers and employees often view workspaces differently. Employees usually want to create a sense of privacy, even if their workstations or cubicles don’t really allow it. Employees also want their workspaces to feel spacious. Employees often want to individualise their space, while most business owners want some degree of standardisation to build a corporate image and streamline the furniture-purchasing process.
Determining which furniture system will come closest to meeting these goals is no easy task. A first step is to take a holistic view of the work environment, rather than immediately zero in on furniture elements.You may discover, for instance, that employees spend little time at their desks and more in collaborative work. That’s probably a signal to provide more meeting areas, and decrease the size of individual spaces.
You also want to consider flexibility, which is achieved when there is “intelligence behind the design process. That is, the furniture should be able to serve more than one function. Otherwise, if the specific function or technology for which it was built goes away, the furniture has little use. That’s the case now with some desks designed with split tops, so that one could be used for computer keyboards.
At the same time, consider the company’s culture and growth, including the level of “churn” or employee moves and other changes. Those moves and changes often mean reconfiguring voice and data systems, which cause most of the downtime. Organisations that frequently move employees may want to consider more flexible system rather than traditional system workplaces,to create employee spaces. That’s because it’s usually easier to reconfigure these systems and is undoubtedly more cost and time effective
As part of evaluating a furniture system’s flexibility, review just how complicated it is to assemble and disassemble the pieces when an employee moves. The more complicated it gets, the more money and time required to make changes.
While employees often want to put their own touches on their workspaces, employers often frown on them making lasting changes. Options exist for offering employees inexpensive, temporary ways to personalise their spaces without impacting on the overall office environment is an effective way of resolving this issue.
For further information or a free office survey please contact Sheelin Office Group