How to furnish an office space in 2022
Are you opening a new office? Remodeling? Or expanding to a bigger space because of your success? Congratulations!
The daunting process of buying new office furniture and making sure your employees have everything they need to be productive while maintaining the brand image you want to project is quite a challenge. This article will help you make the process a little easier and hopefully enjoyable. Let’s start!
When should I start the process of looking for office furniture?
Some people come into our showroom and say “we are moving to our new space next week and I need furniture now” and my inside voice says “Well why didn’t you wait until the day before…”
The problem is that this process is not something that you do every year or on a regular basis. This is something you do once or twice during your lifetime since office furniture is a durable good. Here is the key: The more time you give yourself to plan ahead, the more options we can offer you. This is especially true now that we are in the middle of the pandemic and there are supply chain issues and labor shortages. Although we specialize in quick ship and in-stock office furniture, it is important to consider our current situation and plan for at least 3-4 weeks.
What should my office furniture budget be?
If you have never gone through the process of designing a workspace, it is hard to know what the investment should be in your furniture. The good news is that we are here to help you design your office space and make sure you get the best bang for your budget. It’s also about managing expectations and seeing what is more important: Utility vs Design.
Here is a list of what a healthy budget looks like per item or area:
- Task Chairs: $450+
- Private office: $2,500+
- Reception Station: $2,800+
- Open Plan System: $1,500+ per employee
- Conference Table: $2,000+
- Conference Chairs: $500+
Increasing your budget will increase your options but you should not consider anything lower than these values because either the quality, style, or functionality would be affected. Remember this is an investment in the image and success of your company and an important factor in your team’s productivity.
Overview of how to design your office space
If you are a woman or a gay man, then congratulations you are automatically a designer…Not!
The design planning should start with the big picture and then work your way to finesse the details. the first step is actually to take a step back and see how do your employees work. Are you on your way to becoming a more digital company? Do you require lots of filing storage or shelves for binders? These are important questions to boost productivity and have a huge impact on the overall office design. A great way to think about office design ideas is to analyze your current space and office layout and see what’s not working and what you wish you could change.
From an image point of view, do you want to portray professionalism typically found in law and accounting firms, government agencies, and financial institutions or a creative and energetic atmosphere found in marketing agencies, design studios, and tech startups? Many interior design factors come into play to enhance your brand image and integrate your company culture into the overall office design.
Another important factor when designing your office space is for the furniture not to block windows and to follow office design best practices which we will cover some of them when we talk about specific areas.
We won’t be able to cover everything unless you want us to bore you to death, but we do mention some important key points you need to keep in mind if you are too shy to reach out to us to help you design your office which by the way we do offer 3-hours of free design services.
How to design a private office
Depending on the company type, private offices are reserved for management or senior employees that meet with clients. The office layout has these different types of basic configurations: L Shape, U shape, Desk and credenza, and the newest type T shape. T shape configurations are becoming more popular because they work well with small offices and take advantage of vertical surfaces if you are able to mount cabinets to the wall.
When designing a private office the user must face the door. You never want to have your back facing the door for security and privacy. Make sure there is at least 42″ from the wall to the edge of your desk or credenza so you have enough space to move around. If you are planning on having guest chairs in front of your desk, make sure there is at least 48″ from the wall to the front of your desk. Consider a bow front desk if you usually have clients signing documents in your office.
How to design a conference room
There are three types of conference rooms: For team meetings, meeting with clients, and boardrooms. Although each conference room type serves a different purpose, they all bring people together to collaborate, share ideas, and make decisions.
The first question should be what size of conference table fits in the room. An easy mistake to make is to purchase a conference table that is too big or too small for the space. Make sure that you have at least 45″ from the wall to the edge of the table so that everyone can get to their sit without bothering everyone else.
Many people get stuck on the leg design which in reality it should be the last thing to consider if your budget is less than $20,000 since most of the time you won’t be able to see the legs or base because the conference chairs will be in the way. Instead, focus on making sure you can integrate power modules to connect devices and facilitate your ability to do presentations. Power modules usually include basic connections such as power, USB A, and ethernet. Because most power modules have empty sockets for expansion and it’s a modular system by design, you can add HDMI, phone jacks, USB C, and such.
If you usually serve food and drinks, make sure you have enough space for a buffet credenza. Buffet credenzas are 36″ high and are specifically made for conference rooms.
Lastly, make sure you have comfortable conference chairs for those long meetings. No one is going to pay attention if they are uncomfortable. If you pick a glass table, make sure the arms of the chair are either padded or plastic. Metal arms and glass tables do not go well together.
How to design a meeting room
Meeting rooms are smaller than a conference room by nature and usually more casual. Tables in this environment are round or rectangular. If you need to do presentations consider a media conference table. These tables are available in small sizes and go against the wall so you can mount a TV. These types of meeting rooms are used to do presentations and collaborate. The same best practices apply. Make sure you have 45″ of clearance on all sides.
How to design an open plan system
When designing an open plan system or benching system for flexible workspaces, you would want to know how many people you currently have and if there are any plans to hire more, what type of work they do and then design around that while making sure they have enough work surface to perform their job. In a call center you can get away with a 36″w desk but otherwise, plan for at least 48″. In some cases it depends on how many monitors each station has and how big they are.
Something that is super important and most people don’t consider until the day of the installation is “Where is the power and data coming from?”. Open plan systems and benching systems require an electrician to hardwire the power to the building. That’s how each station can get power, but if the said system is floating in the middle of your space then where is the power coming from? Do you have floor cores/monuments? Is it coming down from the ceiling? Here is where I remind you that we offer free 3-hour design consultation and welcome you to contact us for your next project.
How to design a reception area
A reception area is a waiting room for visitors to your business. Visitors might include potential and existing clients, vendors, or other professionals. The design of a reception area can set the tone for your business and therefore you want to make sure it is professional, clean, and welcoming.
The most important thing to remember when furnishing a reception area is that it should be comfortable for visitors to wait in. This means having a comfortable lounge area that includes sofas, lounge chairs, coffee, and side tables. Depending on the type of office space and the number of people waiting at a given time, it might be better to have guest chairs than sofas and lounge chairs.
Did we forget something?
Designing an office space: Style and Color trends
A well designed office space is able to combine colors, image, style, and functionality into one cohesive work environment. An interior designer takes into account the color of your walls, carpet, and lighting temperature. Do you have a good amount of natural light or does your lighting make other colors yellowish?
Currently, the color trend for laminates is white, light gray wood, light oak, and walnut. Some of our local manufacturers offer a two-tone color scheme for the same price. We usually do the tops in white laminate and chassis in a different color to offer some contrast. The color trend for veneers is Walnut, light oak, gray tones on silver birch wood, and ash.