Whilst purchasing furniture for your home is one thing, choosing to buy office furniture online feels like an even bigger risk due to using company funds rather than your own. But that’s why we’ve put together this quick and simple guide, to make sure heading online when buying office furniture is as painless and stress free as possible.
The Risks And Fears
Whatever the size of your office, be it a home office or for a medium sized business, there is always a nagging risk about what you need to order. And that is before you consider the worries about whether the items will fit correctly into the space or whether they are, in fact, the most suitable choices.
And then there are fears about the price of individual items and the collective order as a whole. Also, we understand that there is the issue of removing and disposing of existing office furniture and the installation of newly purchased items.
All of these things can make the process of buying office furniture online quite a stressful process. Especially when you have an ever increasing to-do list of other items that need to be completed, many of which feel more pressing. What if you order the wrong items? What if they don’t fit? What if you miss something?
But, always remember, that replacing and maintaining office furniture does not need to be a chore which eats into your daily working life. Your furniture should exist to make your office a more efficient, comfortable and productive place to work. Read more about the topic of replacing office furniture in this blog post.
What You Need To Do
First of all, you should work out what you need to include in your new office furniture order. You also need to work out what can be kept and what can be disposed of.
This is a great chance to alter the way you and your colleagues work in the office. For example, how much permanent workspace employees need is changing as worker habits are changing for them to need options in where they work – read what workers want when it comes to standing desks, shared space and working in isolation. In short, modern office workers need flexibility and choice.
This means that it might be more appropriate to purchase smaller individual desks and facilitate remote storage and shared larger working tables.
But these are cultural changes which your business needs to consider.
Moving back to the specifics of how to buy office furniture online, you essentially need to make sure that you aren’t over ordering and wasting spend, but also not missing anything out and having to spend time and money creating a second order.
How To Do It
Create an inventory of what you already have in place and decide what can be kept, what needs to be replaced and what new items employees could benefit from using.
Chairs, for example, are something which are easy to get wrong. It isn’t as simple as just ordering the same style of chair for every employee as there are differences in style, cost and function. For example, check what an ergonomic chair is and how it works, and decide who in the office will actually need the best chair. And here’s as a clue; it’s probably not the MD.
Desks are another consideration, especially in offices which have people performing different tasks and roles. In two respects, this matters. Two employees could have very different working styles due to their job roles. Likewise, a single employee might need to to work different depending on the task being undertaken.
For example, a construction contracts manager or QS might need a large, clear desk space for certain tasks when spreading out full-size construction drawings, but only actually needs space for a laptop and some A4 papers for the majority of the day.
In this case, it’s cost-saving to buy one large desk that everyone can use (and will actually be used) and provide desks that can offer sufficient space to work on a computer. Too often, we see offices which have ended up purchasing inefficient desk setups by trying to find the ‘perfect for all situations’ desk.
Consider how your staff work from task to task and throughout the day, and then consider which would be the most appropriate desk setup to purchase, before considering numbers.
Storage then needs to be well considered. Do staff need a large or small amount of at-desk storage, such as pedestals and wall shelving? Or could they operate from a central, shared storage bank?
There are then other accessory furniture options to consider, such as screens, central storage, feature items and communal furniture. All of these items can be used to shape and improve the wider culture of the office, improving both productivity and morale.
Once all of these things have been considered, make sure you measure your space and perform some basic space planning. If you choose to purchase from a responsible supplier, they will be able to help you with this, but it means measuring your office dimensions and working out, using the provided dimensions and sizes of your prospective furniture items online, what can and needs to go where.
Get Approval And Place Your Order
Once all of this has been completed, you should be ready to order. After you have worked out your possible options, checked that they fit into the allocated space and have got approval to purchase online (there are potential cashflow implications), it’s time to place your order.
Make sure you don’t miss a thing or order the wrong items by keeping a centralised and double checked order list which features all the key details, such as product references and quantities.
Get The Full Guide
If you would like a simple document which you can use electronically or print and keep handy on your desk, then we have put together a simple guide sheet and checklist that you can download for free. Press the button below and make sure you stay organised when ordering office furniture online.