The Practical Benefits of Customized Office Furniture
Author: Margaret Winfrey
January, 2011 Issue
You may be surprised at the level of style and sophistication in office furniture these days. Gone are the days of plain desks and functional chairs. Today, there’s a wealth of office furniture available that combines practicality with appearance and functionality with comfort.
Perhaps the reason office furniture has been lifted from the reasonably grim and stark offices of a few decades ago is that companies and businesses have realized investing in better quality furniture can create an office space that results in a much higher level of productivity and efficiency—not to mention the impression customers and prospects get immediately when they enter the office.
To begin with, good quality office space with comfortable, attractive and practical furnishings is likely to boost staff morale—a significant factor with any successful company. By boosting staff morale, you’ll not only give employees the impetus to work harder and produce a high standard of work, but you’ll also maintain a low staff turnover with the benefits of experience and familiarity with the company that a contented staff provides.
High-quality office furniture and decor makes it clear that your company or business values its employees, which is likely to encourage staff to remain with you rather than looking for a better job and more comfortable working conditions elsewhere.
Not only that, but with high-quality offices, you’ll almost certainly find you can attract and recruit a higher caliber of employee, and this can significantly improve your business. Your employees are the lifeblood of the company, and by ensuring they feel valued and cared for with good quality, comfortable and attractive furniture, you’ll go a long way toward achieving this.
It’s also the case that properly designed office furniture takes into account many of the issues that can occur with some of the cheaper, less well-planned office furniture alternatives. For example, it’s increasingly likely that most office desks will incorporate a computer, including a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It’s equally likely it’ll be necessary to have an area for staff members to organize their paperwork, make notes and write letters.
Some of the cheaper, poorly designed office furniture can sometimes be little more than planks of wood bolted together, with little consideration of daily practical use or even safety. Take cabling as one common example. In many cases, the monitor, keyboard and mouse will have cables that trail across the desk and down the back. If desks are placed back to back, this can result in unsightly gaps down which rubbish and dust can fall, increasing the risk of overheating within the computers themselves.
Better quality desks and office furniture will take this into account and provide ways in which cabling can be minimized, often with solutions built into the desk itself. These can vary from well-placed holes in the desk to built-in trunking. In some cases, cabling can actually drop down the inside of one of the desk’s legs, making it virtually invisible.
One of the most important elements of office furniture is the chair, which can cause injuries and health problems. They also contribute to employee discomfort and an inability to work to the best of their abilities. The best chairs allow for the greatest degree of adaptability and flexibility, including height adjustments, back angle adjustments, lumbar support and so forth. By being able to adapt the chair to the individual person, you can eliminate (or at least significantly reduce) many of the risks inherent in working within an office environment. Much of this is regulated by health and safety law, and risk assessments of the ergonomics of the workstation will likely be necessary. This is a much easier task if the office furniture is designed to make adjustments easy for each individual.
There’s also the storage aspect to consider, and here again, designer office furniture will take a business’ needs into account and ensure suitable facilities are either built into the desk area, or incorporated elsewhere. Above all, well-designed office furniture should be practical for daily use, comfortable for all employees regardless of size or shape, and eliminate as many of the small but irritating problems associated with poorly made designs.
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