When you're operating an office, each element has an important role to play. From overall architecture and layout considerations, to interior design and workplace functionality.
Office productivity depends on the seamless integration and flow of people and processes.
Office furniture is a vital piece of the puzzle, with individual furniture items and wider layout considerations having a huge effect on how your office looks, feels, and functions.
Analyzing office furniture elements
Whether you're buying a collection of new desks, investing in ergonomic chairs, or installing a private meeting booth, understanding the importance of furniture will help you make better decisions.
The chairs, desks, and meeting spaces that make up your office help define people's health and happiness.
While every modern office is unique, the following three spaces form the backbone of most working environments:
- Workspaces - Individual works zones are where people spend most of their time. Whether you run a law firm with cubicles or an activity-based office, work spaces generally consist of desks, chairs, and computers in a variety of configurations. Personal workspaces need to promote the needs of the business while also ensuring the comfort and efficiency of the individual worker.
- Meeting spaces - Collaboration is more important than ever, with businesses promoting communication through open and activity-based meeting zones. Dedicated conference rooms are perfect for brainstorming and group projects, with custom booths from Zenbooth being a great option for small and medium offices without extensive facilities.
- Communal spaces - Modern offices often include communal relaxation spaces where people can meet, talk, eat, and spend time together. While not every business has enough space to indulge in large sofas or bean bags, the inclusion of a neutral space without a dedicated work focus can be a quiet reprieve from the otherwise busy work day.
Office furniture has come a long way over the last few decades. The right acquisition is able to transform your office and streamline your business.
The following five tips are a great place to start to help justify and inspire your furniture purchasing choices:
1. Sell the idea of creating person to person connections
People are learning more about the importance of collaboration all the time. Forward-thinking offices and schools are now designed to make it easier for people to make connections and value existing relationships.
Rather than setting up isolated cubicles, the modern office is transforming into open-ended and activity-based spaces where people can share ideas, offer feedback, and inspire each other throughout the day.
There are lots of practical ways to promote collaboration, including open-plan environments, shared activity spaces, and dedicated booths and meeting areas.
If you operate an office that involves direct contact with customers, clients, or other stakeholders, it's even more crucial to build valuable connections through office layout and furniture considerations.
Utilize office furniture that is personable and shareable.
2. Know that flexible workstations improve output
Collaboration and flexibility go hand in hand, with group spaces helping to build connections and flexible work areas helping to inspire creativity and novel work patterns.
While flexibility used to be seen as a way to enable workplace inefficiencies, attitudes have been completely transformed. Workers with room to move are more likely to make better decisions and less likely to waste time.
According to Steelcase, 88 percent of highly satisfied employees work at a company where they have the freedom to move during the day.
The modern, flexible workplace can be promoted with thoughtful furniture selection. While some static work areas are fine, you want to have office rooms and tables that you can move between zones.
Self-transforming office desks and furniture items are becoming more common all the time, with your private work area able to shift into a small conference room or a place to brainstorm new ideas.
The dedicated office phone booths from Zenbooth are the perfect example of small and multi-functional workspaces.
3. Health features improve workplace attendance
While a modern office doesn't have the same safety concerns as a building site or manufacturing plant, there are still lots of important health issues to address.
Furniture that reduces stress will also protect people's immune systems. Overly stressed and burnout workers take more sick days.
A number of surveys have suggested that when workers have a quiet place they can retreat to, it lowers their anxiety and improves their mood. Consider this when you justify the purchase of new furniture.
Office furniture should also be selected according to ergonomic principals. Your office layout needs to ensure appropriate access to rooms and exits.
Other than the office building itself, furniture and computers are the sole point of physical contact between people and processes. The height of an office chair, resolution of a monitor screen, or size of a desk can have a huge effect on comfort levels, not to mention physical and mental fatigue.
In the context of the modern office, ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces to fit the people who use them.
Standing desks are a great option, adjustable chairs are a must, and private office booths can help people avoid mental fatigue from lack of privacy.
4. Comfort breeds happiness, and happy workers stay at their jobs
Sustainable workplace practices need to be based on the comfort and satisfaction of individual workers.
Everyone wants to be as snug as possible while they work, and despite size and layout constraints, you can make this possible with the right office furniture.
People work hard when they're at ease, and even harder when they feel respected by the people who are making office layout decisions.
From the size of individual cubicles to the height and shape of office chairs, making small adjustments to your office design can make life much easier for your staff.
Peaceful work spaces also have a huge effect on workplace satisfaction. According to a recent survey, 58 percent of high-performance employees want more quiet at work, and 62 percent think their current environment is too noisy.
5. Furniture style is substance
People justify buying new office furniture for lots of reasons, with aesthetic considerations being just as important as functionality or flexibility.
While corporate style sometimes gets a bad name, how your office looks has a huge effect on how it makes your team feel.
No one likes working in an old, dirty, or tired-looking office, with a cosmetic update being one of the best ways to inspire your workers and refresh your business outlook.
Much more than an attractive mask, the style of your office reflects the substance of your business.
Employees are much more willing to push themselves when they work in an inspiring setting, and they are more likely to stay loyal as the months and years roll by. The overall look of your office is heavily influenced by your furniture selection, from the size and shape of furniture items to their color and overall layout.
If you deal with customers or clients from your office, style is even more critical. Cheaply made or poorly chosen furniture reflects badly on your business and has a negative effect on brand perception.
If you're looking for an affordable and easy way to transform your business from the inside-out, adding new office furniture offers a range of fantastic benefits.
Let Zenbooth Help You With Your Office Furniture Choices
Office furniture comes in all shapes and sizes. With businesses often lacking space, but increasingly concerned with collaboration and privacy, office meeting booths are a great way to improve work outcomes.
Zenbooth specializes in dedicated working and collaboration booths for demanding modern organizations. If you're looking for flexible and functional privacy solutions for any occasion, please contact our friendly team today.