The Essentials of Office Furniture Selection

by Jul 19, 2017Furniture Selection

The Essentials of Office Furniture Selection

Office furniture selection is more involved than simply picking something out of an online catalog. It’s essential to consider ergonomic needs, cubicle types or open space layouts, new versus used furniture, and where to buy it from.

For too many over-worked small business owners, or office managers though, it is tempting to simply go for “what looks good” and won’t “break the bank.”

Quality Office Furniture Is a Long Term Investment

Does office furniture do more than simply provide a work space? It should. Studies show that quality office furniture helps improve employees’ attitude towards their work and, consequently, improves their productivity.

According to Thomas Wright, Leadership Chair in Business Administration at Kansas State University, “In a sample of management personnel with average salaries in the $65,000 range, being psychologically distressed could cost the organization roughly $75 a week per person in lost productivity.”

Office furniture selection really does matter.

Office Furniture Selection Essentials

Determine Your Office Needs

Start by defining the functions needed and how your office space will be used. This will help determine what office furniture selection and major accessories you will need. For some businesses, having wide computer monitors and large desks are no longer practical or necessary.

If your office needs substantial storage space then plan for filing cabinets. If your clients come to your office regularly, consider extra seating and side. Once you’ve planned for the basics, incorporate the smaller pieces into your plan.

Choosing New Furniture or Used

With new pieces office furniture selection is often easier, but used furniture can usually be less expensive and offer greater value. Knowing some of the advantages and disadvantages of each will help in making a decision.

Advantages of new furniture:

  • Larger selection of styles, colors, and sizes
  • Latest style and trends available
  • Replacement parts are readily available if needed


  • It can be very expensive
  • Assembly is often required
  • There may be delays in your delivery date

Advantages of used furniture:

  • Typically 25-35% cheaper
  • Great for smaller offices with less than 20 employees
  • Great for use of just a few years years


  • Selection and choices are often limited
  • If there is a problem, there are no warranties
  • There can be unseen damage

Comfort and Ergonomics Are Critical

Since most workers will spend many hours sitting in office chairs, it is important to test the chairs to determine that they can be used for hours without discomfort. Not all office workers are the same, so being able to test chairs along with desks is an essential for determining the ideal setup.

Office designers understand how many hours are spent in the office, so ergonomic design in office furniture selection is something they can help you find for both furnishings and desk accessories.

Determine The Layout and Location

Know the dimensions of the office space you are furnishing so that your office furniture selection fits perfectly the first time. In addition, take into account the dimensions of doors and windows, as well as the locations of electrical outlets in the office.

Cubicle size and layout will determine a great deal of what you can and cannot use when determining your office furniture selection. On the other hand, so will an open space layout without closed off spaces.

Plan Office Furniture Selection With Comfort and Growth In Mind

Since your employees a large part of their day in your office, office furniture selection should reflect your company culture and image. Office furniture is available in such varied and different styles that you’ll have no problem finding pieces that suit your taste and growth needs.