Heather Rogers, A&D Consultant
Buying furniture can be a confusing process. There are hundreds of manufacturers offering products that range in style, durability, and price. If you’ve never purchased commercial-grade office furniture, you may not know exactly what you need or what you should spend. The good news is that working with a professional team can clear up the confusion.
A design firm can help you develop an overall budget for designing or redesigning your office, and a commercial interiors dealership can help you define a budget for your next office furniture upgrade. But in most cases, both the design firm and the commercial interiors dealership will need a ballpark office furniture budget or a low/medium/high budget range from you. Once they have that information, they can make recommendations to meet your needs and stay on budget. Unless, of course, money is no object–in that case, you can skip this article and we will be glad to get this party started sans-budget! Please contact us here. 🙂
The rest of us need a place to start.
FIRST, ASSESS YOUR NEEDS:
An expert will help you discover your needs and establish clear goals, but prior to that you can do a bit of research on your own. Talk to employees, look at your existing workflows, consider privacy and collaborative spaces, and assess your existing assets with regards to comfort, longevity, workflow, flexibility, collaboration, and privacy. Here are some questions to get you started:
- How long do you plan to stay in your current office?
- Do you want the absolute least expensive furniture? Is this an investment in your business or simply a short-term problem you need to solve?
- How many years do you need this furniture to last?
- Do you have the time to source your furniture, assemble it, and deal with potential returns, or are you looking for a vendor to provide these services end-to-end?
- How does the look of your office and the quality of the furniture in your office impact your customers perceptions of your quality and value?
- Are you concerned about the environmental standards and certifications of your selections?
- Do you or any of your employees have back problems or circulatory issues? Are your employees in front of computers for long periods of time?
“comfort, longevity, workflow, flexibility,
collaboration, and privacy”
How much you are willing to spend on this office furniture upgrade? Do you have an amount set aside specifically for this process? Is it a lump sum you set aside, or a monthly payment that fits into your resources and planning? At the end of the day this figure will help you set boundaries about what is realistic. No one likes these limits, but with a budget in mind, designers and/or furniture dealers can help you with the options, resources and creativity to meet your needs and deliver the most value for every penny.
GENERAL COST OF THE OFFICE FURNITURE YOU NEED:
The internet can be a powerful research tool, and it is often the first place we turn to find answers. As you work on your budget, it’s likely you will pull up a browser and search for “office chairs” or maybe more specifically “Steelcase Gesture prices”. In which case you will find results similar to the image below.
Keep in mind this kind of search can deliver ballpark prices or MSRP for individual pieces of furniture, but those prices don’t include significant discounts that may apply. It’s also very important to know that NOT all furniture is created equal. Commercial office furniture gets a lot more wear and tear than the furniture in your home. Keep in mind your needs for quality, longevity and durability as you search for ballpark prices. Once you have a basic idea for budgeting purposes, an expert can help you compare apples to apples.
- Conference tables
- Workplace technology
NOT ALL FURNITURE IS CREATED EQUAL
Once you have 1) assessed your needs, 2) discovered what funds are available, and 3) established a basic understanding of what things cost, you should be able to form a reasonable low/medium/high budget range. A design firm or furniture dealer can take this information and help you find furniture solutions that maximize your budget, meet your needs, and give you the best return on your investment.
- Assess Your Needs
- Find out what funds are available (money in the bank or financing)
- Price shop
- Remember not all furniture is created equal
- Pricing online may not include significant discounts
- Consider longevity, durability and comfort
- Establish a low/medium/high office furniture budget range
- Work with a professional designer or furniture dealer to meet your needs and stay on budget for your next office furniture upgrade.
As you go through this process, we are here to help. We carry over 250 product lines and can help you find the right fit once we understand your needs and goals for your office. In many cases, we recommend Steelcase for high-end comfort and longevity and Turnstone for comfort and durability on a leaner budget.