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Planning to move your office and looking to buy new office furniture? Here are the key considerations:

When moving an office, the purchase of office furniture is one of the most important decisions companies have to make.  In a recent survey, we found that growth is the reason that 79% of companies move.  If you are moving due to growth, the purchase of new office furniture can have a major impact. These days, many employees are very interested in the aesthetics and atmospherics of the environments they work in.  So, when planning your office move, selection of just the right office furniture will set the tone of your new space. There are many options available and the choices of office furniture evolve, almost daily.  It’s worth it to do the research to find just the right office furniture that will help move your company in the right direction.

Here is a list of the major things to consider:

1. Style -- What style best fits where your company is moving towards? Techy? Laid back? Open concept?  Collaborative?  Style is so important to attracting the talent to your company these days.  Get it wrong, and your company will pay the price for years.  Get it just right, and it will help your company achieve its goals.  Take the time to explore all of your options. The key is to find a company that you’re comfortable with and that can show you lots of options that fit the aesthetic you want to achieve.When moving your office, it is the perfect opportunity to buy just the right office furniture that best projects the image of your company today.


2. Needs -- An office move is the best time to consider and rethink your needs for your company.  If you’re moving because you are growing, you are probably planning to buy new office furniture. Most companies look at this as a great time to reevaluate the way they work. Do you want to increase collaboration?Could your workflow use a do-over?Are cubicles a good choice for you? Do you need private offices?Would you like all open space? What about creative designs for storage?The biggest mistake many companies make when moving their office is having insufficient storage space.There are lots of creative solutions to this issue.


3. Flexibility and Functionality -- When moving your office, consider buying office furniture that has multiple functionality.  In your new office, it is very important to consider getting furniture that has the right proportion to your space.  When looking at office space to lease, be aware that all spaces are not equal.  Columns and varying shape of the space can have a major impact on its efficiency. Here is an important tip: When looking at office space to lease, oftentimes the building owner will offer to have their space planner do a mockup of your office layout in the space they want to lease to you.Be aware that they are being paid by the building owner and, therefore, their allegiance is to the building owner.The advantage is you don’t have to pay for it.Some companies opt to have their own space planner look at, say, three spaces you are considering and plan a layout for each space.A good space planner can tell you which layout is best for you, even though all the spaces may be equal in square footage.


4. Budget -- Make sure you have a decent office furniture budget for the new space you are moving into.  The best thing to do is to speak to designers and office furniture companies. Ask them what a good per-employee is for new office furniture and ask them to give you three per-employee budget figures: low-cost, medium, and high-end.  This way, you have a range that is achievable and you can pick a cost that makes sense for you. Keep in mind, the purchase of new office furniture is one of the most important decisions of your office move.Office furniture really sets the tone for your business for the next 5 to 10 years.It is a long-term investment.


5. Comfort -- Two key decisions to make: seating and desks. Seating is very important. If you get chairs that are not comfortable, it can decrease productivity and lead to a demotivated team.  You want your team to have chairs that are more comfortable than the chairs they have right now.  It’s the first thing they will notice when they get to your new office. You may have heard the urban legend these days; that sitting is the new smoking.There are reports that standing, or having the option to stand while at work, provides your employees with a health option.There are a variety of desks that raise and lower.Many employees prefer to stand at least part of their workday to reduce fatigue.


6. Timing and Options -- There is a simple project management paradigm that says “The more time you allow for planning, your options increase and your cost goes down.”  For example, let’s say you wait until the last minute to plan the office furniture purchase, and you are moving in 10 weeks.  The perfect furniture you want, and at an amazing price, unfortunately, must be ordered and won’t be ready for 16 weeks.  Now, you have to opt for a more expensive option that isn’t exactly what you want.  But your lease is up and you have to move in 10 weeks.  So, you either go with the more expensive option, or pay to move the old furniture to the new location, then pay to have it moved out when the new furniture arrives - all the hassles of basically moving twice.This happens more than one would think.So, best advice is to start looking at office furniture options, even before you select the space you are moving to.

So, get started early with this process. Lead times can be longer than expected.  Have meetings with your team to determine the style you want.  Start to work on a plan as soon as you start looking at office space.  When moving your office, buying new furniture can be fun and it can also be the thing that has a big impact on your employees, your process and your growth.


Planning an office move? Go the office relocation planning resource center

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