In short, you should purchase new office furniture whenever it is needed. But like most things in business, it isn’t as simple as that. Here are a few different scenarios which, when they happen, should tell you how often you need to purchase new office furniture.
When You Move Office
If you are moving office location, to a new premises, it is most likely the right time to purchase new furniture. You will either need to resolve the issue of increased or decresed space, compared to your existing office.
If you are moving to a smaller office space, for whatever reason, you will find that you either have too much current furniture (assuming you own your own furniture) or that your existing furniture needs to be replaced by something smaller. So if your team is being moved to their own, smaller office space due to streamlining or regional relocations of the business, it’s likely the time to invest in new furniture.
Alternatively, you may be increasing the footprint of your office space. Obviously, this is the time that you need to be purchasing new office furniture. Assuming that it doesn’t form part of your letting agreement.
When You Decorate Your Office
If you own your office space and are going to refurbish or decorate, it is likely to be the right time to purchase new office furniture.
The latest styles of office design are most likely too advanced for your well used and much loved furniture. This can be in terms of aesthetics or practicaltities.
The latest office design thought is leading away from the now normalised open plan scheme. Despite some huge companies, like Facebook, making open plan offices, there is an alternative movement for providing variation. Two huge workplace surveys (this and this) highlight the need for offering variation in work station setups to account for mood, task and emotion variations.
If your refurbishment is going to account for offering different ways of working with things like private work areas, pods and booths, as well as open plan areas, you will need to purchase new furniture more in keeping with your general office design: stand up desks, shared storage, shared large working desks, and the like.
Google, the trend-setters in office culture, include solo working office pods – which can also be used for power-naps.
When You Recruit New Staff
If you are recruiting new staff and they do not have any furniture available to use, which is on a par with their new colleagues, you should purchase new furniture for them.
Forcing staff to make do with improper furniture, which isn’t equal to a colleague’s, can lead to resentment and leave some staff feeling disgruntled.
Make sure all staff have a proper work station – for example, not using a meeting table as a regular work desk – and a suitable chair is key.
When Repairs Are Frequent
If you are finding that furniture is having to be frequently repaired and fixed – a chair’s back rest and wheels, desk legs, draw hinges – it will be more beneficial to invest in replacement furniture. It may seem like a costly resolution, but in terms of comfort, efficiency and staff wellbeing (thanks to being “treated” to new items), it is more cost efficient than a constant attitude of “mend and make do”.
When Workspaces Aren’t Optimised
And all of this is in relation to making your office as optimised as possible. Your office furniture should serve to make your working day and working practice as easy as possible. Staff should never have to work around furniture, making concessions by storing things inconveniently, for example, because this is actually a workspace which isn’t optimised.
Check to see if you could install new furniture items and accessories which will make you and your staff’s working day easier.