If you’re planning to build or remodel an office, your main priority is probably hiring a contractor. However, you should also prioritize finding an office furniture provider and involving them in your project as early as possible.
By engaging with an office furniture provider early on, you can save yourself time and money, and ensure your future workplace is designed to be exactly what you need it to be.
At Egyptian Workspace Partners, we have 140 years of industry experience, which means we know when you should engage your office furniture provider in the design process and when it’s too late.
In this article, we’ll discuss the problems that can occur if an office furniture provider is involved too late, and when exactly you should start thinking about furniture for your project.
Why Should You Engage Your Office Furniture Provider Early?
When it’s time to build or renovate your office, planning ahead is extremely important.
Office furniture plays an integral role in the size of an office building, how it’s going to be built, and, most importantly, how your workspace will impact employee well-being and productivity.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t think about how they work, what they need their space to accomplish, and what technology solutions they need to get work done.
Companies usually hire a contractor or design firm without thinking about office furniture until they’re months into a project. This can lead to a lot of issues, such as where your furniture will go and when it'll be delivered.
Here at Egyptian, we’ve seen companies pay thousands of dollars for a layout that doesn’t work, only to throw out the original design and hire their office furniture provider to redesign a layout that actually works for them.
While it may seem time-consuming to engage your furniture provider early, you should remember that once the building is built, that's it. You can’t go back to the beginning and request more space or a different layout.
What Happens When an Office Furniture Provider Is Involved Too Late?
Problem #1: The Space Won’t Fit Your Needs
Regardless of your industry, you need an office that helps you get your work done. If an office furniture provider is involved too late, you may end up with a workspace that doesn’t properly serve you or your employees.
There are several problems that can occur if an office furniture provider isn’t involved early. The space may be too big or too small, the doors or windows may be too wide, and the data and power connections may be too far away from employee workstations.
If you involve them early enough, an office furniture provider will be able to design a layout that’s not a one size fits all. They’ll layout the furniture so it fits in your space perfectly, doesn’t get in the way of doorways or columns, and is located close to data and power connections.
Problem #2: Lack of Proper Lighting
Proper lighting is the key to productivity in your office. Whether you opt for artificial lighting, natural lighting, or a combination of both, the placement of your lighting requires strategic planning that only your office furniture provider can offer.
By involving your office furniture provider early on, they can help you decide where to build walls, what materials to use, and where to place your furniture to optimize the amount of lighting your office receives.
For instance, if you’re building an office with cubicles and aisleways, you may want more lighting in the aisles so they’re not too dark. Your office furniture provider may suggest an open layout with glass walls to allow for more natural light flow, as well as additional lighting fixtures if necessary.
Problem #3: Your Furniture Won’t Be Delivered on Time
When you’re in the middle of a construction project, the arrival of your furniture can be exciting. However, it can also be stressful if it arrives before it’s supposed to and there’s nowhere you can store it.
If you engage your office furniture provider early enough, they’ll be able to coordinate the delivery of your furniture into the construction schedule. This way, you won’t have to worry about furniture interfering with the progress of your build or remodel.
For example, your provider will be able to schedule your furniture delivery, so it doesn’t arrive until after the windows and floors are installed, or until you’re absolutely ready for it to be delivered, assembled, and installed.
Problem #4: Improper Filing and Storage Solutions
In today’s paperless society, people aren’t using file drawers and overhead bins as much as they used to. Physical file storage is being replaced with personal storage solutions, such as lockers and high-density storage.
Unfortunately, people don’t consider what type of storage they’re looking for until it’s too late. When your office furniture provider is involved early on, they can suggest solutions that maximize space without compromising the amount of storage you need.
For instance, let’s say a company wants to replace traditional file cabinets with personal storage. The office furniture provider may suggest an open layout with smaller cubicles and height-adjustable desks for more employee collaboration.
Problem #5: Lack of Knowledge about design trends
When redesigning an office, a lot of companies follow the design standards that have existed for years. Instead of considering what they actually need, they opt for larger private offices or conference rooms that are a waste of space and serve no purpose.
An office furniture provider is a valuable resource because they stay ahead of all the latest office design trends. By engaging your provider early, they’ll be able to ask questions and make suggestions that help you achieve a workspace that’s designed for what your employees need and use every day.
A couple years ago, we worked with Prairie Farms, a local farmer-owned company that wanted to relocate and consolidate their corporate headquarters into one building. They initially wanted private offices, as well as a separate breakroom, meeting room, and training area for their employees.
After we met with the architect, we realized there was no need for a formal meeting room or private offices because they would be underused and take up space. We also made it our goal to educate the client on space planning and how they could allocate space for different purposes.
In the end, they opted for a multi-use space that could be used for training and weekly meetings. We also implemented glass walls around the perimeter offices for privacy in the open layout and sit-to-stand desks to promote a healthier workplace.
How Early Should You Engage YOUR Office Furniture Provider?
So, the question remains – when exactly should you involve your office furniture provider in your build or remodel?
Ideally, once you choose an office furniture provider, you should engage them before you buy, build, lease, or renovate. The earlier you talk to a provider and establish a plan of attack, the better off you’ll be.
To design a workspace that works for you, your office furniture provider will start by asking specific questions to kickstart the design process:
- How much privacy do you need?
- How many employees work in your office?
- What types of filing and storage solutions do you need?
- What power and data connections do you need?
By asking these questions, they’ll be able to create a workspace that not only works for you, but helps you get work done.
Ready to Take the Next Steps?
Still have questions about choosing an office furniture provider? Whatever you’re looking for, your partners at Egyptian are here to help.
As industry experts with years of experience, our team will lead you through the entire design process, from creating an accurate floor plan to coordinating your furniture delivery.