6 Tips for Buying Office Furniture

by Chanel Clark | 21-09-2018


No matter what your company size or budget, it is a project that requires investment. To help you with this process, we’ve established 6 key criteria and a workstation checklist to help you create the optimum work environment.

1. Value for money over the lifetime of the furniture item

Have a budget in mind, but be flexible given your functional requirements. When you are evaluating value for money, also consider the quality and durability of the product and components.   It’s also important to account for the cost of the item over the period of its expected lifetime, as well as churn. Replacing cheaper options over several years will likely be more expensive in the long run.

2. Is the furniture fit for purpose?

You need to consider if the furniture supports the user to perform their tasks and doesn't hinder productivity. Support, ease of adjustability and comfort are vital. For staff working 8+ hours at their workstations, a well-designed, multi-function office chair is a prerequisite: including easily adjustable lumbar support, back and seat tilt functions, height adjustability, and contoured seat.  A correctly set-up work surface, complete with appropriate ergonomic support products, is also required. Have a look at a workstation checklist here.

3. Functionality, support, and Health & Safety compliance

Before you commit to making any purchases, it's useful to create a short list of workstation and task chair options for your staff to trial, as their input can help you evaluate comfort, support, functionality and aesthetic ratings. It’s also worthwhile checking if the furniture that you are considering is compliant with the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). See more information here.

4. Consider environmental sustainability, corporate responsibility and recyclability

With environmentally sustainable products at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s important to seek information on the materials, manufacturing process and potential environmental issues of the products you are considering, or the suppliers you will be buying from. We pride ourselves on using such suppliers as OfficeMax New Zealand who have a strong commitment to sustainability and are constantly reviewing their environmental impact. You can also ask for proof of industry certifications and accreditations where required.  In addition, some suppliers offer end-of-life product return and re-manufacture, which is a great way to show your corporate responsibility when it comes to furniture.

5. Installation, after-sales support and repairs

There is nothing worse than having to assemble flat packs of furniture. During your search for the right suppliers, ask if they provide delivery, assembly, set-up and installation - and if there are any costs associated with this. Next, consider the rubbish left over - will they remove and recycle the packaging? Having a supplier with good warranties or guarantees will give you peace of mind with your investment, so make sure you check.

6. Design and appearance

Good workplace design enhances the atmosphere, eases stress, and increases productivity. Your décor and furnishings also reflects your brand values.  Consider how your new furniture and layout will influence customers, current and potential staff, as well as other stakeholders.

Let the experts from OfficeMax and Modern Office from the Mobel Group help guide you through the fit-out design, selection and installation process. 

Both n3 suppliers deal with leading local and international furniture manufacturers, producing ranges specifically designed to meet the needs of commercial, health and education sectors – whether it be a standard product or complete custom designed fit-outs.  For design inspiration, take a look at this brochure from Modern Office.

Once your fit-out is complete, refer to our OfficeMax checklist, which can assist your staff set-up their workstation, task chair, and technology to suit their individual requirements. Download checklist here. 


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Selecting the right furniture to suit the diverse needs of many organisations is a challenging and often daunting task.  A well-designed workplace is known to help increase staff satisfaction, performance and productivity. Selecting the right furniture to suit the diverse needs of many organisations is a challenging and often daunting task. A well-designed workplace is known to help increase staff satisfaction, performance and productivity.


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