What furniture does your office definitely have to have and how do you choose the right styles for your space?
When it comes to planning your office, it isn’t just a case of counting up how many people you need to accommodate and ordering some desks. A lot goes into creating a functional, practical and comfortable office environment, not to mention all the health and safety aspects you have to consider.
In order to get the most out of your office, you need a plan in order to set the space up correctly. This means knowing what goes where, how your design may impact people and exactly what office furniture is totally essential.
If you already have an office but are planning a refurbishment, take a look at our helpful checklist to ensure your redesign goes smoothly. If you’re starting out with a brand new space, this guide will take you through all of the essentials you need to consider.
How much space do you have?
Before you can even start looking at the office furniture you might need, you have to look at the space available to you. Make sure you have accurate measurements of your office, understand the shape of the space and whether there are any possible obstructions that can’t be moved – such as support pillars.
A diagram of the room that shows accurate dimensions can be a big help and allow you to plan the layout of your furniture. It will also show you where windows, exits and separate offices are, which will enable you to plan accordingly.
You also need to bear in mind the minimum space requirements an office has to have. HSE regulations state:
“In a typical room, where the ceiling is 2.4m high, a floor area of 4.6m2 (for example 2.0 x 2.3m) will be needed to provide a space of 11 cubic metres. Where the ceiling is 3.0m high or higher the minimum floor area will be 3.7m2 (for example 2.0 x 1.85m). (These floor areas are only for illustrative purposes and are approximate).”
While these regulations provide you with minimum space requirements for each employee using the office, you should also factor in comfort and any special requirements. Extra space for individual workstations can mean staff are more comfortable, which will ultimately ensure they are more productive, as well as happier.
The right desks
It kind of goes without saying that you’ll need desks in your office space, but what kind of desks will you need?
Having an understanding of the space you’re working with and how many people you need to accommodate will allow you to assess the right set up for your desks. Do you want individual desks? Are you creating pods of four desks? Will a row of desks work better?
The way you want your desks set up in your office will give you an idea of the shape and size you need each desk to be. If you are creating pods of four desks, corner workstations might be the best option. Rows and banks can be created by putting individual desks together – which also means you can move desks around quite easily – or with back-to-back desks.
You also need to know how big each desk should be to allow for comfortable working. If people need multiple monitors or space for other equipment, they’ll likely need a slightly larger desk. Our desk size guide can help you consider what options will work best in your space.
Beyond desk shape and size, the other thing you need to look at is quality. Offices are busy places and furniture for them is a big investment, so you need desks that are going to last for years – you don’t want to end up having to replacement fairly regularly. This is why you should look at what guarantee is on offer with your desks, as this will give you a good idea of their quality.
At Bluespot, we offer a 10-year guarantee on all of our standard desks and a five-year guarantee on our adjustable desks, so you know they are built to last. On top of this, our desks are made from sustainable FSC-certified wood and are SGS-accredited, showing that they meet all quality standards.
Having an office job means you’ll likely spend the majority of your day sitting down, so seating is one of the most important items of furniture in your office. The wrong chairs can not only be uncomfortable for staff, but it can also be responsible for health issues.
Office chairs that don’t provide the correct level of support can result in pain and long-lasting issues. This is why you need to ensure you have ergonomic chairs that support people’s posture and allow them to adjust their seating to meet their needs.
With so much resting on the type of chair you choose for your team, it’s important to understand the benefits of the chairs you are looking at. Be sure to compare seat size, adjustment options, whether there is a choice of arms and any other features available. You’ll also need to ensure you have enough space to allow people to sit and move their chairs comfortably.
Just as with desks, the chairs in your office will see a lot of use. It’s highly likely that one chair will end up being used by multiple people during the course of its life. As such, you want quality as well as comfortable design.
All of our office chairs are designed to offer the right level of support, come with a choice of adjustment options and have a five-year guarantee as standard. We build them to be comfortable and to last – you can even choose from various colour options to tie in with the rest of your office design.
Suitable office storage
Even though so much is digital in a modern office, you still need to consider what office storage you’ll need. The wrong office storage furniture or a lack of storage options can mean that your office looks cramped and untidy. It’s easy for paperwork and equipment to pile up if you have nowhere suitable to put it, which can also mean your office ends up full of safety hazards.
Adding storage to your office will ensure it stays tidy and looks clean, but it can also help to create the right look for your brand as a whole – which is important if you regularly have clients or other businesses visit your workplace.
When looking at storage types, you need to consider what you’ll likely be storing, how much space you have and whether you require personal storage.
If people have set desks, personal storage can ensure they have somewhere to put their personal items, store paperwork or equipment they need on a regular basis and ensures they can keep their workspace neat and tidy. Under-desk pedestals are a great option, as they don’t take up any extra room. You can either purchase mobile pedestals or opt for desks with storage drawers attached. Alternatively, personal storage lockers are a good option that provides a secure space for staff belongings.
As well as personal storage, you should consider whether you need any cupboards, bookcases or display units within your office and where they will be positioned. Storage can be used to break up your office into sections or simply be set up along the office walls. All you need to ensure is that people can easily access it and that it is secure.
Just as with chairs and desks, quality matters when it comes to your office storage. People slamming doors, drawers being in constant use and the possibility of future office redesigns means you need storage that is hardwearing. Our storage furniture all comes with a 10-year guarantee, so it should keep you going. We also have a range of colours and finishes available, meaning you can match your furniture to your branding and create a cohesive design that continues to look great.