Thursday, January 20, 2011

Understanding How To Choose Your Office Furniture

By James Wigney

Office furniture comes in all kinds of styles and designs. From solid oak or walnut executive office pieces to cheaply made fiberboard and laminate desks, it can fit any budget and any taste. Each person who is looking to furnish an office will have differing needs and wants.

Traditional, modern, efficiency, knock-down - all are available for purchase. Office warehouse stores tend to carry middle of the line furniture that has a wide general appeal. They have pieces that could fit into an executive office and others that belong in a student's study area. Desks, computer tables, office chairs, filing cabinets and bookcases are just some of the items you can find in most office centers.

For those desiring an executive and professional appearing office, specialty office stores with better quality furnishings will have what you want. These high end shops carry traditional hardwood executive suites of furniture. They may also stock sleek modern pieces of glass and metal. What is most important in making your selection is to choose a style that resonates with your personal taste. They must also, of course, be serviceable, comfortable and efficient.

Different areas in an office require different kinds of office furniture. A reception area, for example, is usually furnished with comfortable chairs for waiting clients. Often side or coffee tables are positioned to hold magazines or for a cup of complementary coffee. A receptionist desk is frequently a custom piece, with a tall counter in front so the receptionist has some separation and privacy to work. Many of these pieces integrate a computer level counter and filing drawers so that the receptionist rarely needs to leave the work area.

Sales staff is usually housed in an area away from the front offices. Sales people, to work efficiently, need privacy, storage space and a work table. Many offices use work carrels for their sales staff. These can be custom designed, and are often sectional, so can easily be expanded. A supportive quality office chair completes the sales person's office space.

An executive office requires even another type of furnishing. It must look professional as well as give an air of welcome and warmth. Most executives choose matching furniture for their offices. The main piece is generally a large desk, with sufficient space to work, a lower section for a computer keyboard, and several drawers. Bookcases and other storage units make the space work efficiently. One or two comfortable upholstered chairs are generally available for clients.

Larger offices will also need a boardroom or workroom for conferring with clients and staff meetings. Depending on the size of the office, this room should contain a large table and enough comfortable chairs. A projection system and screen can be useful additions for presentations. Very often this room will have an area set aside for refreshments.

Before purchasing office furniture, several aspects should be carefully thought out. It must fit the budget. It should be well made, and engender efficient work. It should be chosen to fit the needs of all the staff. Consider also choosing one style that will promote a cohesive look throughout the office. By planning ahead, you will more readily find just what office furnishings you need.

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