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New vs. Used Office Furniture: Which is best for your New Business?

There are many options available in today’s market when it comes to choosing office furniture for your new business. But what are the differences between new, used, refurbished or remanufactured office furniture? And which choice is best for promoting a happy, productive working environment. This article will touch upon these subjects, and shed some useful light on the seemingly unobtrusive topic of choosing office furniture, which can have some surprisingly exasperating and confusing aspects, plus important financial considerations attached to it.

Know what your furniture needs consist of first:

One of the initial things that one should do when trying to decide on the cheaper route of going used, versus the added expense of buying brand new office furniture, is prioritizing your office workspace needs first. Obviously, areas like client waiting rooms or lounges that give potential customers or business associates first impressions of how you do business, should be new looking, professional, and show that your company is well financed, progressive, and in-touch with modern times.

For office spaces with rows of classic style cubicle layouts, refurbished or “lightly used” office furniture is absolutely acceptable. Most likely, used furniture would not be a noticeable issue with this type of office environment. Now for open-spaced office layouts, absolutely different rules apply. Open office space areas are where used office furniture, and especially un-matching furniture pieces can really stand out like a sore thumb. They should be modern and uniform and the furniture design should be in conformity with the everyday working logistics of an open office space layout.

Setting two budgets for both office scenarios – client visible areas, and restricted worker only office space – is a cost effective tactic where both new and used furniture can be appropriate. They each can have their own place and purpose in the right business setting. In this growing, but still recovering economy, being financially cautious with new “cost of doing business” purchases is just good business sense in these positive, but still uncertain economic times.

Know what your options are before making costly and irreversible decisions:

An essential piece of knowledge you will need in order to make a properly informed decision on whether to go with new office furniture, or used, is distinguishing the difference between New, Used, Refurbished, and Remanufactured. The definition of “New” furniture is obvious, but what is the difference between Used, Refurbished and Remanufactured? Used is of course pre-owned, but most used furniture sold by liquidation outlets is in “Good to Fair” condition.

Refurbished Office Furniture usually pertains to cubicles. This form of industrial recycling strips down the used products outer body to its frame, and then re-covers its fabric, paneling, or other materials, in order to give the product a “like new” appearance. Usually to a buyer’s specifications and design preferences, sold in pre-ordered lots ahead of time. Remanufactured Furniture has been processed a step further than refurbished furniture, to the point of the buyer, not being able to visually tell the difference between new furniture, and remanufactured. The downside unfortunately, is that remanufactured furniture is rarely fully pre-customizable by the purchaser, when being ordered from the manufacturer.

The economic benefits of the above three alternatives to expensive brand new office furniture, makes it hard to resist looking into the savings of not buying new. Once again, this is when prioritizing your business needs and researching where you need to go new, and where you can get away with used, can give your office furniture budget access to the best of both worlds. Factoring in office layouts, designated usage areas, and differentiating client and employee only access zones, will help decide where both new, and used furniture is appropriate for your office.

Know the latest office trends before buying new or used:

Collaboration Workspace areas are popular modern productivity enhancers for contemporary office environments. These workstations integrate employee cooperation, brainstorming, and peer review, counteracting the isolationism of cubicles and enclosed offices. Its open area office environment often highlights stand-up adjustable desks with internet access and built-in charging stations for laptops and smartphones.

Ironically, the open area workplace trend has also necessitated a need for privacy booths and quiet zones, providing nooks and small enclosed rooms which are normally furnished with utility oriented light office furniture, usually sporting several individual small chair and desk combinations with landline access, and power stations readily available to individual users. Distraction concerns are one of the open office space neigh–sayer’s biggest complaints. Quiet privacy areas are a direct response/compromise by employers to this problem of not being able to find proper peace and quiet, in order to be able to work effectively in a usually crowded and excessively noisy open office space environment.

Smaller executive offices are also on the trend, as managers are becoming more mobile and accessible. This means that the accommodating executive office furnishings are also downsizing as well, with some executives doubling their office as a conference room in order to keep in closer touch with employees and team projects. This calls for less intimate and personal decor, and a more inclusive executive office setting that helps to promote manager and employee interaction, and also higher collaborative production rates through progressive and positive working relationships between company office workers, and their administrative superiors.

Deciding whether to buy new, or save on used is going to come down to categorizing where new is going to conform better to practical business considerations and modern innovations. Tasteful lightly used, refurbished, or remanufactured office furniture can also be perfectly acceptable choices as well, that have their place even in the modern contemporary office environment. Once again, knowing what your needs are, what options are available to you, and the latest office trends,  are going to make the difference between making the right office furniture choice for your new business, or making a regrettable one.


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