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Where Will Your Office Furniture Be in 15 Years?

Do you read the Building Operation Management magazine? If not, you missed this piece about “Factors that Impact Office Furniture Design”. The article starts with the assumption that your office furniture will be in service for 10-15 years. We’ve certainly seen plenty of furniture last a lot longer. That’s not surprising since we work in the refurbishing business. Many of our customers are using 20 year old cubicles that look almost brand new. However, a little over a decade is pretty typical for the first owners of the office furniture.

Karen Kroll, the author of this piece, has collected quite a few tips from some of the biggest names in the industry. We’d like to add our two cents to a few of their observations here:

Mona Hoffman of Kimball office says employees want to personalize space while employers tend to view standardization as desirable. The article mentions a couple of tools to make personalization possible without defacing or altering the structure of a cubicle. We’d also like to add that some businesses are experimenting with making diversity part of their image – even when it comes to office furniture. For example, getting the same ergonomic chair in a bouquet of different upholstery colors livens up the workspace while standardizing comfort and productivity. This approach also preserves bulk purchasing discounts since all the chairs are the same model and from the same manufacturer.

Flexibility and modularity are also critical factors in keeping costs down over the lifecycle of your office furniture. Jan Johnson from Allsteel says this happens when there is “intelligence behind the design process”. The furnishings must still serve a purpose even when technology changes. John Lubbinge from Herman Miller points out that frame and tile workspace systems are easier to move around when you have to lay in cable. So, that’s one reason to reconsider base-of-panel raceway options when you are sourcing cubicles. When you’re talking about reconfiguration, reuse, and technology, it’s also important to consider how the wireless trend is impacting office furniture. More desk-height recharging stations and power outlets could be more valuable than a wide raceway for data cabling.

At San Diego Cubicles Office Environments, we can help you plan your office purchases so the items you buy today will still be useful 15 years from now. Let us assist you with a free consultation!


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