You could say that office furniture is having a big moment. Everyday new products emerge that are supposed to make employees happier and healthier, while also using company colors and graphics to drive brand awareness. In addition, the office furniture industry is facing some major changes:
- New buyer behavior
- Different make-up of the workforce
- Addressing individual needs
So, companies need to consider how they will embrace these changes, while still keeping in mind financial and individual needs.
The Evolution of Office Furniture Buying
Previously, large office-space design decisions were made entirely by outside design firms, but now they are increasingly being driven by internal teams of departmental stakeholders.
This means that you need to arm your internal team with the knowledge to make thoughtful interior design decisions based on best practices, while also being educated yourself about the best products and programs.
Companies are also using contract furniture projects for big redesign initiatives. They see it as a chance to play “catch-up” with everyone else, to re-evaluate the culture of a space and to accommodate changing employee needs.
As a result, you need to work with providers who can deliver on different industry trends while helping you be budget-conscious.
Cheers to Health, Happiness… and Retention
Forward thinking companies looking for aggressive growth recognize that following trends will propel the growth of their organization, attract and retain the top talent and increase profitability.
Make sure your innovative furniture and layout corresponds well with employee working habits. But also consider that giving everyone standing-only desks with no back-up option doesn’t necessarily provide increased health benefits either.
“The best posture is movement,” said Michael Fazio Vice President of Central Region Sales at Inscape. “In fact, you really only need to be moving or standing for 15 minutes each hour.”
“Absenteeism is an enormous cost to an organization that they may not take into account,” Michael said. “Employees often need to go to a physical therapist due to faulty work equipment, which directly impacts productivity and cost saving opportunities.”
And, it goes without saying that most organizations want to attract and retain the top talent by offering a comfortable workplace environment.
Ergonomics and Individual Needs
The impending talent shortage, combined with a new influx of millennial workers has brought increased attention to individual needs, specifically health and wellness.
“Ergonomic-based products are being based on individual needs, so it’s no longer a one-size fits all approach,” said Michael.
Leading employers aren’t just buying standing desks, monitor arms and keyboard trays for everyone. They are providing CHOICES, so that individuals can select the most appropriate place and posture to get their work done at each point in the day.
So, what are you supposed to do? And, how do you make sure you follow the “rules” when it comes to buying new office furniture? You look for an office furniture program and partner that can guide you through these trends, while also meeting your bottom line.
We Can Help!
While we have had an office furniture program at Corporate United for years, we are excited about some new improvements, including a renewed partnership with Workspace Interiors by Office Depot and a new partner, Inscape.
Of course saving money is important. But so is keeping employees happy, healthy and comfortable. Luckily, we can help you do both. Are you ready to get started? Reach out to let us know you are interested.
Sonda Sahley: Category Management, Corporate Services at Corporate United
Sonda is responsible for Corporate Services Category Management at Corporate United. In this role, she serves as a category manager for office supplies, contract audit and translation services agreements. She works cross-functionally with stakeholders and suppliers to provide ongoing program support and she serves as a key advocate for Corporate United supplier relationships.