Buying office furniture may not rank as a top priority when you are worried about launching your new business, but it does require some attention. After all, this is your foundation, your cornerstone, your centralized locale for all thing business related – and you may also have staff, clients and vendors who will pass through your space.
- First, make a list of everything the office needs – for comfort as well as functionality. Don’t forget to consult employees about their preferences.
- Basic needs include:
- Filing cabinets
- A book case
- Trash cans for the office, reception and bathrooms
- Coat rack and umbrella stand (this is more important than you think!)
- Desks, chairs and computer stations for all office employees
- Chairs, lamps and magazine tables for the waiting area
- A conference table and chairs if needed
- Break room amenities such as a coffee maker, microwave, etc.
- Think about computer accessories and storage units, as well as the basics of desks, lamps and chairs. Space limitations may dictate the installation of mutli-use pieces.
- Ergonomic desks and chairs can save you aches, pains and future doctor visits. Don’t be a mean boss – make sure all of your employees have just as good working conditions!
- You need light fixtures that provide moderately bright, uniform illumination. You may also wish to install lamps with focused or “task” lighting so all work areas and computer monitors are well-lit and glare-free.
Determine your budget. Decide how much you can afford to spend for office furniture, and don’t forget that buying cheap is not the same as having a reasonable budget – keep replacement costs in mind. You can find used office furniture in good shape if you look around. Try the following:
- Check out estate auctions and university liquidation sales as well as any sort of business that is closing or relocating.
- Consult with others in your industry who have furnished their own offices for vendor recommendations.
- Research retail and wholesale houses before making a purchase by Googling them and verifying info with the BBB or CoC.
- Discount outlets, department stores, retail establishments, furniture refinishers and resale shops also may offer good finds, but go for quality and expect to refinish if needed.
- Online purchases can incur high shipping costs, but some bargains are available, especially from wholesalers with flat rate shipping.
Your New Orleans office should reflect the professionalism of your company. Good office furniture is the right place to start!
Are you thinking about investing in some used office chairs? New Orleans certainly has its share of second-hand furniture stores where you can pick up old task chairs for pennies on the dollar. But these aren’t going to make your workers feel like they are sitting on a fluffy cloud. The fact is that a cheap office chair only gets less comfortable with time. On the other hand, high quality office seating can still be serviceable after many years of use. Here are some tips on what to look for in a “like-new” task chair.
The height adjustment cylinder is usually the most mechanically complex component on an office chair. That means it is also the most likely to give out. If the chair is an Aeron, Leap or other brand-name piece, buying new parts and fixing it could be well worth the time and money. Of course, these pricey, ergonomic chairs are also the least likely to have a mechanical failure in the first place.
This is another component that can get worn out from being used on the wrong surface or because debris got lodged inside the housing. Test the casters on both carpet and a hard surface to be sure they work well without rattling, scraping, or jamming. This is another part that can typically be replaced if it’s worn out.
This is the part of the chair that goes out of warranty first – and for good reason. All it takes is one can of soda or a particularly sweaty office worker to make the fabric sticky or stinky. That’s one reason to look for plastic mesh-back office chairs if you are buying used. As an alternative, you might buy an attractive slip cover designed for a task chair. These are hard to find, so having the chair professionally refurbished with new fabric may be your best bet.
The foam padding on the seat of a chair is prone to going flat over time. This is one of the most common reasons people get rid of their old office chair and buy a new one. If you find a chair that is in like-new condition otherwise, you might add:
- A lumbar support cushion
- An orthopedic seat cushion
- Gel arm covers
Cushions can cover up some upholstery wear. This way, it looks like you upgraded a new chair to be more employee-friendly.
Is this all starting to sound like a lot of work? It really is difficult to find excellent used office chairs. New Orleans Office Planning Group finds a few from time to time, but most of our pre-owned inventory is office furniture that doesn’t show wear and tear so easily. That being said, we can certainly find you a great deal on good-quality ergonomic office chairs so you can afford to buy new.
Are you looking to offload a few items of used office furniture? Louisiana has a number of charitable organizations that offer free pickup at your location. Donationtown.org is a free service that matches non-profits with individuals and organizations that wish to donate gently used items. You can simply enter your zip code at their website to find out which non-profits in your area are willing to arrange transportation. This might include the Vietnam Veterans of America, Habitat for Humanity, and other well-known organizations. Goodwill and the Salvation Army also typically do on-site pickup. Many of these organizations are best known for reselling home furniture. However, office furniture can be an even bigger boon if they are trying to furnish their administrative space.
Freecycling Works Too
If you like to build a more direct connection with your community, you can also consider your local Freecycle.org group. You’ll be surprised by the number of responses you get within a day of posting your items. Be sure to specify when, where and how the furniture can be picked up including the number of people required to move it and the size of vehicle needed. This is a great way to donate small batches of office furniture to individual business owners. Just a desk or a chair can make a big difference to someone trying to set up a home office. The users who frequent the Freecycle sites may also know of local organizations that could benefit from a direct office furniture donation. You probably won’t get a tax write-off for giving office furniture away on Freecycle. But it does keep the items out of a landfill.
Want to Sell Your Used Office Furniture?
If you have just a few items, Craigslist is probably your best option. But for larger batches, it makes more sense to sell to an office furniture dealer. You’ll get a fair price and no hassle. The Office Planning Group is happy to pay cash for high quality items that are still in very good condition. This is an option our clients enjoy when they are upgrading or downsizing and want to make some money back on their used office furniture. Louisiana businesses can also enlist our help to liquidate their office and remove furnishings in preparation for a move, build out or other transition.
At The Office Planning Group, one of our most enjoyable jobs is sourcing high quality used office furniture. New Orleans is a treasure trove of unique pieces that can add local flavor to your office space. We handpick and personally inspect every item in our used inventory including:
- Office desks
- Task chairs
- Modular systems (cubicles and open plan workstations)
- Conference tables and chairs
- Filing cabinets and credenzas
- Lighting fixtures
This week, we thought we’d give you a little taste of what we find on a typical “scavenger hunt” for used office furniture in New Orleans. Be warned, by the time you read this blog post, these items may have already sold. Our inventory is always in flux as these pieces go fast. That’s not surprising since we offer them at a rate discounted 50-90% off retail. But you can always browse our current selection here.
How Would You Like Your Coffee?
This credenza with its warm cherry finish and gorgeous paneling is a piece you would be proud to display in any area of your office. It could greet guests in the lobby, add flavor to your conference room or bring a touch of class to an employee break room. It features plenty of storage for everything from cups to creamer.
Take It Outside
We don’t just source interior office furniture. New Orleans has the kind of climate that folks in North Dakota can only dream about. So we were excited to snag these wicker style café chairs. If you have any kind of outdoor access from your office space, make this the year that you create a little oasis for your employees. When people get to spend their first few minutes at work relaxing outside, this can set a great tone for the whole day.
One of a Kind
This cubicle really is in a class all by itself. We often purchase a whole fleet of cubes at a time, but this one was a loner. We’ve never seen quite this color combination before (burgundy trim and overhead bin, pale bluish/greenish/grayish panels and honey toned wood laminate). We admit that it probably won’t match anything else, but it would be perfect for a single unit space. With those high walls on three sides, it’s like a little private office.