Five steps to the right workplace furniture solution
Creating a workplace environment that delivers for all end users really does matter.
Whether it’s a school, hospital or business setting, an ambience has the potential to improve, or reduce, performance and behaviours of employees, customers, students or visitors.
As workers we spend most of our daylight hours and more than a third of our lives in the workplace, so it’s inevitable the look and feel of our surroundings will impact on our productivity.
For customers, students, healthcare workers or visitors, the space will affect their perceptions, improve or decrease their morale and affect how energised, or not, they feel when they are there.
If you’re considering a refresh, revamp or complete re-design of your workplace setting, getting it right from the outset will save money and stress. Or if you find you’re frequently purchasing furniture items on an ad-hoc or ‘distress’ basis, then it may be you need to review your workplace environment on a more holistic level.
By planning your workspace in a structured way, your organisation is much less likely to need to meet costly, spontaneous demands in the future.
Getting the right design and installation input from your supplier is key here. To plan and achieve a great environment, here’s what you should expect:
- Getting to know you
Before a supplier starts to make suggestions, they should carry out a full audit of your workplace. Not only do they need to find out what you have in mind, but they should ask a series of questions about end-users, their roles, their needs and find out how the business is likely to grow and evolve in the coming years so that they can help you to future-proof the organisation.
Suppliers should be actively asking about your organisational needs, challenges and aspirations before they even start to recommend the right solutions for your workplace.
- Thoughtful solutions
A good supplier will not only come back to you with CAD drawings and filing surveys as part of their service, but they will have answers to any conundrums they or you have uncovered.
One common issue is ergonomics, which is essential to improved productivity. Furniture should be proposed with these in mind and be flexible to the needs of all end users, not just a perceived majority. By designing a workspace to allow for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions and better heights and reaches, the whole environment can become more efficient.
Another issue may be focus. With the 2013 Gensler Workplace Survey finding that 53% of employees are disturbed by others when trying to focus and 42% use makeshift solutions to block out distractions in the workplace, does the solution presented to you address this? If you have open plan offices, have employees been consulted about this?
- Dedicated to you
Your new, improved workspace is much more than a transaction involving desks and chairs. It’s a design, planning and implementation process that will make a huge difference to your organisation and its people well into the future. Having the right people involved who are backing your project to the full is essential.
Look for a supplier that allocates you a dedicated team, including a project manager who has been involved since the start, understands your needs and will communicate with and support you at every stage.
- Delivery and installation
Working with your supplier to make the installation of your new workspace a success needs good planning as it is likely that they, and you, will be balancing a number of business needs, deadlines and end user requirements.
Your supplier should understand all of the above and ensure delivery and installation on a day and at a time to suit you and your organisation. They should also be talking to you about the removal and recycling of any no longer needed furniture.
- After care
A good supplier will continue working with you once the installation is complete, to ensure you’re completely satisfied with the solution, your end users have been trained on how to adapt or adjust furniture and how to use any filing solutions.
With improving productivity, supporting an ageing workforce and growing workplace morale just a few of the big issues organisations face this century, getting your workspace right matters as much now as it ever has.