Blog

Office Furniture Planning on a Budget

August 4, 2017 / by Tommy Twardowski

Whether you run a startup and are committing to an office space for the first time or you are expanding or moving your office, you’ve probably got a budget for furnishing and decorating your space. If your budget is limited, you’ve got to be strategic, savvy and creative when office furniture planning. You may long for the convenience of going to one home furnishing store for a one-and-done experience. Instead, you have a great opportunity to rise up and meet this challenge head on!

Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

If you’re furnishing with a tight budget, look at what you already have with fresh eyes. For example, if you’re transitioning from an office full of cubicles to an open-concept office, don’t ditch all of those cubicle dividers. Cut them down and use them as privacy partitions or bulletin boards. Do you have an unneeded desk? Cut it down the middle, refinish or paint it, and voila: you have two matching end tables for your waiting room. Extra non-matching chairs? Use them in the break room or even around the conference table (unless clients visit your conference room.)

Divide and Conquer

There is definitely something to be said for one-stop shopping: it’s convenient! When you’re on a budget, though, you’re better off making a list of what you need and shopping around. It’s likely that you’ll find the best prices by purchasing what you need from multiple furniture manufacturers instead of just one. The time you spend researching can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars. While your and your employees’ time is valuable, this is one instance when spending it makes sense. Additionally, don’t feel pressured to buy into the matchy-matchy mentality. It is perfectly OK to pair Haworth desks with Allsteel credenzas, Bernhardt filing cabinets and Steelcase chairs, for example.

Needs versus Wants

Determining the difference between need and want can be  tricky. Some things are obvious. Every employee needs a chair, a desk or workstation, and probably a phone and computer. You may or may not absolutely need a conference table (and new chairs if you entertain clients). Buy your essential items first, as inexpensively as you can. Then, check your budget. How much do you have left? Whatever it is, divide it equally among items that will keep your employees happy and that will help you project a professional image to clients who visit your office.

Employees and Clients Both Need to Feel Comfortable

Without your employees, your business is nothing. You absolutely need them to feel happy and comfortable at work if you want to keep them. Splurge a bit on what they value most. How will you know? Ask them! Send out a SurveyMonkey to find out. Whether it’s for the break room, the boardroom or the bathroom, listen to them and deliver their preferences as best you can within your budgetary constraints.

Just as you’d be nowhere without your team, you’d be nowhere without clients. While the appearance of your office may not be first on your clients' priority list, your space is a reflection of your business and your professionalism. You need not go overboard, but make sure your space is presentable and comfortable for any clients who stop by. You want your employees and your clients to feel valued and appreciated.

Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention. Don’t let your budgetary constraints hold you back. Instead, consider your limited budget a challenge and an opportunity. It will take a bit of effort, but you can do more with less. And in the long your resourcefulness and results will be a source of pride. You’ll look around your space, be happy with what you see and know you achieved your results without compromising your bottom line.

Houston Installation Services has 39+ years of office furniture planning and installation experience, and we are committed to sustainable practices. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like any guidance on supporting sustainability during your next office move, relocation, or renovation - we are committed to saving our customers time and money.

Topics: Office Furniture, Office Design, Managers

About The Author

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy began his career in the office furniture installation business in 1978 and started his full-time career in 1981 with Houston Installation Services. Starting as a furniture installer, he developed a passion for the process of installation and learned to install all major manufacturers’ lines.