Upgrade From Class C to Class A: The Power of High-End Office Furniture

22 November, 2023 / Alan Rosinsky
Class A co-working space in NYC with modern furniture, enhancing creativity and team energy.

Suppose your office space is functional yet drab, uninspiring, and a canvas of untapped potential. Perhaps it’s a place where work gets done, and your employees go through the motions. But does it spark creativity? Does it energize your team? Do people enjoy coming to work every day? If you can’t answer a resounding yes, it’s likely time to start looking at revamping your office furniture.

Think about transforming your office space into something more – a place that not only ticks all the boxes of functionality but also radiates inspiration and productivity. Here, the magic of carefully selected, premium office furniture comes into play. Office furniture is no longer just about desks and chairs; it’s about creating an environment that reflects your company’s personality, fosters well-being, and boosts efficiency. So, let’s dive in and discover how to make your office more than just a workplace – let’s turn it into a space that enhances creativity, productivity, and well-being.

The Fundamentals

Desks, chairs, storage units, conference tables, and little accessories hold your office together. But turning your office into something special requires understanding the importance of office furniture functionality and aesthetics.

Functionality: More Than Meets the Eye

Now, let’s talk about functionality. Going for the latest trendy designs or whatever’s on sale is tempting. But stop and think for a moment. Will that sleek, minimalist desk hold all your files? Can you spend hours in that chair without turning into a pretzel? Functional furniture is about making your work life more efficient, not just filling the office with pretty things. It’s about picking pieces that make sense for your specific needs. A graphic designer might need a large, spacious desk for their equipment. At the same time, a programmer might prioritize an ergonomic chair for those long coding sessions.

Aesthetics: Setting the Office Mood

Aesthetics matter, too! You want your office to be a space where you and your team actually want to spend time. It’s not just about comfort; it’s about creating an environment that reflects your company’s vibe and culture. A University of Exeter study found that employees in settings adorned with plants and artwork were 17% more productive than those in functional but bare spaces. Do you want a space that screams creativity and innovation? Or are you aiming for a more classic, professional look? The style of your furniture sets the tone for your entire office. It’s like choosing the outfit for your business – it should reflect who you are and what you stand for.

Top Companies in the Office Furniture Industry

Have you ever wondered who’s shaping the world of office furniture? Who are the big players creating spaces where we brainstorm, collaborate, and innovate? Several names stand out, each with its unique flair and contributions.

  • Steelcase Inc.: Think of Steelcase as the innovator in the room. They’re all about creating spaces that boost collaboration and productivity. With a focus on research-driven design, they’re not just selling furniture but a vision of the future workplace.
  • Okamura Corporation: Hailing from Japan, Okamura combines precision engineering and sleek design. Their products are a testament to meticulous craftsmanship, perfect for those who appreciate the finer details in design and functionality.
  • HNI Corporation: HNI is like that reliable friend who’s always got your back. They’re known for a wide range of offerings catering to all office environments. Durability and practicality are their hallmarks, making them a solid choice for everyday office needs.
  • Herman Miller Inc.: Herman Miller is the trendsetter who brings a touch of elegance and innovation to office furniture. Famous for their iconic designs, they’re about merging comfort with chic, contemporary aesthetics.
  • Haworth Inc.: Haworth is all about adaptability. Their furniture aims to evolve with your workspace, making them ideal for dynamic, changing office landscapes. If you’re looking for flexibility, Haworth is the way to go.
  • Knoll Inc.: Knoll is where art meets office furniture. They’re known for their modernist designs, perfect for spaces that want to make a statement. Knoll is your go-to if your office is about making a bold, creative impression.
  • KOKUYO Co., Ltd.: KOKUYO combines functionality with an understated elegance. Hailing from Japan, they bring a unique aesthetic to the table, ideal for offices that lean towards minimalist and efficient designs.
  • Meridian Office Group: Meridian is like a versatile all-rounder. They offer a broad range of products that suit various budgets and styles. They’ve got you covered if you’re looking for variety and choice.

The Impact of High-Quality Office Furniture

Let’s discuss the magic of high-quality office furniture and its transformative power. The right furniture, especially from premium brands, can completely redefine your workspace.

Elevating Your Space with Premium Furniture

Imagine entering an office with pieces from Herman Miller, Steelcase, or Haworth. It feels different. These aren’t just furniture pieces; they’re statements. They can turn a regular Class C space into something that rivals the most upscale Class A offices. It’s like giving your office a facelift and a whole new identity. Premium furniture brings a level of sophistication and style beyond the ordinary. Moreover, it says something about your company, brand, and approach to work. Ultimately, it’s about creating an environment that’s functional and inspirational.

The Human Side of High-Quality Furniture

Now, let’s shift focus to your team – the heart and soul of your office. Comfortable and aesthetically pleasing furniture isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a game-changer for employee experience. Imagine sitting on a chair that feels like it was made just for you or working at a desk that’s the perfect blend of form and function. This environment can boost morale and productivity in ways you might not have thought possible. It’s about showing your team that you value their comfort and well-being. And when people feel valued, they’re more engaged, creative, and productive. It’s a win-win – your office looks fantastic, and your team feels the same working there.

Options for Acquiring Office Furniture

Whether you’re setting up a new space or refreshing the old, there are a couple of routes you can take with furniture. Let’s discuss them, weigh the pros and cons, and determine what works best for your situation and budget.

The New vs. Used Debate for Premium Brands

Let’s start with a big decision: purchasing new or used furniture, especially when discussing premium brands. Buying new has obvious perks – pristine condition, the latest designs, and often a comforting warranty. It’s like being the first to live in a newly built house. Everything is fresh and untouched. Brands like Herman Miller or Steelcase offer cutting-edge, ergonomic designs that can uplift any workspace. But, if premium brands are out of reach, plenty of more basic yet functional and stylish options are out there. Sometimes, simplicity and cost-effectiveness win the day.

Furthermore, remote work has resulted in increased inventory of used furniture resulting in real value. So pay attention to this market. It’s like finding a gem in a second-hand store. You can snag high-quality furniture at a fraction of the cost. Yes, there might be some wear, but often, these pieces are built to last, so they’ve got plenty of life left in them. It’s also a more sustainable choice, like recycling a piece of art.

To Lease or To Purchase: That’s the Question

Now, let’s talk about leasing versus purchasing. It’s this decision where things get interesting financially. Purchasing furniture is straightforward – you buy it, you own it. It’s a long-term investment in your space. But it also means a significant upfront cost. For instance, this is a crucial factor if you’re a startup or a small business watching your cash flow.

Leasing, on the other hand, is like renting an apartment. You use the furniture for a set period, typically with a lower upfront cost than buying. It’s great for flexibility and keeping your options open, especially if you anticipate your office needs changing over time. Plus, leasing can be tax-efficient since deducting lease payments as business expenses is possible. Some landlords, like Empire State Realty Trust, even offer furniture leasing options. It’s a fantastic deal as it integrates the cost into your lease, simplifying your expenses and saving you the hassle of outfitting the office from scratch.

Moreover, you can always consider a third option: purchasing office furniture with vendor financing. In this situation, you, as the tenant, purchase the furniture and make a fixed monthly payment. With that said, let’s now look more closely at the evolving role of furniture vendors.

The Evolving Role of Furniture Vendors

Let’s chat about something you might not have expected in office furniture. Gone are the days when furniture vendors were just about selling desks and chairs. Nowadays, they’re stepping up their game, playing a key role in designing and planning office spaces, too.

Your New Design Allies: Vendors Turned Space Planners

Picture this: You walk into a furniture vendor’s showroom, and instead of just showing you furniture catalogs, they’re offering to help design your entire office space. Vendors these days are equipped to provide comprehensive design services. We’re talking about detailed CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drawings and test fits that virtually map out how their furniture will fit and look in your space before you purchase. This service is incredibly valuable, especially if you need help optimizing your office layout. Think about it – you get professional advice on making the best use of your space, where to place each piece of furniture for maximum efficiency and aesthetics, and even tips on enhancing employee collaboration and comfort. It’s like having an interior designer and an efficiency expert rolled into one.

The Sweet Deal: Expertise at No Extra Cost

Furniture vendors often include free design services with a purchase. As a result, your business can use this to maximize its investment in office furniture, particularly if operating on a tight budget. You get more than just quality furniture; you also gain access to expert design advice, almost like having an interior designer on board. Plus, if you’re already teaming up with an architect, these vendors can work in tandem with them, ensuring your furniture choices and office layout mesh perfectly. This collaboration is key to creating a workspace that’s functional and visually stunning and a true reflection of your brand’s ethos and style. Moreover, it’s a smart, cost-effective way to build a cohesive and inspiring environment for your team.

Selecting the Ideal Office Furniture: What You Can Do

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals let’s conclude this article by examining the essential steps to consider when selecting office furniture. We hope these pointers will help you make choices that align with your needs, budget, and style.

  • Assess Your Space and Needs: Take a good look at your office. What’s the size and layout? What do your employees need to do their best work? And don’t forget about style – your office should feel part of your brand.
  • Set a Realistic Budget: Office furniture comes in all price ranges. It’s about finding that sweet spot where cost meets quality. Think long-term – investing a bit more now might save you money down the line.
  • Premium vs. Basic – What’s Your Pick?: Premium brands offer perks like durability and ergonomics, but they come with a price. Weigh the benefits against your budget to see what’s best for your space.
  • Lease or Buy?: Leasing furniture can be easier on your budget, especially if you’re not ready to commit. Some landlords even roll furniture costs into your lease. But buying means the furniture is all yours – weigh what works for you.
  • Consult with Professionals: Don’t go at it alone. Chat with furniture vendors, designers, or architects. Many offer space planning and design help, often without extra cost.
  • Try Before You Buy: Visit showrooms, sit in those chairs, lean on those desks. Getting a feel for the furniture is key. And bring your team into the decision – after all, they’ll be using it too.
  • Make an Informed Decision: Now, put it all together – your needs, your budget, the style, the feedback. Choose furniture that looks good now and will still work for you as your business grows.

Key Takeaways

Here are the key takeaways: choosing the right office furniture isn’t just about sprucing up your space; it’s about transforming your work environment. The perfect blend of style, comfort, and functionality can dramatically enhance the look and feel of your office, boosting employee morale and productivity along the way.

It’s a canvas for your creativity and ambition. With the right furniture, you’re not just filling space but creating an inspiring, efficient workspace that reflects your company’s character. This approach not only boosts employee retention by fostering a positive work environment but also potentially enhances revenue, especially if clients visit your space and experience its vibe. So, here’s to building a workspace that’s as vibrant and dynamic as you and your team.


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