Work & Wellbeing

Six ways to stretch your firm's office furniture budget

5 min read

22 May 2018

On average, UK workers spend 5 hours and 41 minutes at their desks every day, sitting on the same chair, behind the same desk, week in, week out.

This means the quality of the office furniture you choose could have a big effect on your workers. If they’re uncomfortable, your employees will likely be less productive and might take more frequent sick days due to bad backs.

It was recently found that having the right ergonomic chair can make employees up to 17.5% more productive. This is why kitting out your office can be such a big task because there are so many things to consider.

From health and safety to general aesthetic, it needs to be practical. Getting this right can be costly and with a large workforce and tight budget, it is important to get the most out of your money.

Here are six ways business owners can make their money go further when it comes to buying office furniture, from the experts at price tracking platform PIWoP.

(1) Plan ahead

Like anything in business, there needs to be a plan. Before even looking for office furniture you need to calculate what your budget is going to be and what it is you actually need.

There is no point in filling your office with desks if you don’t have enough employees to sit at them. Weighing this up will stop you from overspending on unnecessary items.

At this point it is also vital that you analyse the individual needs of each employee and consider whether they need special requirements, such as extra back support.

(2) Ask for discounts

When you’re bulk-buying lots of furniture, suppliers will be more inclined to offer you a better deal to secure your business, so there is no harm in asking.

You can also discuss your budget with them to negotiate a better deal. They’re the experts so if your budget is tight then they should know the best way of getting the most for your money.

Another way of accessing cheaper prices is by opening a trade account with suppliers, which will let you buy things at wholesale prices.

(3) Don’t cut corners

A mistake that many businesses make is settling with the cheaper option to cut costs, without considering the practicality.

Office furniture can have a big effect on the productivity of your business, meaning going for the budget options may not meet the right needs, which will be counterproductive and cost more in the long run.

Similarly, furniture of substandard quality may also wear or break more easily, which will need to be replaced more frequently. You need to find a balance between good quality and reasonable pricing.

(4) Consider second hand

Just because something is second hand doesn’t mean it isn’t still good quality. A business could have just bought some furniture and then gone into liquidation so had to cut back. Equally, there is a growing market for refurbished furniture, which is restored back to its original quality but at a cut price.

(5) Share space

Just because you have 100 employees it doesn’t mean you need 100 filing cabinets. Much like the planning stage, you need to pin point the needs of each individual employee. If many of them need storage, then ask them to share.

If practical, instead of buying two separate sets of drawers, you can utilise all of that space by asking them to use a drawer each. Equally, there is no point in buying two smaller cupboards when one big one would suffice at a lower price.

(6) Shop around

The supplier you use for meeting tables may not be the cheapest for option for filing cabinets. It’s always a good idea to compare quotes from different companies to get the best possible price.

There are even services that will do this on your behalf to save employee work time. For example, PIWoP’s alert tool allows consumers who have the tool installed on their computer, tablet or phone and see an item they like, to use it to enter the price they want to pay for it and the tool then alerts them if that item does go to or more likely below their PIWoP (Price I Want to Pay).