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DATE: 02/15/2016

Furniture buying should be a fun process. Whether you’re redecorating an old office or moving into a new one, you’re embarking upon an opportunity to redefine who you are as a company.

Colors, materials and styles of furnishings can all be used to reinforce the company culture you want to build and the brand message you want to convey – an exciting opportunity for any business. So, why does it seem so difficult?

Just like many other topics, a number of questions must be answered before you can get to the “fun stuff.” In this article, we’ll review some of those primary questions so you can speed up the process:

How much space do we really have to work with?

If you’re like most of our clients, space is at a premium. Businesses across the country have been minimizing individual offices, and the hefty price tag that accompanies them, in favor of more compact collaborative workspaces since the late 90s.

Though it may seem obvious, before you can even begin thinking about workstation options, you must have apre-selected office location. Buying furniture before determining the building it’s actually going in can be a costly mistake. Additionally, you’ll want to take stock of the following:

1. The number of employees that need be accommodated.

2. The number of employees which truly need private offices.

(this number might be lower than you think; consult with an expert)

3. The available square footage you have to work with.

(excluding bathrooms and other obviously non-workable areas)

Once you have that information, divide up the available square footage by the number of employees to get a rough idea of how much personal space everyone would ideally have if split equally. Keep in mind, some of that space will likely be devoted to break-rooms, conference rooms, communal areas and a few private offices.

The actual amount of personal space needed in a collaborative workspace truly varies based on tasks being completed, physical size and company culture. For example, if a significant portion of your staff routinely works from home, you can often get away with reducing about 30 percent of your leased space!

How do we interact with one another and complete our work?

The next thing you want to begin thinking about is how different departments communicate throughout the day and the tools they use to get the job done. If you already have an office in use, this question can easily be answered after a week or two of close observation. Some more specific questions to consider:

1. What departments typically collaborate to complete tasks?

2. What types of technology do we rely on to do our work?

3. How important is status to our company culture? What is the hierarchy?

4. Which rooms get used frequently and which get used very little?

5. What workstyles and processes should be supported with furniture?

What sort of image do we want to convey?

We’ve now come full-circle! As previously mentioned, choosing the right furniture for your San Antonio office is an opportunity to reinvent your brand. Consistency in color, design and lighting can all play a role in creating a confident, one-of-a-kind look.

If you haven’t already done so, consider creating an informal brand brief. Here you can outline your company values, target customers and target employees. You can also make note of any preferred color schemes, brand aesthetics and decorative themes. Keep in mind, your brand brief doesn’t have to be fancy – just a clear outline that could easily be followed by anyone.

Ask yourself these three questions before going furniture shopping and you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you’re looking for. Want to make things even easier? Give us a call or Click Here to set-up a free consultation.