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How to plan for long useful life for office furniture.
Surfaces – Supports – Storage – Screens – Sharing – Solitude
The hard surface components can have a useful life for 20+ years. We often planned for growth and who would use the parts from that wall-tracked office in the next cubicle expansion. The work surface can be used supported on a panel, adjustable height base, “T” leg, column leg, pedestal drawer, lateral file, flat brackets, or cut up to make panel legs. Moving beyond the idea of each workstation and looking at an inventory of parts for your team to use for many years.
Refurbished and used parts
Old fabric panels can be refurbished with new fabric/paint or use paint/laminate to replace the fabric. This will make them very cleanable and extend their useful life even longer. Purchasing used furniture or parts can be a cheap way to go for Start-Ups or an environmental company effort. Many chair parts can be replaced with new OEM parts. Parts is Parts and your facility person can orchestrate a beautiful setting.
Update what you have
We continue to adapt to the ever-changing work environment, new health discoveries, or trendy ideas, and the furniture we use can be updated to support our work. Take stock of what you have, how your people are working, and how can you help. If starting from scratch, plan for the next 10-20 years. Refurbished chairs can be re-worked, fabric replaced, or fixed.
Design for Happy Work
Look at your space, and think about the colors and feeling as you walk through. This can be done in your mind or on sketch paper. This is the start of good design, it matters and should be done with purpose. There is an art to creating the balance between a fun and organized workspace. Considering color, the largest office furniture companies have done deep research into what color combinations work best. Trends come and go, new studies show… don’t fear change. New colors can be brought in with less durable goods, think chairs and décor. Human interaction and focused no distraction work both need to be provided for. Most people need both during their work time, social, group discussion and just get the work done. Some professionals will provide you with ideas only limited by your budget.
Occasionally the office gets “empty”, or downsized or workers just need to isolate in place. The furniture can still be used, should be configured for a safe distance, and may be upgraded with screens. There is a company in Grand Rapids Mi. August Berres that has no wires for their battery-powered work furniture. Freestanding tables, optional screens, and mobile everything.
How to plan for long useful life for office furniture
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