Now it's time to choose your furnishings
What's going into your office? One of the final steps in designing your office is to choose the soft furnishings such as carpets, blinds, fabrics, paint, furniture and storage solutions. These are a great chance to reflect your brand and overall spirit of your teams through the chosen furniture - so choose carefully!
Pick tried and tested products
Ask your office designers to show you tried and tested products that stand up to the rigours of an office environment
Choose your furniture
Your colleagues will rate their desks and chairs as the most important items in the office. So work with your designer to get this right.
- Online research: Look at images online to help you choose stylish furniture that matches your office design. Pinterest is an endless source of inspiration!
- Visit showrooms: Try out desks and chairs for yourself to make sure they're ergonomically sound.
- Run employee workshops: Hold a 'try before you buy' furniture workshop and let your colleagues test the furniture for themselves.
- Get independent advice: Make sure your office design company doesn't have ties to a specific furniture manufacturer. This will make sure their decisions are independent and they're really working in the interest of your project.
Designer tip: Check with your suppliers their lead times and delivery schedules to make sure these aren't subject to seasonal variations and everything fits in with your project timeline.
Go 'green' with your office design
In addition to the latest legislative requirements, going 'green' within your office will reduce energy bills and support your company's CSR credentials. See Morgan Lovell's Sustainable Office Design Checklist for a more detailed breakdown.
- Go for an environmental rating: A BREEAM, LEED or Ska rating confirms your office was designed and built to an environmental standard. It helps you prove your company is committed to providing an environmentally friendly office
- Choose 'green' office fixtures, fittings and furniture: There are hundreds of options now available. Choose products that are recyclable or contain high recycled content
- Be energy efficient: There could be a whole checklist just for office energy efficiency. But it's worth noting that it should be considered as early in the design process as possible. True energy efficiency takes into account systems, people, fixtures, fittings, furniture, daylight and the fabric of the building. Let your designer know you think it's important
- Incorporate energy monitoring: Include wireless energy meters throughout your office. This will enable you to track energy use floor by floor or on major assets, such as air conditioning and copiers, or by building. Energy monitoring will help you spot problem areas straight away and reduce carbon emissions
- Reduce, reuse and recycle: If you incorporate the three 'Rs' into your office design, you'll save money. For instance, is there furniture that can be reused in your new office?
- And finally, have working technical drawings for the construction drawn up. This is the final stage in the design process
Furniture orders can often go wrong on delivery day, especially when a furniture company thinks of your order as small (less than a hundred workstations). So order your furniture through an independent and reputable company who has considerable buying power and will make sure your furniture arrives on time and is assembled properly.
Follow these seven steps to ensure your office design project runs smoothly. Or get in touch with the office design team at Morgan Lovell for more advice.