Kitting out your workplace can be a fun project, whether you’re furnishing a new office or upgrading an existing space. However, it requires more thought than simply buying a range of furniture and placing it around the workplace. A commercial business furniture strategy will ensure that you make the best decisions from a financial and sustainability perspective.

Create an asset list

The first step before buying or replacing any furniture is to create an asset list. This should include every item of furniture, it’s condition, location and pictures. Ideally this will be a digital asset list as it’s much easier to maintain than a paper list, and multiple people can access it at the same time.

A specialist digital asset programme is preferable to Excel as it’s more user-friendly and updates in real-time, rather than people saving new versions every time they make an edit.

Many companies are surprised by what they find after compiling an asset list. They often find they have more furniture than they realised which can immediately lead to savings from not having to buy new pieces.

Designate someone within your organisation to maintain overall responsibility for the asset list. This will ensure that you’ll always be on top of your commercial business furniture situation.

Consult your employees

You’d be surprised at how often a company makes decisions without consulting its employees. But why buy all new furniture only to find that employees preferred what they had before?

This is even more important now that hybrid work models are in place, and employee wellbeing has risen up the agenda.

It could be tempting to purchase a sit-stand desk for every employee as a demonstration that you are considering their wellbeing. However, it may transpire that only a handful actually use the standing capability. Instead, buy a couple and see if there is demand for more.

The same goes for refurbishing. If you decide to go down this route, explain decisions to employees and get their thoughts. Sustainability is so important that it’s likely many employees will be pleased to learn that their business is taking environmentally friendly steps.

Decision time

Now you have an asset list and employee input, you can be much more strategic with your furniture decisions. Options include:

  • Buy new – you may decide to buy new furniture, however you may need less than you first thought now you have a detailed asset list.
  • Refurbish – plenty of furniture can be refurbished to the point where it looks as good as new. This can be cheaper than buying new and is a great sustainable option.
  • Sell – it may be that you find you have excess furniture and can offset costs of new items by selling old pieces.
  • Recycle – if a piece is beyond repair and can’t be sold, look for a company that will recycle every single piece of material.
  • Donate – lots of companies we work with donate old furniture to local charities. This is great for building community links and for CSR.
  • Store – it may be that you want to keep some furniture for future use, in which case storing is a good option. It’s worth looking for a storage partner as keeping unused in the items is not a good use of space – the cost per square foot of an office is usually much more expensive than a storage warehouse.

Revisit your strategy

The workplace is constantly evolving, even more so in the wake of the pandemic. As hybrid and flexible models change, we’re likely to see more businesses relocating and redesigning their spaces, which will impact their commercial business furniture. With an asset list and defined strategy, you’ll be in a much stronger position to be agile.

We have supported clients all of sizes with their business relocation and storage needs. Get in touch to discuss how we can support your business.

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