5 Points to Consider When Selecting Modular Office Furniture
Modular office furniture is an interesting development in modern business. I am not sure exactly how long it has been around, but my guess is that the first modular office furniture was seen in the form of windowless cubicles in about the 1960's or 1970's. Today you can still find these boring cubbies in many places, but many businesses are replacing the dull, gray, utilitarian cubicle with fashionable, yet simple and functional, modern modular office furniture.
The idea behind modular office furniture is that there are many interchangeable pieces that can be fitted together in various configurations that suits your business needs. The individual, smaller pieces include, but are not limited to: desks, filing cabinets, hutches, book shelves, overhead storage shelves and keyboard trays. The main advantage to these individual standardized pieces is that you can combine them to suit your needs, so fully customizable office furniture for a reasonable price.
If purchased smartly from the beginning, a growing business will not outgrow its furniture, but its modular office furniture will grow, adapt, change and develop with the changing needs of the company. It is easy to reconfigure or add on pieces as needed.
If you are new to shopping for modular office furniture, here are five points you should consider.
- Will you need to reconfigure your office space a lot? There are two main types of modular office furniture, and one is easier than the other to mover around. The first type is based on a panel-mounted system. Let's face it, many companies still need traditional cubicles, and the panel mounted base uses the wall panels as a mounting system for the other components (i.e. - the desk top, hutch etc., is directly connected to the wall panel for support). Though this design offers a lot of flexibility, it is a pain to rearrange. The second main system is free standing. The furniture is free standing, and can be interconnected together in various ways, and separate wall panels are then placed around the furniture. Though moving furniture around is never simple, this system is easier to reconfigure than a wall-mounted system.
- Find a brand that you like from the beginning and stick with it. Though different brands may look similar, they may use different hardware or have slightly different measurement so are not interchangeable.
- Check the warranty information. Most systems are very durable and sturdy, being designed to withstand the rigors of a busy office. But checking the warranty will give you an idea of what you should expect.
- How high should the walls be, if any, between the work areas? What type of work do you do? Do employees primarily work alone? Are they on the phone a lot, so sound barriers are needed? Do employees work often in groups on projects and need easy access to each other? Is your business the type that functions better with concentrated silence or chatty collaboration? Ask yourself these types of questions when selection the types of walls to use.
- If you were to move offices, is the system of modular office furniture that you have chose flexible enough to take on a different configuration, if necessary, to fit the new space? Though you obviously cannot see into the future, you can be aware of how much flexibility the system you choose may have. Some of the common formations of modular office furniture includes basic rows, a staggered or diagonal layout, a "bullpen" style where several coworkers share an enclosed space and multi-unit pods.
Well, good luck in your modular office furniture shopping endeavors! Hopefully these 5 tips will help you in choosing the system that will work best for your office.