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Office furniture can play a crucial role in substantiating a business, however, with different grades of office furniture to choose from — namely home-graded vs commercial graded office furniture– how does one decide which office furniture is best for their office space?
First, I should probably clarify what I mean by home-graded vs commercial graded office furniture. Please take note of the chart below:
|Home Graded Office Furniture||Commercial Graded Office Furniture|
|Made out of low-grade laminates with limited colour choices||Made out of higher quality laminates, solid wood, contemporary fabrics, stronger internal hardware, and have a wide selection of colour choices|
|Available at stores catering directly to consumers (e.g. IKEA, Staples, Best Buy, etc)||Available at warehouses and stores that mostly cater to office space designers or interior designers|
|Usually has a lower upfront cost||Usually a higher upfront cost|
|Built to withstand light to medium usage||Built to withstand frequent usage, high levels of activity|
Both types of furniture have their place in an office space, but what is best for your business is typically determined by the following factors:
The Business Itself—Stage, Size, Culture
In our experience, we have seen companies with roughly 25 or less employees utilize home-graded office furniture, whether or not their office space is in a home or commercial space, whereas companies with more employees lean towards commercial-graded office furniture. The differences are usually based on the stage the company is at (i.e. a start-up company versus. a company beginning to grow versus an established corporation), the industry of the business (IT vs industrial), and sometimes the company culture (for example, we have one client whose culture includes having new employees build their own desk the first day on the job).
The amount of business activity involving the usage of your furniture is one good way to determine whether to invest in home-grade office furniture or commercial grade office furniture. For example, some businesses (like IT businesses) function best with just a telephone to make or take calls and laptop at the desk. In our industry, that would be considered a light to medium usage of the office furniture simply because wear and tear on the furniture itself would be relatively minimal …… perfect for home-grade office furniture. Other businesses, however, use their office furniture more frequently for a variety of business activities such as storage and filing, collaboration meetings, conferences and so on. For businesses that have higher levels of business activities that involve more frequent or heavy usage of their furniture, we usually recommend commercial grade office furniture.
Budget is a “bottom-line” determinant in choosing the type of office furniture for a business. In short, we have seen businesses with lower upfront budgets purchase the home-graded office furniture for their businesses, regardless of company size or business activity, while businesses with higher upfront budgets are more apt to purchasing commercial-graded office furniture.
The bottom line is that office furniture is a viable asset to your company. So, if your company is small (i.e. less than 25 employees), has a low up-front budget, and is the type of business in which the activity and usage of the office furniture is relatively light, then home-graded office furniture might be the right choice for your company right now. Otherwise, if your business activity involves high usage of the furniture and your budget allows, then commercial-graded office furniture is the way to go.
DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.