Choosing Furniture for your Office

When I look around at a corporate office, I tend to see what has been described by one employee as puke gray cubicles, or, in more polite terms, neutral gray walls. The layouts vary, but that gray seems to be universal. While there’s nothing offensive about the color, it is not an inspiring color.

If you’re looking to set up an office, I would recommend that you look away from traditional sturdy, durable furniture, and instead look at furniture that is lighter, but also more welcoming. I speak, of course, of wood.

Choosing light-toned wood (for example, lightly stained pine) gives the office a more homely feeling. If you want a more professional look, try the darker stains (cherry as an example). By using these colors, people will see the warmth in the environment, rather than the drab gray of corporate America.

The second suggestion I would make is to allow your employees to choose their furniture, but with a caveat. An office should have a uniform appearance to some extent, so select a line of furniture, but then allow the employees to select the pieces that they would prefer. Some employees will want filing cabinets, others open shelving, others drawers. Should there be a hutch over the desk? Let the person who will be sitting at the desk decide.

Third, allow every employee to select their own chair. This one item can make an incredible difference over the many hours spent sitting on it. As such, it would be ideal to allow employees to pick their own.

What does this gain?

By having your employees involved in the creation of the work environment, they will be more comfortable there, it will increase their productivity, and it give them pride in the workplace.

Which would you rather? Force your employees to sit in a dreary environment, or have them happy to be sitting at their desk which they helped choose?