Helpful Hints

Business As Usual: Five Office Essentials and How to Select Them

Unfortunately summer vacation can’t last forever.  When it’s time to head back to the office you want it to be as welcoming and comfortable as possible to help ease the transition back into work days.  We’ve looked at how the modern office space is evolving but there are still some essentials that every office needs.  Today we’re going to take a look at essential office furniture, and give some tips on what to look for when purchasing new pieces for your office.

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Desk

Even if you mainly use a laptop that can be taken anywhere, it’s still nice to have a desk that can serve as home-base.  Whether you want a traditional desk or a standing/convertible desk it’s important to remember function over form.  You can find a desk that matches your aesthetic preferences, but it has to meet all of your functional needs first.  A good office desk will provide ample space above and below the desk top.  If you’re getting a traditional desk the height should be between 29 and 30 inches from the floor.  Drawers should be able to open to their full length and easily close while bearing weight.  Different desk top surfaces are better for certain settings over others.  Metal and steel are ideal for more industrial environments because they can stand up to a lot of wear and tear.  Wood and veneer are not quite as durable but have a more traditional look to them that you may prefer.  Laminated surfaces are often the best affordable choice for the average office setting because they’re durable for their price and still look good.

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Chair

If you have a traditional or convertible desk you’re going to need a chair to sit in (at least occasionally).  Even if you have a standing desk it’d be a wise idea to keep a chair in the office for when you need a little break or for guests.  If you’re going to be spending any length of time sitting you definitely want your chair to provide adequate support and comfort.  It may seem like a bit of a large investment, but plan on spending at least $200 on an office chair.  In the long run you’ll save money as cheaper chairs will wear out quickly and not provide the support your body needs.  A good office chair will support the natural curve of your back at all times while you’re seated.  You’ll also want armrests at the proper level to support your arms and take some of the strain off of your wrists.  Whether or not you get a chair with wheels is up to you, and how often you move around.  But if you do a lot of moving around and getting up and down a task chair with wheels is the better option.

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Storage

Even as office work becomes more and more digital, you’ll still need some form of storage.  There will probably always be some things you need to keep hard copies of, or some reference materials that need to be kept on hand.  The things you do have lying around you’ll want to keep neat and organized and that’s where storage comes into play.  If your desk doesn’t have enough storage space you’ll need some supplemental furniture.  Bookshelves, sideboards, and filing cabinets are all great storage options depending on the size of the space and how much stuff you have to keep organized.  If dealing with any confidential documents a filing cabinet with a lock is a necessity.

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Task Lighting

If you’re lucky your office has a lot of natural lighting.  But even offices full of windows and sunshine will need some task lighting.  Whether it’s a cloudy day or you’re burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline chances are you’ll need supplemental lighting.  Most desk lamps provide downward focused light, which is good.  If you have a large desk you may want to look for a lamp that has an adjustable shade or arm so you can easily move the light around the different areas of your desk.  Look for lamps that can take at least 60 watt (or equivalent) bulbs for balance between too bright and having to strain your eyes.

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Personal Touches

Your office needs to look professional but that doesn’t mean it can’t have any personal touches.  If you’re spending a lot of time in a space you want it to reflect your personality at least a little bit.  Office appropriate accessories are a great opportunity to do this.  While your computer and cell phone can supply you with the time, a wall clock is still a nice addition to an office well.  Wall art is also a good way to spruce up bare walls.  If your desk is feeling a little empty a small sculpture or model that reflects your interests will add a touch of individuality to your space.  A rug is always a great way to add some color and pattern to a space, and the same applies to offices.  It’s always a nice touch to surround yourself with little things that will make you happy when you see them.

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Now that you know how to pick out the best furniture for your office you may even start to look forward to spending time there.  With functional, stylish, and comfortable office furniture it can help the work day go faster and be and overall more enjoyable experience.

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