Buying Office Furniture Can Be a Minefield – Quality Wins Over Price

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There is so much to consider.

Cost, space, quality, warranty, and delivery to name but a few. They are all very important in the general assessment procedure, but the most important criteria is often overlooked until it is too late.

There are so many online office furniture companies with tabloid-like websites offering this office chair and that office desk for an amazing price or super quick delivery. It is sometimes very difficult to see the wood for the trees.

Cheapest v Cost-Effective

It is very easy to fall into the cheapest is the most cost-effective trap. Of course, sometimes you can get very good quality office furniture at rock bottom prices, but ordinarily, the cheap Chinese imports prove to be less than reliable and the one-year guarantee is an air raid siren hint that you ignore at your peril.

The better quality office chairs are offered with 5-year warranties or 2 years for heavy-duty 24-hour control room chairs.

Lead times can pre-determine which supplier you opt for but more importantly, it can drive the buyer down a precarious office furniture selection route, where availability outweighs all other factors.

You have a new employee starting on Monday and you need an office chair, a desk, and a computer.

Think about this for just a moment. Which of those three items will the buyer spend most time over selecting?

Which of the three items will the buyer be given specifically more advice on which model to purchase?

Which item is more important to suit the tasks that the new employee will have to undertake?

Okay, we all know the answer; the computer. But which of the three original items will still be in that office in 5 years’ time? Now that is an entirely different matter.

We all know that selecting the right computer and software and giving your employee the right tools for the job is paramount for your business plan. A corporate buyer wouldn’t bat an eyelid at buying a desktop PC, with software and network installed by a professional IT engineer for around £1000-£1500. Now in most corporate offices, computers are regularly upgraded and/or replaced say every two years as a matter of course. But how many buyers would consider upgrading their office furniture every two years? If the same care and selection thought processes are not applied to buying an office chair and a computer desk – to suit the new employee, then the company could well end up with an office chair that lasts barely a year and an office desk that is unsuitable and the employee can’t even get his or her legs under because the drawer pedestal is on the wrong side.

It’s that Old Black Magic

The upshot is that the computer is by far the easiest item to buy. The majority of office workers are computer savvy these days and they now know the terminology that was deemed to be almost black magic just ten years ago. It was a box with a monitor and mouse, we turned it on and then, there was black magic! There is a multitude of advice on the internet on RAM and graphics cards, monitors, and the like. So much so that high street retailers are finding it very difficult to compete against the big online sellers like DELL, because the likes of you and me are feeling ever more confident these days about buying a PC that we personally have specified. So with lower overheads, the online computer retailer is winning the battle over its high street adversaries and prices are at their lowest ever. Good news for the consumer then. Well, it would be if the build quality wasn’t indelibly linked to the price. The fact remains that you get what you pay for. In general, the more expensive computers have better build quality and more robust peripherals. Need a laptop to use on a chemical plant? Then a ruggedized model could cost you back upwards of £2000.

Where is all of this leading to you may ask?

Well… Ergonomics my friend. Yes indeed, ergonomics is the new black magic in the office furniture environment. I won’t try and explain what ergonomics is here. That is worth one or two articles on its own. Although, there is a very good description of ergonomics if you want to read further. Selecting office furniture is a far more difficult and trap-laden task these days. Posture and office seating go hand in hand. Space-age technologies developed for car seats are being applied to office chairs and the natural ‘S’ shape of the spine is being replicated in all manner of ergonomic office chairs. Modern ergonomic office chairs can be manipulated to suit any body shape and size, but that still does not mean that they are overly expensive. One customer said to me recently: “Ergonomic chairs are okay but I’ve been quoted £1200!” That may be the case. You can pay well over £1000 for an ergonomic office chair – but you don’t have to. There are more economically viable options out there, with a very good build quality.

What is your priority?

The new employee should be considered first and foremost when specifying new office furniture. Their size and physical capabilities will determine not only the type of office chair you select but also the desk height, the hand of the desk (is the person left-handed?), and the height of the monitor. Something which is overlooked more often than not is the lighting. Space can often be at a premium in modern office environments and will often dictate the only place a new workstation can be located. Glare from lights can be a major factor in producing headaches and eye strain in computer users.

Ideally, you should choose the best office furniture you can afford. This will give you the best long-term investment in your employee and office furniture in terms of your budget. And don’t forget there are deals to be had out there so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. It is a very competitive market, but be sure you are comparing like for like with regard to quality.


A professional DSE (Display Screen Equipment) assessor will be able to assist in selecting the correct ergonomic office chair and office desk, and advice on equipment placement, like monitor height and workstation position relative to lighting. An established online office furniture supplier should be able to provide a free DSE assessment, room layout drawing, and good quality, reasonably priced office furniture solutions.

Dearest doesn’t always equate to best, but the cheapest can land you right in the middle of that minefield.

After a lifetime working in engineering offices, Garry used his work experiences to source top-quality office and healthcare furniture like bariatric chairs and beds at competitive prices. All suppliers have been personally visited by us to verify their quality and delivery status – again using his design in the manufacturing experience.

Garry says that Posture and Office Seating offers an online price guarantee – to beat any genuine like-for-like quote for office furniture, educational furniture, healthcare, and residential care home furniture. For more information why not pay their website a visit?

Writing is his leisure time passion and a novel is also in the pipeline, but his main aim is to provide the best online office seating deals and office furniture news on the Web along with informative and fun-to-read articles.

Picture of Amy Chen

Amy Chen

A top office chair supplier from China


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