The world of Office Furniture is strange. It is part of hard-headed utilitarian and judged by makers and users alike for its usefulness in meeting some natural needs of Office Workers and Executives. But the finest Office Furniture also tiptoes into the magic world of Art. Some of the most well-used pieces of furniture are now regarded as High Art and are displayed only at the top Art Museums and Exhibitions. Valued as almost priceless by the top Art Experts and discriminating Collectors, these pieces are often displayed in public exhibitions and private collections. An iconic Conference Table for large Offices created in 1949 by Carlo Mollino and touched with the rare aesthetic of this genius architect and artist, is now valued at a minimum of US$3,824,000! Then there is the one-off Office Cabinet by Jean-Michel Frank. It is created from patinated bronze, gypsum and oak, and it set the French Auction Record for the Designer at US$5,105,173 in 1935. Still another example is the Sacred Hamadryas Baboon, which was meant as the Centrepiece decoration for the Reception Area of the then modern Office. This is among the great sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti’s most celebrated and modern sculptures. It was created circa 1909 – 1910. Given that there are only 11 recorded bronze casts of this figure in total, it is not surprising that each cast is now priced at US$2,256,000. Quite apart from the sheer beauty of these extremely high priced Office Furniture, their fine construction means extraordinary durability. In this article, the answer to the practical question is sought: Do high price office furniture really last long enough?
The work of the Office Staff mostly consists of Desk Work. The concept is to create an environment that lends to the Office worker being able to work for hours on end at their appointed position in the Office Space. Much of the work in the Office is routine and hence monotonous. It is the furniture that assists the worker to be able to spend the continuous hours concentrated on this type of Office Work. To be able to be seated strategically, having the necessary accessories within hand’s reach, not saves time, but also ensures smooth and continuous work. The high-end design combined with the best-suited materials lead to the best office product, but this costs money. In the competitive world of business, Office Furniture is of strategic importance. It is one of the key factors in improving Office Productivity. So the Management tends to be quite selective when it comes to planning for new furniture in the office space. But the budget is often the deciding factor, and returns on the purchase of suitable furniture sometimes override the considerations of quality. Better quality must be bought, and costs extra. The staff entrusted with the selection of the furniture in the office needs to consider how to tighten purse strings to satisfy the Management. The market these days offers up a lot of cheap options which are close copies of their high-quality cousins. To beat the competition, manufacturers offer a lot of cheap alternatives. In fact, some countries seem to specialize these days in offering these extremely pocket-friendly options which are also visually as convincing as the real thing. But buyers must not be fooled. The job of the true Office Purchase Manager is not to strike a bargain giving short shrift to the User’s long-term needs. It is to ensure the best quality and comfort for the Staff at the lowest price. This generally means “High Priced Office Furniture”, not the street versions that many sellers and some large countries export as a national policy and practice. A standard question fired at the Purchasing entity is often whether the new cheaper Office Furniture can fulfil the criteria while still being quite cheap. Purchase of Office Furniture is one of the most important investments that any Office can make, and often represents a substantial portion of the overall budget. It is never possible for an Office to keep renewing the Office Furniture every other day, and the cheaper furniture tends to keep collapsing and breaking at regular intervals. Quality reigns always, in the long run.
Some Basic Selection Criteria
The most basic requirements for procuring new furniture is generally:
- Capital Outlay.
- Savings In Space.
- Fire Risk.
- Comfort and Labour Saving
The Last Criteria is the focus of this Article and will be discussed further below.
The Durability Factor
The most important criterion that Good Quality always brings to furniture is Durability. Modern furniture that incorporates better quality improves the efficiency of the Office Staff, and hence Productivity of the organization. The proper functioning of the modern office is often regulated by the quality of the furniture selected for the staff. Of course, this increases the price, sometimes substantially. But this additional investment is repaid many times over by the long-term trouble-free Durability of the furniture. Replacement of Office Furniture is costly, given that modern furniture is actually multi-use, and meant for multi-tasking. This increasingly complex piece of equipment that is the Office Desk and Cabinet combined, with allotted spaces for the latest Office Accessories such as sliding laptop table surfaces, charging stations etc. as well as traditional spaces such as lockable desks, represents a hefty investment for the company, not to be repeated in the near future. These pieces of equipment must be long-lasting and durable, in order to be viable. So when the organization pays for the Quality of the Office Furniture, it includes Durability as an essential factor.
The Office Worker sometimes spends a lifetime working for the same company. Most change furniture only when promoted. Office Furniture becomes a part and parcel of the Staff. And its longevity is a major part of the high price paid for quality. It’s the return on investment. And this answers the question: Do high price office furniture really last long enough?