Many things can prompt an organisation to rethink its workspace. New wellbeing initiatives, a growing team, or a new location - for example.
Today, change is happening in offices all over the world to support new ways of working. Offices are being redesigned to support employee wellbeing, foster connection, and create inclusive environments that nurture diverse talents.
But creating these office spaces is not just about furniture. You’re not just looking for task chairs and workstations. You are building a better experience for your employees.
That’s why, now more than ever, it’s important to work with the right people.
Of course, you will want an office furniture consultancy who is open and attentive to your needs, and one with a highly experienced team to guide you through the process.
But what else should you be looking for when selecting the right office furniture consultancy for your project?
Successful workplace transformation starts with strategy
What are your goals for your workplace? To improve employee wellbeing? To support hybrid collaboration? To reduce your environmental impact?
A good office furniture consultancy will listen carefully to your goals, challenges and priorities. They will get to know your people to identify what they need and how they like to work. And they will help you to define your workplace strategy so you can make informed decisions at every stage of the procurement process.
You want a partner who is a strategist as well as a design consultant. Someone who can offer expertise and guidance - well before showing you products.
Are they up to date with trends and insights?
A good office furniture consultancy will be proactive in staying at the forefront of workspace design trends and insights. Look for evidence of this on their website and social media platforms. Are they regularly producing and sharing content on design trends?
Suppose you’re hoping to pursue a BREEAM, LEED, SKA or WELL certification. In that case, it’s imperative that your chosen consultancy has a good knowledge of these systems and can source products that meet the relevant criteria. Again, you can look for evidence of this in their online content and messaging. Case studies and testimonials are a great way to see how they’ve helped other clients meet their sustainability objectives.
The best products for your goals
Some consultancies will work with multiple manufacturers. Others will have one or two favoured and trusted suppliers they source from. There are pros and cons to both.
On the one hand, multiple manufacturers can give you access to a wider range of products. But on the other, consultancies that work with fewer manufacturers often have more leverage on price.
Sourcing products from fewer suppliers is also better for the environment as you’ll require fewer deliveries to site and have more control over the amount of waste created.
The most important thing is to look at the types of products a consultancy can provide. If they only talk about task chairs and workstations with you, but what really excites you is innovative collaborative furniture solutions, then you’ll know that’s probably not the right consultancy for you.
A partner to guide you through the process - and beyond
Right now, the world of work is going through a huge amount of transformation. And there’s a realisation that what works now might not work in two, three, five years' time. As a result, companies are taking a more flexible approach to workplace design so it can continue to meet evolving needs.
For this very reason, it’s a good idea to think of your furniture consultancy as a partner to guide you over time, rather than someone to help you complete a single project.
So when you’re looking at potential consultancies, explore whether they can support you with prototyping and piloting new solutions. Determine whether they can help with asset management and ongoing furniture maintenance. And when you have furniture you no longer need, can they buy it back, reuse it, or recycle it for you?
Finding the right ‘fit’ for your company
As well as taking the time to research the capabilities of office furniture consultancies, it’s also important to establish their overall fit with your company. Like most relationships, success will come down to how compatible you are.
This has nothing to do with the size of your company and that of the consultancy but is more about culture and how well you think you can work together.
Do they have similar values to yours? Does their culture match yours? If you’re a forward-thinking and dynamic company, you’ll want to partner with a consultancy that has these same qualities. Are they easy to chat to, friendly and approachable?
A genuine interest in your goals as a company is also valuable. Their commitment to your goals is going to be key.
Finding a partner who is the right fit for your company is arguably the most important factor in determining the success of your project.
Whether you are undertaking a complete fit-out of a new office space or adapting your current space to meet new demands, you will need a furniture expert who can help guide you on the best choices to meet your various objectives.
When researching office furniture consultancies, look for one that:
- Has an experienced and knowledgeable design team
- Will support you through every stage of the process - from strategy through to design, delivery, and beyond
- Is proactive in staying up to date with trends and insights
- Offers a great range of products at different price points to suit your goals and budget
- Is a good fit for your company
To discover whether Insightful Environments may be a good fit for your project, you can view some of our recent case studies here.