There is evidence that effective office redesigns boost productivity and morale. Office furniture makers and design professionals estimate that a well-designed office can boost productivity by as much as 20%.
Simple changes such as relocating office equipment to a central location or re-configuring work stations so teams can communicate more effectively cost very little. Cubicles, of the Dilbert cartoon fame, do not kill productivity or morale—poor design and layout of the cubicles are the culprits. Painting the suite with a color other than white can inexpensively lift everyone’s spirit.
Office furniture makers have been hard hit by the economic slump. The “Big Three” manufacturers (Steelcase, Herman Miller and Haworth) are offering generous lease terms. In addition, they are loaded with used furniture taken back due to mergers and downsizing. Used furniture that has been refurbished looks brand new but at a fraction of the cost. With a few exceptions, most furniture made by the Big Three as early as the 1970’s are compatible with the latest product lines of today. Compare that longevity with the life span of the computer equipment you bought two years ago. This could be the time to take advantage of the great prices and multitude of choices.