Whether you’re designing your first office space at home, moving into a new office for work or just looking to renovate an existing office there are several things you should consider when regarding the design and, equally importantly, your furniture choices.
Recently, we spoke with Louise Turner from Abbotts Office Furniture, based in Burwood Road Hawthorn. Louise’s Father started the family business in 1977 and Louise has been the manager of operations for the last 15 years. Louise and her friendly team sell a large range of office furniture and conveniently, you can shop and buy all their products online.
We took this opportunity to find out from Louise just what we should be focusing on when looking to purchase our office furniture and, trends within the industry.
When customers come looking to buy an office chair, Louise's first question is always “what is your seating style”.
"Many men like to swing and rock in their chairs, whilst woman tend on average to prefer to be in a fixed position," Louise notes. Once Louise establishes this, it then makes the options available to the customer quite clear.
"This enables me to direct them to the two styles of chairs. Ergonomic with fixed levers and adjustments or the traditional executive style chair with a synchro mechanism. From there we go to seat size and depth, back position and posture, then design," explained Louise.
"It is important to understand if they have a style in mind to explain the benefits of each chair." Louise | Abbotts Office Furniture.
When people are shopping for an office chair, I asked Louise if she sees any common mistakes people may make. "It's funny that you ask that as yes, I do tend to observe two common themes. Price over quality. Design over comfort." replies Louise.
Louise has worked for the family business since 2000 and as such, has seen many trends come and go when it comes to office furniture. Lately however, she has seen a huge demand for mesh ergonomic chairs.
"They are the most popular by far at present. Interestingly, it's the range of block colours that are really resonating with our customers. These are fast growing in popularity, particularly over the replica style chairs," comments Louise.
SHOP MORE: Abbotts Office Furniture Chairs
Recently in the news the hot topic at the moment, when it comes to office desks, is sitting desks versus stand-up desks. We were interested to know if Louise is finding more customers are inquiring about this?
"Yes, definitely. This year has seen a massive shift to people thinking about switching to Sit Stand desks," said Louise. "From what I have been told, there are some strong health benefits to standing vs sitting. We see a lot of people come in with bad backs from years of working at a desk and sitting on poor chairs," notes Louise.
"People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs. They’re also more prone to depression: with less blood flow, fewer feel-good hormones circulate to your brain."*
With Australian research being conducted that suggests Australians are now sitting for about 80 per cent of their working days, Professor David Dunstan, of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, says sit-stand height-adjustable workstations make a significant impact.
"If you can replace four hours of the work day sitting with standing, across a five-day working week, the net gain could be equivalent to a 45-minute brisk walk,’’ Professor David Dunstan | Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
"When it comes to sit and stand desks, our customers come in having generally done their homework already. Sometimes, they have been advised by a medical expert. My role is to show them the desk options and features, not so much direct them either way, as it is still a very personal choice," comments Louise.
What about office storage trends? We wondered with advancements in technology, and the ability to store information electronically on file, are filling cabinets still a must have accessory for the office? Are they still a popular choice?
"Do you know what, in the 1980’s my father used to buy filing cabinets by the truck load each and every week," Louise | Abbotts Office Furniture.
"Despite electronic storing of files, we have customers who still need storage for files and folders. I am finding people actually want bookcases and storage cupboards more than filing cabinets. However, we definitely sell more chairs and desks then filing cabinets," comments Louise.
Lastly, given Louise's years of expertise, we were interested about her personal thoughts as to what makes the perfect office?
"Clean lines, uncluttered, thought out space and design, but with practical applications such as cable management, storage and privacy. Also, the bonus of an amazing view - maybe something looking over Port Phillip Bay! We did the recent project at the Blairgowrie Yacht Club and the office staff had the most amazing view just metres from the beach," comments Louise.
The House of Home team would like to thank Louise for her time and, sharing her insights when it comes to office furniture and design.
*Office Link Group | Stand Up For Your Health.