Great office furniture is important for a successful business on two levels: looks and comfort. Aesthetically, does your furniture make your workplace appear professional and stylish or stale and boring? Ergonomically, is the furniture comfortable for workers? Does it help or hinder their work? Luckily, many office furniture companies make products that are both comfortable and stylish.
While Ikea is a popular go-to option for functional furniture (and their BEKANT sit/stand desk is a superb option for those seeking flexible workplace furniture), there are many companies that have earned their stripes by making beautiful office furniture that is both practical and sleek.
Is it time to update your office furniture? Here are six companies to consider.
Urban Office is a UK-based furniture and design team founded in 2005, making it one of the newer companies on this list. They offer office furniture that lends itself to workplace trends, like flexible workspaces. Urban Office offers modular seating and storage, which works well for companies who have flex staff, host a lot of group meetings or are short on space and want the ability to reconfigure work areas to suit their needs. Urban Office also has a variety of screens, booths, partitions and acoustic panels for better workstation privacy.
Herman Miller has won several Best of NeoCon awards for its innovative and user-friendly design. This company is the mastermind behind the famous Aeron Chair, which has several things going for it (besides the fact that it’s featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection). It comes in three different sizes and is designed to keep you cool as you work. Most importantly, it automatically adjusts to your body. The baseline model is priced around $730.
Steelcase has been in the business for more than a century. It’s a leader in both furniture production and research on workplace design. Steelcase also offers an array of workplace surveys to help facility managers pinpoint areas of improvement in their own companies.
Do you have old office furniture that you’re not sure what to do with? Steelcase can help there too. Its consultants can advise whether it should be repurposed, recycled, donated or placed at one of your other office locations.
Humanscale abides by the philosophy that less is more. Its designs are simple, honest and functional. Furthermore, it puts human health first. Its articulating keyboard systems, which place the keyboard close to the worker’s body at a carefully sloped angle, are the best in the industry. The Freedom Chair offers weight-sensitive reclining and adjustable air and headrests, and has even been included on the sets of several Hollywood movies and TV shows.
Kristalia is a small furniture company from Italy, but don’t let their size fool you—this company has a powerhouse furniture inventory. Their founders have combined their two passions of design and jazz into functional yet elegant tables and chairs. Their showroom of design projects can give you an idea of their imagination and creativity—they’ve designed rooms for Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn.
This final office furniture trailblazer was founded by Hans and Florence Knoll, a German furniture businessman and an American designer, who opened their business in New York City. When designing furniture for clients, Knoll carefully weighs each client’s needs based on usage patterns and organizational structure. Its portfolio offers furniture for various markets, including healthcare and higher education, and its considerable catalog can be easily customized to fit a company’s specific needs.
Knoll continues their commitment to excellent through its energy management program, which ensures its production process is consistently eco-friendly.
These six companies are all leaders in the office furniture industry, but there are certainly more options available. As your company grows you’ll want to ensure your office design leads to happier employees and improved efficiency overall—these furniture companies are a great place to start.
Photo: Shutterstock / Zhou Eka