It may seem strange that a furniture company should be suggesting this, but at Interion, we help our clients to achieve the very best value for money; it’s one of the ways in which we build long-term relationships based on trust.
We also believe that we have a duty to minimise our impact on the environment – how better than to utilise as many existing products as possible, rather than sending them to the tip!
Focus on loose items
Pretty much anything can be re-used, but some things are easier to re-utilise than others.
Often it’s the system desks or ‘clusters’ that are the most difficult, for a number of reasons:
- There is a higher cost associated with breaking these products down into component form for transportation and re-installation in the new location.
- If the required configurations are different, there may be shortages of certain components e.g. ‘End’ legs and ‘Intermediate’ legs.
- The top/frame sizes may be larger and therefore less efficient than current, more compact standards.
- If top-up components are required, they may not be available in matching finishes.
- Standards have changed; fixed height desks are currently set at 740mm from floor rather than the old standard of 720mm.
- We believe that height-adjusting sit-stand desks are rapidly becoming the new norm in office environments; the older fixed desks may have a shorter functional life than expected.
By contrast, anything that is ‘loose’ – e.g. chairs, mobile pedestals, storage, tables, soft furnishings – can generally be picked up and placed in a new location.
It’s also worth noting that such items are easier to replace in the new location without causing downtime or disruption to staff - so if your loose items are a bit tired, but the budget won’t stretch to ‘all-new’, its best to prioritise the new desks, and gradually replace the loose items as and when funds become available.
A further argument for this approach is that the desking systems typically contain all the power and IT cabling; once this is ‘plumbed in’ it becomes difficult to swap them out without causing significant disruption.
Behind closed doors
Individual enclosed offices or meeting rooms provide an ideal opportunity to re-utilise existing furniture. Some pieces may not be ideal in style or finish, but they will not detract from the general look and feel of the new general office areas. Client-facing meeting rooms may require new furniture, but ‘back office’ areas are less critical.
Often forgotten in the new office design process, its important to remember that certain staff may have need of specific furnishings or equipment. Consider the staff member with back problems, who would like to retain their special ergonomic chair. Perhaps the finance department requires a safe, which will need to be located where there is adequate structural floor loading strength.
How can we help?
Interion can survey your existing furniture and set out a photographic record with quantities, clear descriptions, dimensions, finishes and condition of each item.
We can also assess the items for Health & Safety compliance, ergonomic suitability and functions – for example, any foams should be of the CMHR (Combustion modified heat-resistant) type.
We can advise on the most appropriate items to be re-utilised, and provide costs for relocation to the new facility.
This will allow us to determine the overall project cost saving compared to buying all-new; a good basis for effective decision-making.
If capital expenditure is an issue, leasing may be the answer. We work with specialist partners who will, subject to status, finance an entire furniture project over 2-5 years. This approach leaves other credit lines intact, allowing you to have the office you want today without the initial capital outlay.
If we have access to a detailed layout plan, we can produce an accurate budget forecast for the whole project to Bronze/Silver/Gold standards, generally within two working days.
We can arrange for old office furniture and equipment to be cleared by ethical disposal specialists for donation to charitable organisations and schools in this country and abroad. Typically, 80% of products can be re-purposed, with the remainder disposed of in certified waste/recycling facilities.
Contact us if you would like to see examples of our furniture surveys or budget forecasts, or if you have any questions regarding the re-utilisation or recycling of your existing furniture.