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Furniture Budget Guide

Today office furniture is inexpensive compared to the late 1980’s when panel-based ‘cubicles’ were sold for around £3000 a head. This is because offices have changed; agile working environments and changing work practices demand open environments - the ‘bench desk’ has become ubiquitous and is sometimes quoted at circa £300 a head.

However, there are costs for the breakout and formal/informal meeting spaces that are required to support ‘non-territorial bench workers’. In addition, each person still needs a decent chair, a screen, perhaps some IT support equipment and a personal storage pedestal or locker.

Many companies also recognise that staff wellness and productivity are enhanced by providing specialist sit/stand furniture to encourage postural flexibility. As a broad guide, use the ‘next category up’ to budget for operable height-adjusting desks.

Of course, there may well be opportunities to re-utilise much of your existing furniture, which can have a real impact on reducing costs. Contact us if you would like us to undertake a full survey of your existing furniture and tell you what can be re-used.

The following budgets apply for a typical ‘mixed’ all-new office environment, mainly open-plan desks with some offices, meeting rooms and break-out spaces £ Ex. VAT installed:

A) Bronze: £1000 - £1500 per person overall

Good quality commercial standard products with a typical warranty of 5 years. Steel-framed system desks with dividing screen, storage pedestal, ergonomic (synchronous) task armchair, and a basic monitor arm. Finishes throughout typically MFC and ‘Group 1’ fabrics.

B) Silver: £1500 - £2000 per person overall

As above, but more choice and flexibility of finishes for important areas, such as veneer tables and credenzas for Meeting Rooms, and fabrics for break-out areas. Full cable management and power distribution, better monitor arms and a better chair. Warranties up to 10 years.

C) Gold: £2000 - £2500 per person overall

Mainline global branded products with refined specifications and warranties of 10 years to lifetime. Very nice ‘front-of-house’ furnishings with some ‘designer’ pieces. Good flexibility for choice of seating and finishes throughout, high volumes of refined storage and/or break-out spaces. (This budget should cover most needs to a great standard)

D) Platinum: £2500 - £3500 per person overall

Mainline global branded products with extensive use of high-quality ‘classic design’ pieces. Finishes to include the best veneers, fabrics and leathers. This budget will create an exceptionally comfortable and impressive working environment. Warranties of 10 years to lifetime.

Here are some examples of actual expenditure by some of our recent clients:

ProjectStaff NumberCostCost Per HeadStandard
1 230 £267k £1200 A/B
2 153 £197k £1289 A (extensive storage)
3 25 £50k £2000 C
4 16 £40k £2500 B/C (mostly front of house)
5 160 £130k £812 A
300  £389k £1300  C (Sit/stand desks only)
325  £428k £1320  B/C (Some existing re-used)
86  £142k £1650  B
Average 173 £207k £1200  

This helps to illustrate another factor – for smaller projects, the ratio of expenditure on front-of-house furniture tends to be higher, increasing the overall cost per head.

We can quickly prepare accurate and reliable budgets for your project – Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

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