Starting a new business is extremely difficult nowadays, especially given the fact that there’s tons of competition in every industry. Besides having a unique idea and knowing how to execute it, you’ll have to account for the number of employees you’ll need to hire throughout your first few years, their salaries and other expenses you’ll need to cover on a monthly basis, marketing expenses, etc. At the same time, you’ll have to account for expenses that come with getting your own office space, office equipment, furniture, and the countless other items required to run your business.
Even though this may be the busiest period in life, you should take your time to ensure you explore every way possible to reduce the spending that lies ahead. Every penny saved is a penny earned, and having full control of your finances is an important part of future success. Here are some tips to follow when setting up an office for your business and how to make sure you’re taking a step in the right direction from the get-go.
Consider Your Actual Needs Before You Buy
Before you start looking for office equipment, furniture, and supplies, you need to figure out what you’ll actually need. For example, when deciding on the number of laptops or computers to buy, consider the number of employees that will be working for you in the foreseeable future. Then consider whether you actually need laptops or computers. Most businesses prefer laptops as they’re portable, so employees aren’t stuck to working in one place. Laptops came in handy in the past year or so when the pandemic forced a lot of businesses to switch to work from home.
Then, you have to consider whether you’ll need printers and if so, how many? Most startups don’t need more than one or two printers. When you buy ink cartridges for your printer, buy in bulk to save some money. While cartridges may seem like a small investment, their cost adds up over time and they can drain your finances quicker than you think. More about the advantages of buying in bulk in the next section.
Buy in Bulk
Buying office supplies in bulk is always a great idea. You should do your best to avoid situations where an office item or supply is needed and you’ve run out of stock during peak hours. When you order ink cartridges, papers, pens, and other items consider how many you’ll need over a time period (usually a month) and get them in bulk. This will give you access to huge discounts (most of the time) and ensure you don’t have to make unnecessary trips to the store or wait for online purchases to arrive. Shop with wholesalers whenever possible, not just for office supplies, but for other equipment and furniture as well. This will ensure you get the best prices. Also, try to buy everything you need from a single wholesaler to get the best bang for your buck.
Plan Your Budget Prudently
Always invest in quality, especially when investing in furniture pieces. Furniture will be used on an everyday basis, so it needs to be comfortable to promote productivity. If your business has a lounging area, get a sofa that provides comfortable seating. Think about the design and size of your desks, and choose accordingly. You can choose between cubicle spaces or open space plans. Open space plans are recommended nowadays, as they promote communication within the workplace. However, your business may benefit from cubicle spaces. So basically, you have to consider the size of your business, its needs, and the number of employees it will have to accommodate.
A key point to consider when buying office furniture is ergonomics. An ergonomic workspace will ensure your employees are as comfortable, productive, and healthy as possible. For that reason, look for ergonomic chairs, desks and computer hardware. But what defines ergonomics?
The definition for ergonomics according to the International Ergonomics Association is: “The scientific discipline concerned with understanding the interactions among humans and other elements of the system, and the profession that applies theory principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.”
But ergonomics includes several other disciplines that optimize the interaction between employees and their work environments, such as biomechanics, mechanical engineering, anthropometry, industrial design, kinesiology, psychology, physiology, industrial engineer, and information design.
Workplace ergonomics is a subcategory of ergonomics that deals with fitting workplace demands and conditions to the capabilities of employees. It’s an approach to dealing with many different problems, including work-related injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. In simple words, it’s about creating a better workplace. Your jobs should be designed to match the capabilities of your employees in order to get better work results, as well as an improved experience for the employee doing the work. That being said, ergonomics provides this through a few different fronts, including lower costs, better work quality, higher productivity, better
employee engagement and improved safety culture.
Implementing ergonomics into your workplace is done through four basic processes – risk assessment, planning, measuring progress, and scale solutions. Assessing ergonomics is a staple element of ergonomics. It basically includes assessing the jobs in your workplace for risk factors. In the case of offices, it’s mostly musculoskeletal disorder risk factors. Once the risk factors are assessed, you need to start planning on improvements. This can take a lot of effort, such as identifying effective ergonomic improvement ideas and justifying the costs that will be needed to go through with the project.
Once you’ve gone through the necessary improvements, you’ll need to measure the progress on a continuous basis by using lagging and leading indicators. Lastly, scaling ergonomics best practices is done through establishing a set of solutions that include training your employees, assessing risk factors, planning improvements, measuring progress, and designing new processes. While creating an ergonomic workplace can end up costing you more money than you’d like to spend upfront, you’re saving in the long run by increasing productivity, ensuring worker health, safety and productivity.