June 22, 2021

3 Steps to a Successful Commercial Office Furniture Audit

Out with the old, in with the new. To some, an office relocation or renovation gives cause to purchase all new commercial office furniture and equipment. While there’s nothing wrong with that mindset, there are a few steps to take before you make that call. 

Step 1: Determine the Timing for Your Business Furniture Audit

One of the most frequently asked questions in commercial office renovations is about timing. How soon should you identify new space goals, establish design aspirations, conduct a staff survey, etc. All of these are extremely important to review before your lease expires. 

When it comes to completing a furniture audit, we recommend doing this 20 months before your lease expires. You’ll discuss which furniture pieces will make sense in your new or renovated workplace, and which pieces should be left behind or sold.

The 20-month timeline makes sense because at 20 months, you’re almost one year into laying the groundwork for your future office. You should have already discussed if you’re downsizing or expanding, so you’ll know if you need to declutter or buy more furniture.

In addition, if you’re redesigning your office or looking to renovate for a more open feel, you’ll need open office furniture that’s conducive to the open floor plan. A desk that suits an enclosed office, may not work in an agile workspace or open floor plan environment. 

Also, by 20 months before your lease expires, you should have completed a staff survey to gauge what your employees are saying about the move. You’ll have a better idea of how your employees want to work, so you can try to incorporate that into your new design.

Step 2: Make a Comprehensive Commercial Office Furniture Audit Checklist

The next step is to make a comprehensive audit checklist. You’ll use this list to assess your current business furniture pieces and evaluate whether or not it matches your new design vision. You’ll also add your audio, IT, and storage equipment. 

Here’s a sample spreadsheet based on commercial moving company that you can use to get started: 

  • Furniture (desks, chairs, partitions, bookshelves, couches, pillows, whiteboard appliances) 
  • Technology (computers, chargers, extension cords, mobile devices, conference equipment)
  • Equipment (machinery, vehicles, tools)
  • Records (personnel files, paper files, digital storage)
  • Kitchen (coffee maker, toaster, plates, utensils, snacks) 
  • Miscellaneous (personal items, promotional items, plants, filing cabinet supplies)

As you’re going through your checklist, there are a few considerations to make: 

  • Assess the condition of each item. Is it outdated, damaged, or malfunctioning? If you answer yes to any of those questions, these items should not come to your new office, at least not in their current state. 
  • Think about the longevity of each piece. Should that 50-dollar coffee maker that you’ve already replaced twice come with you on the move? Or are you better off purchasing a commercial coffee maker?
  • Think about the quantity you’ll need of each piece. During your furniture and equipment audit, you should think about quantity as well as quality. Determining how many chairs, desks, computers, and miscellaneous supplies you’ll need will help you budget effectively.
  • Ask yourself if any of your paper files can be converted to digital. In this digital world, do you need dedicated space for a filing room? Additionally, bringing boxes of personnel files or other paper files takes up space that you can easily use for employees. 

Step 3: Procure New Furniture, Donate or Sell Old Furniture

Another great question we hear is: Why should I complete a commercial furniture audit? You can save time and money by figuring out furniture solutions 20 months before your lease expires. You can start shopping around for deals on business furniture or find commercial office furniture stores that offer bulk pricing. There’s also ample time to work with the design experts at Formcraft to seek out the right piece. 

An office move is an exciting time. If purchasing new furniture falls into your renovation or redesign plans, rely on the experts at Formcraft for curating the right pieces for the right space. Our experienced interior designers can work with you to determine the right furniture and equipment for your new space. Learn more about interior design at Formcraft.

If you reach the decision that you’ll need new business furniture, you can donate or sell your old or gently used furniture. 

Donating Commercial Office Furniture Basics: According to Indeed, many charitable organizations gladly accept donated office furniture. If you decide to donate your unused business furniture, organizations such as IRN Surplus, The Furniture Trust, or Goodwill Industries take the following items: 

  • Chairs
  • Desks
  • Cubicle walls
  • Filing cabinets
  • Computers
  • Copiers
  • Printers
  • Office supplies
  • Building materials

Should you decide to donate your unused furniture, you can also claim tax benefits. 

If you can’t connect with a donation company, you could also try to sell or dispose of your unwanted items. When selling, there are a handful of online companies that buy furniture on a case-by-case basis depending on supply and demand. When it comes to disposing of furniture, be sure to avoid landfills and try to follow recyclable categories such as metals, plastics, and timber.

If your commercial lease is expiring soon, let’s chat about your interior design needs. We can also help you complete a furniture audit. Get in touch with us today.