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Tips and traps of buying office equipment explained

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Tips and traps of buying office equipment explained

Don’t buy office equipment without first reading these tips and tricks to ensure a seamless and efficient experience. We spoke with OfficeMax to ask for their expert advice on fitting out new office spaces with the right types of equipment.

What do most businesses get wrong when buying office equipment?

Most businesses tend to take on the entire responsibility of fitting out their office on their own. It’s really quite a time-consuming process where you need to be an expert in many fields.


When buying office equipment, it isn’t enough to simply walk in, buy whatever is cheapest and then drop it into your space.

You will need to consider everything from planning the space, visualising in 3D what your space can look like, identifying functionality requirements, choosing colours and finishes, blending existing finishes with new selections, coordinating delivery and installation, and more.

Having a team of experts to help you fit out your office is really helpful to reduce the stress and workload on your part.

This includes advising on how best to plan out your space, drawing up specifications and ensuring the overall works deliver the most efficient and cost-effective workspace.

  • What is most commonly returned, and why?

Education furniture is by the far the most commonly returned office equipment.

Often this is because the client has ordered the wrong size or simply changed their mind. In most instances, this wasted time could have been avoided if the requirements were properly assessed prior to making a purchase. 

  • What item(s) are most commonly overlooked when fitting out a new office?

There are several items that are overlooked in the fit-out of new space, mostly because business owners fail to take into consideration how variations in the building plans will impact space and positioning.

These items include power and data points – which because of their size are easily overlooked. However, it can be costly to have work redone to move these points to suitable locations, rather than have them positioned correctly in the first instance.

The same goes with cupboards and cabinets, which often do not fit or need to be altered because the building of walls does not go exactly to plan.

  • How important is it to ‘try before you buy’?

It is probably unnecessary to try every single item before purchasing, however it is definitely advisable to trial items that have a direct impact on the comfort and productivity of yourself and your employees.

This is particularly pertinent for chairs as well as sit-stand (workfit) desks, because we are all different and have different needs to feel comfortable.

As employers, it is also important to manage the physical wellbeing of your staff, as ill-fitting chairs and desks can lead to injuries.

  • Is price necessarily a good indicator of quality in relation to office equipment?

Price is a fairly good indicator of quality, but it’s not always the case.

Studies have shown that price can also be related to the concept of a newly designed product, or novelty factor.

In these instances, costs of production are high, due to limited sales volumes, and high marketing costs.

Ultimately price will depend on the product, and of course virtually every business wants quality products for minimum spend. 

  • How do you know if the equipment you choose is going to look good?

Reputable office suppliers can help you visualise the space before you purchase anything by creating a 3D visualisation of what your office could look.

By using this technology, you can see exactly how various items will look and fit into the space in its final form. 

  • Why is all of this necessary? Can’t I just pick some simple furniture and install it?

To have a fully functional, ergonomically designed office, you need to undertake a lot of planning.

Be sure to look at all aspects of the office from the actual furniture to the layout, how you will install it and how much time you have before you need the furniture.

It’s also a good idea to try and anticipate any issues that may arise, so that you can budget money and time for dealing with them, or better still, revise your plans to eliminate potential problems before they happen. 

These are just a few things that OfficeMax take into account when working with a customer to fit out their office. OfficeMax can take the stress and time off your hands and manage the project from start to finish leaving you with more time on your hands.

 Office equipment checklist:

Be sure to consider the following points as part of your planning process:

  • Make the most out of your space by understanding exactly who you are and how you work.
  • Designers can help plan the ideal environment using their experience and knowledge.
  • 3D views and rendering will help you visualise what your finished space will look like.
  • Specialists can help guide you through colour and finish selection to create your desired look and feel.
  • Create a new environment incorporating cultural changes or identifying new corporate colours if necessary.
  • Standardise furniture to ensure a uniform, cohesive look and feel.
  • You can enlist the help of a project manager to assess your needs, provide budget suggestions, set timelines, select contractors and to oversee the work.


Tips and traps of buying office equipment explained
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