The selected furniture must be suitable for the job. The working area of the table should be sufficient. It must also have space to keep files (incoming and outgoing), stationery, etc.
The seat of the workers, shape of the chairs and tables must be so designed that the workers would not feel any fatigue while doing their jobs. This will result in efficiency, in turn, more output. The equipment, forms, stationery, etc., must be within easy reach. Those items frequently used, should be placed at hand.
Prior to purchase, one must have an idea of the size, height and design of the furniture. For example, the size, height, design, number of drawers of the table should be decided on the basis of work done on it.
There are many designs of tables available in the market. One must decide whether the top of the table should be of polished wood or glass plate or laminate surface. The decision regarding the choice of the furniture, say table, desk, chairs, etc. as to its size and design depends on the officer who uses it.
Metal furniture is more costly than wooden furniture. But the maintenance charges of wooden furniture are more than those of the metal furniture. Nowadays, metal i.e., steel furniture is more popular, because it is more durable than wooden furniture. Moreover, steel furniture is safe against fire, burglary etc.
As the business expands, the size of the office also increases. The existing layout of the furniture has to be rearranged according to the required comfort. It may become often necessary to move the furniture from one place to another. Therefore, it is better to have light weight furniture. If the furniture is light, there will be less breakage and wear and tear when the furniture is shifted.
6. Space saving
Furniture which would occupy minimum space should be selected. The decision regarding the design of the furniture should depend upon the space available in the office and the number of persons who work there.
The cost of the furniture should not be neglected when selecting it. It should be kept within the financial limit.
The outlay of the furniture should be so made that it will be easy to clean the furniture as well as the floor underneath it.
The furniture should be selected according to the nature of the particular job. When it is not needed for the department, it can be easily transferred to another department, where it may be useful.
Furniture should have a good appearance and be pleasing to the eyes. This will impress the workers and visitors. Wooden furniture looks attractive. Furniture of high quality wood is durable. It has a warm look and gives comfort to the users. Many varieties and designs of furniture can easily be made.
11. Multi-purpose uses
Furniture should be adaptable to multi-purpose uses, wherever possible. This permits standardization in the purchase of multi-purpose desks and enables office workers to perform more than one type of work with the help of the same kind of furniture.
In selecting the furniture and other equipment to be used for a specific job, the following six questions should be considered.
1. Is the working area adequate?
2. Can the clerk work comfortably?
3. Can the clerk use both hands?
4. Can the job be supervised?
5. Is the work adequately protected against dust, loss or damage?
6. Is there suitable provision for the clerk’s personal effects?
Generally, in a modern office, desks, tables, chairs, filing rack, cupboards, cabinets, safe, etc., are used. Every table should have sufficient top space to keep the incoming files and outgoing files and to keep necessary forms and stationery. Apart from the top of the table it must have enough space to work comfortably.
If the clerk is to be provided with a telephone, it must be placed on the left-hand side of the table. The writing pad will be placed on the right-hand side, so that while he is working with his right-hand, he can easily take the receiver with his left-hand. In the same way the stationery articles, should be kept on the top of the table, within easy reach.
Completed files should be placed on the right-hand side and incomplete files should be placed on the left-hand side. This will enable the supervisor to check the work done by the clerk, by a look from his seat.
The work table, machines, stationery, etc., on it should be kept free from dust. Certain files of a confidential nature should be safely placed in steel cabinets, after the work.
The clerks who come to the office may bring personal belongings, such as money purse, rain coat, lunch packets, hand-bags, etc. The clerk’s table should have provision to keep the personal belongings under lock. This will be an additional advantage.