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5 ways to convince your boss it's time to upgrade the furniture

Businessmen arranging chairs in their new office.

If you're in an industry that requires you to spend 40 hours a week or more in the office, you know what a difference quality furniture can make to your busy work week. After all, you're sitting in your chair, covering your desk with important projects, and holding important meetings at conference room tables all day long. Not to mention that first impressions are everything to clients and potential employees you may be hosting at any given time.

If the time has come to start making the case to your boss for an office furniture upgrade, here are a few key arguments you might want to bring to his or her attention.

1. It looks unprofessional

Your furniture and decor speak volumes about your business. Just imagine walking into a bright, modern office with quality seating, stylish lighting, and pops of color on the walls. There's an atmosphere of calm professionalism, and already your confidence in this particular business is rising.

Now think about the opposite scenario. Discolored office chairs, damaged file cabinets, wobbly bistro tables in the kitchen. The laminate on the reception desk is peeling, and already your confidence in this particular business is falling.

Rusty metal seating in a bare waiting room.

And it's not only clients and visitors who are affected by a tired, careworn office environment. Consider those who spend most of their days in this place, dealing with creaking chairs and damaged desks. And spare a thought for interviewees trying their best to make a good impression on their potential new employer. Shouldn't the same courtesy be extended in return?

2. It's unhygienic

Did you know that your computer desk is home to 10 million bacteria? Or that your computer keyboard has 20,000 times more bacteria than a toilet seat? And we're not just talking about the harmless kind. We're talking high concentrations of gram-positive cocci, which can leave you with strep, staph, and other afflictions that lead to multiple sick days.

Ill woman sneezing at the office.

Of course, your boss may respond that it's easy to keep your workspace clean and healthy: all you have to do is wipe it down twice a week with an antibacterial wipe or vinegar-based solution. And he or she would be right, but it's much harder to clean a workspace that's been through years of wear and tear. Those cracks, dents, and thinning laminate are the perfect places for bacteria to thrive.

And a wipedown won't suffice for soft surfaces like your computer chair, conference room seating, or that tired-looking leather sofa in the breakroom. In fact, disease-carrying bacteria survives much longer on soft surfaces. So when you replace tired waiting room furniture with wipe-clean leather guest chairs, it's not just because the old stuff was a bit dirty—it's because you're looking out for the health of your coworkers.

3. It's dated

While the core vision and identity of your company rarely undergoes dramatic changes, it's always a good idea to refresh periodically in order to stay modern and relevant. So you may be in a situation where you have furniture that's relatively new and in decent condition but, all the same, doesn't really work with your company aesthetic anymore.

You want visiting clients to walk into your office space and feel confident that you have what it takes to stay ahead in a constantly evolving industry. Your furniture can change the vibe of your office, whether you want to give a more professional impression or prefer to keep things young, fun, and casual.

If your furniture looks like it's stuck in the last decade, potential clients and employees may worry that your ideas and approach to projects will be dated too. Quality, timeless pieces are the way to go—so make sure your boss is choosing furniture that can stand the test of time.

4. We're uncomfortable!

Your office chair is giving you back problems and your breakroom sits empty because everyone hates the "comfortable" couches. There's no better reason to get new furniture. In fact, spending eight hours a day being forced to use uncomfortable furniture is almost inhumane—but your boss won't know you need an upgrade unless you speak up.

Businessman experiencing back pain.

The most important piece of furniture every office worker should have is an ergonomic desk chair. They are extensively adjustable, allowing each and every employee to choose the best height, back support, and arm rest angle for them.

If the breakroom is in need of more welcoming furniture that employees actually want to use, comfortable couches or even bean bag chairs could be a simple way to update the space. If your boss is reluctant to encourage employees to take longer breaks, remind him or her that employees are entitled to take breaks either way—so you might as well encourage them to stay in the building and enjoy their surroundings. It's a smart move all around.

5. It doesn't have to cost a lot

Updating office furniture can seem daunting at first. Even small offices can require a lot of chairs, desks, and shelving units to be productive, functional spaces. But furniture should always be considered an investment. In the long run, quality pieces that make employees feel comfortable—and appreciated—are the hallmarks of a good employer.

And here's the kicker: high-quality office furniture isn't always expensive. Need some examples? This five-shelf, cherry-finish bookcase from Sauder has style (and sturdiness) that contradicts its modest price tag, and this mahogany-finished, 18-person conference table from Regency® is just a fraction of the cost of similarly appointed tables.

Of course, there's also Quill Brand® office furniture, which is specifically designed to offer durable, comfortable, high-quality pieces at extremely affordable prices. This Quill Brand® Timbell bonded leather task chair, for instance, is packed with ergonomic features—but is available for less than $100.

Start building your case

That rickety-looking waiting room seating probably isn't your manager's most pressing concern. But with a well-reasoned argument—and a little research—you can make a truly compelling case to keep your work environment fresh, contemporary, and comfortable.

As you build your argument, be sure to explore the many insights in our Office Furniture Ideas & Tips category, such as how to choose a desk that suits a particular working style. And just remember: when your new furniture arrives, your coworkers will have you to thank for getting the plan in action!

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