Most people who choose to buy used office furniture for their workplaces are those who already have certain experience and understand the benefits of getting second-hand furniture in general. 

You might have bought a gorgeous antique dining table, a state-of-art bed heading or a nightstand on the market, and now everyone admires your unique interior while you know that it costs you a fraction of the cost of new furniture.

Now you want to enjoy the same benefits and be able to afford a top-brand ergonomic office chair or whole wood office desk on a budget. So, you naturally address the second-hand office furniture market.

However, there is a big difference between buying used furniture for your home and for an office. Mainly because home and office furniture pieces have different functions, structures and materials, they serve different purposes and therefore have some peculiarities you need to consider.

In this article, we shall talk about the things to focus on buying your used office furniture and how this process is different from furnishing your house with used items.

The three things that differ used office and home furniture.

Experts usually point out several fundamental differences between second-hand office furniture and the pieces you would buy for your home:

  • Style – it goes without saying that home and office furniture have different styles. While a table you buy for the home should fit in the overall interior and have enough space for the whole family to enjoy dinner together, your office desk may have some other functions and, therefore, design solutions. Storage drawers and under-desk units, a spacious desktop to place all your stationery, papers and equipment, a shape that would allow you to use the available workspace at its full – all those are the things you look for in an office desk and can`t find in a table meant for home use;
  • Colours – the choice of colours and upholstery materials for your home furniture is endless and can only be limited by your imagination, vision and taste. By buying second-hand furniture, you can experiment with the upholstery and paint, restore antique pieces or revamp them entirely. Buying used office furniture, you probably look for colours and textures that will be easy to maintain, clean, and fit into your corporate style and palette. Looking at a second-hand office chair or desk, you can instantly understand how the previous owners treated their setup and whether the materials are resistant to stains, scratches and other “typically office” damage;
  • Quality – By buying second-hand furniture, you definitely look for good quality at reasonable prices. However, used office furniture is a particularly sensitive subject. Office chairs and desks are used by different people who have different bodies, mobility and lifestyles. And while your cosy antique chair will welcome you for a couple of hours per day while you will be enjoying your cup of tea or relaxing after a long workday, an ergonomic office chair will be by your side throughout all the office hours, experiencing the pressure and dynamics of the workday together with you. 

So, what do I look for in used office furniture?

Summarising all the peculiarities of different home and office furniture, we may say that buying a second-hand executive desk or a used ergonomic chair, you should focus on the item`s functionality, its concise design and functional elements like drawers, wheels and adjustable parts that will make you feel comfortable, organised and safe at a workplace.

Unlike your home furniture, second-hand office chairs and desks may have already been used and probably will be used by several different people in the future. All those people may have different height, weight and even certain disabilities. Buying second-hand home furniture, you buy it for your home. Buying used office furniture, you buy it or people. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to all the mechanisms, adjustable parts and customisation options, make sure that every detail is in its righteous place and works perfectly to provide 100% of comfort and functionality during the workday.

Last but not least, keep an eye on the materials, their maintenance and hygiene. While it is only you and your family in the house, an office may be an ultimate thoroughfare. Different people may visit you during the day, leaving their items, drinking coffee bind your desk or sitting on your chair. In the case of second-hand office furniture, it might have been happening to the item you have been buying for a while. Choose materials that are easy to clean and sanitise. If you have to change the upholstery, make sure to prefer modern fabrics and textures that are durable and practical at the same time.

If you would like to dig deeper into the subject, please read our used office furniture buying guide.

Buying second-hand office furniture has its undoubtful benefits, most of which are comparable to the reasons why you have been searching markets for antique pieces for your home before. However, with used office furniture, you may need a little bit more focus, a sense of practicality and foresight to make the right choices and get exactly what you need.