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Adapting office furniture to suit new ways of working

Adapting office furniture to suit new ways of working
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Adapting office furniture to suit new ways of working
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Chris Nolson of Diamond Office Furniture, based in our Greenway Business Centre, Harlow, has built his company on providing what his customers want, when they want it and how they want it. Throughout the coronavirus crisis, the team have had to innovate and introduce new products that will suit an office operating during the pandemic. Not only will his team kit out offices to accommodate social distancing, they also adapt furniture to suit it for home working , allowing customers to reunite their teams safely or work comfortably from a remote location.

Ringing the changes

If variety is the spice of life, the Diamond Office Furniture team at our Greenway Business Centre, Harlow, know how to keep things interesting.  They offer every sort of permutation of office furniture, new to second-hand, plus complete office re-planning – even customising or making furniture to order.

Says Chris, “It’s the variety of work that we do that keeps us on our toes – we have every sort of client, from multi-nationals like well-known fashion retailers to one-man bands, and our work takes us all over the country. We can either adapt existing pieces or create new ones to work in any size of office, and to any height or colour – ideal if a company is going for a corporate look: we once did some desks for one firm in a bright green.”

The coronavirus pandemic has meant even more room for adaptation for Chris, introducing a range of protective screens and sneeze-guards to help ensure that work is safe and Covid-secure for office returners.

“We’ve also been helping our customers rearrange their offices to allow for social distancing, as well as creating home furniture so people can work efficiently from home,” comments Chris.

Diamond Office Furniture offer a five-year warranty, meaning quality, value for money and peace of mind for anyone who buys from them.

“When it comes to meeting a customer’s requirement for bespoke furniture, I make everything myself, and it’s great fun helping a client create a specific look. I’ve done everything from desks with adjustable legs, so they’re the right height for the person sitting at them, to an enormous boardroom table. It consisted of four separate pieces and I was able to get them to line up perfectly – very satisfying!” 

While carrying out their work arranging the units, all staff wear full PPE – a measure that Chris put in place as soon as his team started going back to delivering furniture.

Challenges brought on by the pandemic

As was the case for many businesses, large and small, Covid-19 posed hardships for Chris’ team, and furniture sales were reduced to zero for over twelve weeks.

“Our only saving grace was taking over a project we got by being willing to turn our hands to any work,” comments Chris, “It involved helping our largest customer move to their head office, which entailed closing and stripping out an old distribution centre. This gave us eight weeks’ work and we were able to do this safely due to the size of the offices we were working in. To be honest, it was sad working in now-empty buildings, where normally we’d have 300 to 500 people working around us.”

Plans for the future

After navigating his company through Brexit, and now through the midst of the pandemic, Chris is determined to make tactical decisions to see Diamond Office Furniture through safely into the future and is considering moving into new markets.

Chris also made the decision to update his fleet of vehicles, better suiting the business to deliver furniture as economically as possible.

“This included electric cars to take my fitting team in and out of London and a new van that is more economical on the bigger installs,” says Chris, “Not only does this make our rates more competitive when we’re working in the city, it has also cut our diesel usage in half per month.”

By updating and bringing out new ranges of furniture that are better designed to home-office usage, along with bringing on board new protection products for the office environment, Chris has embraced the changes coronavirus has imposed on our working lives. Thanks to Chris’s strategic thinking and ambitions for expansion, Diamond Office Furniture has potential to pioneer furniture offerings, both for office returners and home workers.

 To find out how Capital Space virtual offices or business premises
could benefit your growing business,
call 0800 107 3667