FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What happens first: buy office furniture then design the office accordingly, or start with office design, then buy furniture?

We always recommend starting with the office design and work to select furniture that will fit the design, décor, and aesthetics desired. 

Does office furniture and design affect productivity?

Yes, there are many studies on how a properly designed and outfitted office can enhance productivity. Our design team can help you find the right design for your office.

Do you offer new and used office furniture?

Yes, we carry over 150 lines of new furniture, while used furniture is purchased on a case by case basis.

What is the difference between Benching and Cubicles?

As a general overview, cubicles are panel-based workstations that provide the most privacy from other employees; benching has either no or minimal panels and provides an open-style row of desks meant to encourage collaboration.

Cubicles can come in many sizes and configurations depending on the client’s needs. Panels come in 39″, 47″, 53″, 67″, and 85″ heights, comprised of fabric, glass, and whiteboard finishes.

Benching or desking is typically used in smaller workspace configurations and can measure anywhere from 3′ to 7′. If privacy is needed, privacy screens with heights of 8″ to 24″ can be added.

What is Benching?

4 person benching systemAs opposed to cubicles, benching is a low-style, no-panel system designed to encourage collaboration. Available in multiple sizes and configurations, benching units generally consist of a worksurface, legs, and, possibly, privacy screens.

To see examples, please view our benching page.

What is a privacy Screen?

Privacy screens (also known as privacy panels) are used as dividers between workstations to define boundaries and give employees both privacy and improved acoustics. They can come in fabric, lexan glass, laminate, and whiteboard finishes, and are available in many sizes to fit almost any workstation.

Depending on the client’s needs these screens can be placed on top of or in between work surfaces, and even on top of cubicle panels. See examples of each on our benching page.

What is the difference between a Power Pole and Base Feed?

Power poles and base feeds are both options for bringing power to your workstations. A power pole is generally used in applications where power and data are being brought down from the ceiling. The power pole can connect directly to the work surfaces or panel system you choose. A base feed, on the other hand, is connected to workstations from the floor or the wall.

What are Sit/Stand or Height Adjustable desks?

As more research has been conducted on the effects of sitting for long hours during the work day, it has been found that over-sitting can have significant negative effects on your health.

As a way of combating these negative effects, height adjustable desks have been introduced as a way for people to stand periodically throughout the work day. They can be programmed at different heights if electronic or pneumatic, or they can be hand-cranked to the height you need.

What is ergonomic office furniture?

Ergonomic furniture is furniture designed and manufactured to work with the human body. There is also passively designed ergonomic furniture which is designed with less controls.

What is modular office furniture?

Modular office furniture is furniture that can be easily moved and reconfigured.

How does office design differ from interior design?

Office design is space planning and setting up the office in a workflow; while interior design is more aesthetics (i.e. colors, rugs, imaging). 

Why is office design important?

Office design will allow you to maximize workflow and productivity.

What are some new trends in office design and furniture?

Resimercial is a hybrid incorporating residential and office furniture in the same setting, with both open office and open collaboration office furniture. Hotel and office furniture is another combination trend.

Can you rent or lease office furniture instead of buying it?

Renting office furniture is a short term solution for office furniture whereas leasing is a long term option. There is also the option to lease furniture instead of owning it.

Are there green/sustainable options for office furniture?

There are many options for green and sustainable office furniture, but not as many as there were in the past. Importing prices have made green furniture much more expensive today.

Who are some of the top office furniture manufacturers?

AIS/Partsco, Global Office Furniture, Friant, Open Plan Systems, Logiflex to name a few of our top of the line producers. Click here for a full list of our manufacturers

Is office furniture an asset? Should it be depreciated?

Office furniture is an asset and can always be depreciated, but you should consult with your accountant as the tax rules change yearly.

What is Seated Privacy?

Often in a benching-style office there is a need for some privacy between workers. Seated Privacy uses 12″ to 16″ upmount screens to separate workers and provide a sense of privacy while employees can still see those around them.

How many chairs can you fit around a Conference Room Table?
A typical conference room chair is about 22″, and as a rule you should leave 4″ on either side of the chair. So, expect to leave 30″ for each chair. A general rule is:

Number of chairs = table size or circumference / (width of chair + 8″)

For example, if you have a 60″x 36″ table and divide each side by 30″, the 60″ side would allow 1-2 chairs and the 36″ side would allow only 1 chair, giving a total of 4-6 chairs at that table. Note: with round or oval tables you can generally add an extra chair to this rule.

What is a Huddle Room?

As cubicle walls go down, noise goes up; although collaborative workstations work well in some situations, there is still a need for space that is private. Thus, small areas/rooms called Huddle Rooms evolved. These rooms are typically designed to hold 2-4 people and are ideal for impromptu meetings or phone and video conferencing.

What is Sound Masking, and how can it help my office?

Sound masking is the introduction of an unobtrusive background sound similar to airflow that reduces distractions by making human speech unintelligible. (This does not mean that you cannot hear the person talking.)

A typical installation involves using 3″ speakers in the ceiling and a small 7″ x 5″ control box in the area where you want more acoustic privacy. For more information, take a look at our sound masking page.

What are the types of office layout?

Private office, open office, or collaboration office. 

What are office design trends for 2022?

They are evolving due to Covid-19. It is dependent upon how your office is returning to the workplace; the trends are continuously changing. 

What is an open plan office layout?

An office without partitions and cubicle walls.

How can I improve my office space/layout?

Before you can improve your office, you must first figure out what is not currently working in your office.

What is an executive desk? How big is an executive desk?

An executive desk is typically a wood or laminate desk that is 30”d x 72”l.

Is an expensive office chair worth it?

Everyone will sit and fit in a chair differently. The expense of the chair has no effect on which chair will feel the most comfortable for you.

What's a task chair?

A task chair is a desk or workstation chair. A chair that you will spend 8-10 hours in, so you want to make sure it is comfortable.

What is standard cubicle size?

6’ by 6’ is the smallest cubicle size recommended. Depending on your office space and how many cubicles you are looking to put in, will ultimately depend on the size of the cubicle.

How has COVID impacted office furniture and design?

Covid-19 has resulted in differing mindsets of office space utilizations: Fully remote, Hybrid model, and full in person return. 

Covid-19 has also resulted in supply-chain issues resulting in longer shipping times and increased prices.

How should you approach office design for the hybrid workforce?

It is dependent on the philosophy of the company and is taken on a case by case basis. Some companies may want employees to return and have their own desk while others may leave more collaboration space for employees who do not come to the office as often.

Should our office design and furniture be an open layout?

Marketing, sales and creative departments, are typically in a more open and collaborative space. 

Finance, HR, engineering, and accounting, are typically behind closed doors or at private work spaces.

Purchasing Office Furniture

Can you get new furniture for the price of used or refurbished furniture?

The simple answer is yes, but, more importantly, you can actually now buy new furniture for less than refurbished.

Between the 1970s and 1980s, major furniture manufacturers were making quality, American-made products that were doing well in the booming economy.  In the 90s, after 10-20 years of owning these products, many companies wanted to refurbish their furniture, or sell off their old furniture to refurbishers, as purchasing new furniture tended to be quite expensive. This was the start of the “remanufacturing” era when it was common for new companies to purchase refurbished furniture as an economical way to furnish their offices.

In 2001, following 9/11, many new purchases came to a halt, but the remanufacturing business continued to boom. However, from 2002 until about 2008 manufacturers began to travel overseas to find ways to outsource and make their office furniture for less. After perfecting this process, many manufacturers now import quality products that are less expensive, yet too labor- and cost-intensive for refurbishment. Because of this evolution, it is now generally cheaper to buy new furniture vs. refurbished used furniture.

What is the process for ordering office furniture?

We often get questions about the process of selecting and ordering new workstations or other significant office purchases. To help envision the process, we’ve outlined our basic steps:

  1. We first suggest that our clients take a look at the examples on our website to help them get an idea of the systems they would like to see in their space, offering to answer any questions or make suggestions.
  2. We then communicate with our clients to get a full list of their furniture and accessory needs based on the types of work that is being done in each area. After this discussion, we request a scaled CAD plan of the space in order to test fit and lay out the discussed furnishings. This process allows us to make sure the furniture will fit before it is purchased. Often during this process we will go to the site and perform field measurements to confirm the client’s floor plan.
  3. Once the layout is complete and has been approved by our client, we will create a 3-D visual to help visualize the furnishings within the space. Clients next select their choices of fabric, paint, and laminate colors.
  4. After all of the details have been ironed out, we send an official detailed quote to the client, which needs to be signed and returned before the order can be placed with our manufacturers. We require a 50% deposit on all orders.
  5. After the furniture is ordered, it typically takes about 3-4 weeks, depending on what was ordered, to reach our installer’s warehouse. We will then call and schedule an install date for that week. Upon completion of successful installation, the client will be invoiced the remaining balance.

You may find it helpful to review our Helpful Tips for Office Moves and Installation & Purchasing Office Furniture.

What is an independent furniture dealer?

As an independent furniture dealer, Joyce Contract Interiors is not tied to any single line of furniture. This is an advantage for our clients because we can pick and choose which manufacturers provide the best deals based on quality, warranties, and price point.

How long will it take for us to receive the furniture?

Typical lead times are about 3-4 weeks depending on what you are purchasing. Some products may be ordered and received faster as part of a quick ship program, but in those cases the types of furniture and finish options may be more limited.

What is the cost to get my product delivered?

Delivery costs are calculated by our installers based on many factors: the amount of product being ordered, the location to which it is being delivered, whether or not the building has a loading dock or an elevator, whether the building is union or non-union, and if the delivery can be done during regular business hours or if it needs to be done on overtime.

Because each job is different, it is best to call and get a quote from one of our knowledgeable salespeople. (Note that because of the complexities involved, getting a quote may take a few days.)

Should you buy office furniture online?

As long as you research the furniture and work with a reputable dealer who can work with you to select the right furniture as well as the delivery and installation then buying furniture online should not be an issue.