Are you someone who is looking to install office furniture and want to budget your time accordingly? You have found yourself on the right page!
However, there are countless different variations and options available and this diversity in your furniture could be the reason why one project could take much longer than another project.
In this article, we are going to discuss how long it takes to install a standard workstation, the different factors that could delay your installation, and what you can do to reduce the length of this process.
For the purpose of this article, we are going to consider the whole installation process to be the time from when the furniture has been ordered to when all the furniture has been installed.
We are going to assume that you already chose all the products, CAD drawings are completed, all the finishes have been selected, you have received and signed the quote, and the order has been processed. All in all, you can typically expect to have all your furniture delivered and installed in around five to seven weeks from the date you place your order, but that’s not what this article is trying to answer… so let’s look at just how long it takes to install your office furniture.
How Long Does It Take to Install Office Furniture?
Typically, a standard workstation takes around four to six hours to assemble, and a private office suite/desk will take roughly around four to five hours on average.
Factors That Delay the Installation Process
The installation time frame will fluctuate greatly depending on five important factors. Here are the different factors most likely to delay the installation process:
- The day (and time of day) you choose for your installation
- Which manufacturer you choose
- The location and accessibility of your office
- The complexity of your order
- If your dealer uses lean installation methods
Next, we are going to break down each one of these factors and discuss how it can postpone the installation time and what you can do to mitigate this delay.
1. The Day (and time of day) You Choose for Your Installation
It is important to plan out when you want the delivery and installation to take place. Depending on the time of year and day of the week, the whole installation process could vary greatly as some months of the year are much busier than other months.
Whenever possible, try to avoid scheduling your furniture to be delivered and installed during the three busiest months for most furniture companies, which are:
March is usually the busiest time of the year as it is greatly impacted by the government year-end period. August is busy because it is a month before the start of a new school year, so most furniture companies are occupied working with different academic institutions. Finally, December can get very overloaded as many companies try to get their last-minute project finished and out of the way before January.
Additionally, avoid scheduling your installation outside of regular business hours as most dealers will charge you with an overtime fee.
Other than picking the right time and day for delivery/installation, another method to lock in your delivery/install date early is to get your orders in as soon as possible to secure that specific time and day that works the best for you and your company.
2. Which Manufacturer You Choose
Depending on who your manufacturer is, the time it takes to receive all the ordered furniture could differ. Unfortunately, this is one factor that both the dealer and the client have the least control over the time frame. Generally, most manufacturers will take around four to five weeks to manufacture standard products.
However, this time frame could extend as far as 12 weeks if you are ordering products that require some sort of special customization or any products that get manufactured overseas.
One of the most effective ways to reduce the length of this stage is to use the manufacturer’s “Quick Ship” list. A Quick Ship list is a list of the manufacturer’s most popular products that are available for immediate or accelerated shipment.
The primary drawback of using a Quick Ship list is that the products typically have a limited selection of finishes and materials; however, the lead times are usually around one to two weeks, which allows you to get your products four or five weeks earlier.
3. The Location and Accessibility of Your Office
The location of the site may be the most important factor impacting how long it takes to assemble your furniture and requires plenty of planning before the day of installation. The following is a list of considerations that needs to be resolved if you hope to shorten the installation time frame.
- How many elevators can we use?
- Is there a loading dock?
- Do our packages fit through all the doors?
- Is there any building restriction regarding hours?
- Is it a clean site, or will the install–team have to work around employees and construction teams?
- Is all existing/old furniture removed?
- Where are all the garbage being disposed or are we taking it with us?
- Is there parking near the site entrance?
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when installing your new office. That is why it is extremely crucial to carefully survey the workspace together with your dealer beforehand.
Remember, the more detailed your installation plan is in advance, the faster and smoother things will go on the day of installation.
4. The Complexity of Your Order
The complexity of your order usually determines whether it is going to be a long or a short installation process. The more ergonomic features or special customizations you include in your order, the longer it is going to take both to manufacture and install.
On average, each ergonomic feature takes around 15 minutes to install. This 15-minute installation time does not sound very time–consuming. However, if, for instance, a client requests to have eight workstations installed and wants four ergonomic accessories to be included for each station; this process could take up to eight hours.
Ergonomic features are not the only thing that makes an order complicated. How you want your power modules to be set up, what kind of power skims/tile skims do you need, and the number of workstations that require some sort of customization are examples of different variables that can add complexity to your order. It is how many of these variables are at play that determine whether an order is complex or not.
The only logical way to reduce the length of this stage is to simplify your order. However, just because you want the time frame to be shortened, we do not recommend ignoring all the ergonomic accessories that are offered for you. These ergonomic tools are for you as an employee and to prevent you from any ergonomic injuries.
One way to simplify your order without cutting useful tools is to standardize your furniture such as chairs, storage, finishes, etc. Having the same ergonomic tools and furniture for each workstation can significantly reduce the installation time.
The two must-have ergonomic tools we suggest you include with every workstation or desk are a monitor arm and keyboard tray. For more information on these tools (and others), visit “The 6 Most Popular Ergonomic Trends, Tools and Accessories in 2020”.
5. If Your Dealer Uses Lean Installation Methods
How the parts get delivered all depends on the size and complexity of your order. If you only need a single workstation to be installed, all the components that are required for this workstation will be delivered at the same time. However, if you are working on a huge project and require more than a dozen workstations to be installed, it will be delivered by different parts and will have to take multiple trips, which will consume more time.
The conditions of the site greatly impact different methods of installation that can be used as well. One of the only ways to reduce the length of this installation phase is this method called a Lean Install.
Lean install is when the install team pre-build the components in their warehouse and bring it to the site already assembled or partially assembled. This installation method allows you to reduce how much time the installation team spends at your office assembling and installing product.
The only down-side about the lean install is that there are special conditions that must be met. These special conditions are:
- There must be a loading dock at the site on the day of installation.
- Must have elevators available at the site on the day of installation.
- Must have a dolly cart/heavy–duty cart available at the site on the day of installation.
Have More Questions About Office Furniture?
Here at Office Interiors, we aim to answer all the questions and concerns our customers might have. After reading this article, if you still have any questions regarding office furniture or just simply want to learn more about it, our Office Furniture Buyer’s Guide covers all the questions and concerns you might have, regarding:
- Price of our furniture
- Quality of our furniture
- Selecting the right furniture that works for you
- Different furniture warranties that are available
- And many, many more
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