While office furniture generally counts for the smallest amount of total expenditure in a typical office setup, having the correct furniture has a significant impact on overall productivity of the workforce. In addition, in hastening the largescale adoption of hybrid and work-from-home models, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of integrated office furniture that caters for all workers’ needs when they do eventually return to the office on a more regular basis.
“A well-designed office space with properly integrated ergonomic furniture can boost productivity by up to 30%,” says Conrad Burger, MD of X -Furniture. The office furniture company is the authorised dealer for Sunon, a leading workplace solution provider for over 30 years based in China.
In addition to offering a fully imported high-end range, X-Furniture also has a local factory that manufactures exclusive products for the South African office furniture market. “This means we have the flexibility of being able to cater for a range of client requirements, all depending on their budget and timeframe and what they are looking for specifically,” says Burger.
He adds that the three main decision-making criteria for customers are quality, price, and lead time. “If you want great quality and great price, the lead time increases. If you want great quality and a short lead time, the price increases. It is finding the balance between all these factors for our customers that is so important,” adds Burger.
X-Furniture is perhaps unique in the market in that it has a mobile showroom that can be configured differently, allowing customers to experience a range of office setups first-hand. Working closely with architects and designers, Burger reveals that the company is planning an event in June where it will not only have its mobile showroom on display, but where it will introduce attendees to the latest trends and quality products available.
“The unique feature of our mobile showroom is that we can it take it directly to customers’ premises. The difference between this approach and a visual rendering, for example, is that you can touch and feel the furniture and walk around in the space itself,” says Burger.
The Covid-19 pandemic has prevented architects and designers from attending the major global design fairs, which means that X-Furniture has an important role to play in disseminating its experience and expertise. With regulations being lifted in South Africa and the restrictions on in-person gatherings finally eased, Burger says now is the ideal opportunity to host such an event for the design fraternity, especially as it will be the first time in nearly two years that many will have been able to do so.
“It is not only an opportunity for people to see both our locally manufactured and imported product ranges for themselves, but also for them to get a sense of our value proposition and the complete solutions we can offer them,” says Burger, who has been involved in the office furniture market since 2011. He has established close working relationships with some of the leading architects and interior designers in South Africa. “Our main route to market is mainly through interior designers, as they generally specify the office furniture.”
A new trend that X-Furniture is introducing to the local market is the concept of integrated office furniture, which includes examples such as seating that doubles as storage space, hyper-adjustable desks, and the merger of the lounge and canteen environment in many office buildings. “Canteens are in use for a very small portion of the day only. Due to so many people continuing to work from home, it is a logical next step that these spaces be reconceptualised,” says Burger.
To view a video about the X-Furniture mobile showroom, visit: