Should You Repair or Replace Your Office Furniture?

It’s a fact of office life: Even the best-constructed, most durable office furniture will eventually break down and fall into disrepair. The question for office managers is when to try to fix what’s broken, and when to call it quits and get rid of the old stuff altogether. Here are some of the most common issues for each piece of office furniture, how to repair it, and when to throw it away and start from scratch.

1. Desks


Office Furniture Repair: Desks are the cornerstone of the office. No wonder, then, that so much can go wrong with them. Some repairs — like sticky drawers or minor cosmetic work — are easy enough to do yourself. A little WD-40 and/or paint can go a long way. Ditto missing parts. Don’t assume that a lost key, for example, or even a banged up drawer, means that you need to write off the entire piece. It’s always worth contacting the manufacturer to see if there are replacement parts available.

Throw It Away If: Most of today’s desks are made of plastic components, even the parts that look like wood or metal. If the veneer is peeling, consider swapping out for a new piece of furniture altogether. And don’t bother trying to paint those plastic parts. It won’t hold — or fool anyone.

2. Ergonomic Chairs


Office Furniture Repair: Oh, internet, is there anything you can’t do? In terms of DIY instructions, we’re guessing not. This awesome list contains just about anything that could go wrong with your ergonomic chair, plus instructions for how to fix it yourself with little more than a few different wrenches and some spare time.

Throw It Away If: Sometimes, though, the problem isn’t as simple as a missing bolt or a loose screw. If the mesh back or seat is ripped or frayed, or the padded seat full of holes, repairing your ergonomic chair might be more trouble than it’s worth.

3. Filing Cabinets


Office Furniture Repair: True story: once upon a time, we had a work neighbor who complained that his filing cabinet was broken. It was pretty new, which was one source of his aggravation. The other, of course, was that his files were being held hostage in the stuck drawer.

Angrily, he called maintenance and demanded both the release of his files and a brand-new filing cabinet. They came up with — you guessed it — a can of WD-40, and achieved the former while negating the need for the latter. Our coworker spent much of the rest of the day wishing he could crawl into his filing cabinet and hide.

Another easy DIY project: refinishing a dingy cabinet.

Throw It Away If: If it’s rusty, dented beyond easy use, or the drawers no longer connect with their tracks, it’s probably not worth the fix. You’re better off donating or recycling it, and getting something new. (Or new to you.)

And speaking of “new to you,” if you do decide that your office furniture repairs are beyond your skill (or interest) level, don’t assume you’re stuck with paying full price for brand-new office furniture. Arnolds Office Furniture has a wide and ever-changing selection of gently used, lovingly refurbished office furniture for every taste and budget. Contact us today and tell us your needs. Your customers will never know you bought used, and you’ll save a bundle.

Images: leonorjr/Flickr, seeminglee/Flickr, breahn/Flickr