Red tape and the small office furniture dealer

As every year passes we find ourselves spending more and more time dealing with the bureaucracy of the business and less with providing office furniture.
This is no doubt the same for all small businesses (defined as a business with less than 250 employees) and to many it may seem to be such a huge waste of time and effort.

But there is a reason for most of it, and this reason is to make sure that everyone adheres to certain business standards and codes of practice. This makes is safer for employees and gives a more level playing field for competition.

Unfortunately it always seems that it is the smaller business that it the most affected by additional legislation. Already working to their maximum capacity, the time consuming non profit making paperwork is left for another day.

Bigger companies can afford, due to economies of scale, to employ staff or even teams of staff to make sure that the business fully complies with all relevant legislation.

But in the long term the benefits for businesses and individuals are clear to see.

As an example consider two different companies, each looking to purchase new office chairs for their staff. The first is a multinational corporation, employing over 1,000 staff. Their health and safety department are fully aware that it is the responsibility of the directors of the company to ensure that each member of staff is provided with a comfortable and suitable working environment, which includes the adjustability of their office desks and operator chairs.

Rather than risk purchasing something which may be inadequate they look for a recognised manufacturer, with ISO or similar accreditation. They look for a chair which has enough features to enable a large number of staff of different shapes and weights to find a comfortable setting.

They understand, from executive reports, that a good working environment and a comfortable chair, can keep staff happier and healthier and that just a couple of days off work from back ache, can easily cost more that a new, decent quality office chair.

On the other side of the example, is the director of a small number  of staff, who desperately needs new office chairs as their old ones have fallen apart, even though they have only had them for a few years. But he only has about £600 to spend so he is looking for the cheapest chair he can find.  And there is always some office furniture dealer out there, who is selling purely on price, and doesn’t really care that what he is selling may not be what his client needs.

Useful and constructive legislation can help businesses become more professional, and can cut out unfair competition from unprofessional businesses, and this, although costly and time consuming now, can only be a good thing.