Furnishing your office is a big decision. There are a lot of factors to consider, like your team's comfort and health, an appealing aesthetic, cost, and durability.
Some office furniture claims to be the “best” or “most ergonomic,” only to fall short on the promises. Your employees spend a lot of time working tirelessly in that office, however, and you can't leave their comfort and health up to chance.
With GSA-approved office furniture, you can be sure that you’re getting a quality, American-made product that will be comfortable and durable at a reasonable price.
What Is the GSA?
The Government Services Administration (GSA) is a federal agency founded by Harry S. Truman in 1949, responsible for the administration of federal offices and procurement of supplies. GSA fills a valuable support role in:
- Procurement and acquisition
- Real estate
While most people assume the GSA is the government's building managers, its role is actually much deeper. It develops synergistic strategies throughout multiple government agencies to save taxpayers money. As a result, only 1% of its budget is appropriated by Congress, the rest entirely being generated by internal products and services.
Why Does GSA-Approved Office Furniture Matter?
The GSA only approves office furniture that meets stringent requirements for:
- American-made products
Using GSA-approved ensures that you are purchasing American products that reinvest into the economy. For governmental offices, this means that their tax-funded expenditures return to the American taxpayer.
GSA products meet a rigorous GSA compliance checklist, guaranteeing ergonomic office products that ensure your personnel can work comfortably. They take the guesswork out of trusting the claims of an ergonomic furniture manufacturer or ergonomic equipment supplier, as the GSA has already verified the product’s quality.
What Does GSA Approval Mean for the Manufacturer?
Other than meeting the safety and ergonomic standards of the GSA, manufacturers seeking GSA approval also need to manufacture their products in America using American components.
There’s an exception for Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliance, in which specific trade partners of the U.S. may meet the criteria for GSA approval when working with U.S. components or selling components for manufacturing in the U.S.
Finally, it means the manufacturer is a reliable and consistent supplier, able to meet the demanding needs of the GSA.
The GSA and the Buy American Initiative
On Jan. 25, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order creating a ”Buy American” initiative to spur federal agencies to buy American-made products.
Supporting American-made products is an important step to reinvesting in the country.
Though the GSA is a seldom-mentioned agency, the service it provides is absolutely essential. With 9.1 million Americans employed by the federal government, and more employed by local and state institutions, the GSA provides a necessary step in:
GSA-approved office furniture is just one benefit provided by this agency. It also aids those 9.1 million employees in having a healthy, productive work life.
Ergonomics, sourcing sustainability, durability, and cost are all important considerations when buying new office furniture. Your staff spend too much of their lives in the office to sacrifice proper ergonomics. Buying GSA- or TAA-approved office furniture ensures you’re getting the best of the best.
To learn more about the essential ergonomic accessories for any office space, check out our free guide!