Outdoor Office Furniture 101: What You Need to Know About Buying and Maintaining Outdoor Furniture

outdoor office furniture guide

A workday can be stressful regardless of your industry and job title. Between deadlines and demanding customers, often, the hours in a day aren’t enough to accomplish everything. As a manager or business owner, it is your responsibility to take care of your employees’ stress levels. Providing them with an outdoor space is one of the most effective ways to keep them from burning out. 

Outdoor spaces can increase productivity, encourage engagement, save energy, boost morale, and improve the company culture. If you are thinking about building outdoor space or improving the one that you already have, below are tips that can help prolong the life of your outdoor furniture and cushions.

Tips in Buying the Right Office Outdoor Furniture

Buying outdoor furniture entails a different process than purchasing indoor pieces. There are several factors that you need to consider before making the investment. As with all your other office investments, you want your furniture to last. It starts with buying the right ones for your space: 

Quality is Key

Unlike your indoor office equipment, outdoor pieces are constantly exposed to the elements. They take a beating from the hot rays of the sun, torrential rains, and depending on your location, snow, and blizzards. When buying outdoor furniture, it is important to consider your area’s weather. There are certain materials that are best for hotter climates. Likewise, there are those that you want to stay away from if your neighborhood experiences a lot of snow. 

That said, you don’t want to cheap out on your office’s patio pieces. Good quality furniture can stand the test of time. While they might seem expensive now, they are generally worth it in the long run. 

Try Before Purchasing

Especially in the time of COVID, it is very tempting to buy your furniture online. While there isn’t anything wrong with online shopping, you wouldn’t be able to get the full experience of sitting on a sofa unless you try it out. Truth be told, if you find a piece uncomfortable, your employees wouldn’t enjoy them as well.  

Measure, Measure, Measure

A cramped space is never comfortable. There is something claustrophobic and uneasy about being in a space that has too many pieces of furniture. It’s the same for your office patio or deck. Before heading down to your local office furniture store, it is a good idea to take measurements of your space. This way, you save yourself the hassle of buying a piece and having to return it because it doesn’t fit. 

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture pieces are investments. If you buy quality selections, we are certain that you dropped a pretty penny on your purchases. It is important to clean and maintain the furniture to ensure that it lasts a long time. 

When it comes to outdoor furniture, the method of cleaning depends on the material: 

Wood & Wicker

Wood and wicker furniture should be wiped down regularly. The debris and dust that accumulates on its surface can degrade the material. After wiping down the surfaces, it is best to use an oil-based soap to get into its nooks and crannies. For hardwood furniture, sanding the surface once a year is ideal. You can coat it with a layer of oil or stain for more protection. 

Metal & Aluminum

You want your metal and aluminum pieces to remain shiny and rust-free for years. To do this, oxidation must be kept at bay. Before cleaning, it is important to clean off any imperfections with a solution of white vinegar and water. This corrosive material can rust or any other water stain. You can also sand it off if the rust proves to be stubborn. 

Once the imperfections are removed, you can coat metal and aluminum furniture with rust-resistant paint for ultimate protection.  


If rust is the number one enemy of metal furniture, water stains are glass’. There are very few things that scream unkempt more than water stains on a dirty and dusty glass table. Thankfully, it is a quick fix. 

After making sure the surface is debris-free, you can use dishwashing soap to it off. Do not forget to wipe down the underside of the furniture as well as the metal frames. 


Plastic furniture is the easiest, most low-maintenance outdoor material available in the market. While not always aesthetically pleasing, this material only required a regular wipe down. You can use soap to clean the surface. For stubborn stains, a white vinegar/water solution should suffice. 

Clean Your Outdoor Furniture Cushion

cleaning cushions of outside office furniture

When it comes to outdoor furniture, fabric isn’t necessarily the best material. Nevertheless, it is still possible to outfit your office patio with beautiful and comfortable cushions for your employees to enjoy. It is all a matter of being diligent about their cleaning and maintenance.

Cleaning Removable Cushions

The best fabric furniture option should have removable cushions. This feature allows you to take pieces inside for cleaning and maintenance. Check if you can remove the cushion cover from the foam inside. If you can, take them off before washing. Vacuum the foam and dust off the cushion cover surface. Throw it in the wash when it is free from debris. 

If you are confused about your cushions washing instructions, always check the label for more details.

Cleaning Cushions that Don’t Come Off

Truth be told, it can be quite tricky to clean cushions that do not come off of the furniture. Vacuum the surface of the cushion first. Then wet a couple of towels with warm water and liquid detergent and wipe them down. Let it sit damp for at least 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes have passed, take a soft-bristled brush and scrub the cushions. Rinse with a hose. Do not use a pressure washer as it may tear through the fabric. Wring the cushions as much as you can, and dry it off under the sun. 

An outdoor space is a great addition to your office. Without a doubt, the benefits of this feature outweigh its maintenance requirements. 

If you are still worried about maintaining your office outdoor furniture, Partnering with commercial cleaners can take the burden of cleaning off of your hands. With professionals on your team, you and your employees can have more time to enjoy your outdoor space.