How to choose the best office desk
Desks come in all different shapes and sizes. It is easy to think that you just need to pick one that looks the way you want and fits into your space, but there are other things to consider. While at work, we spend many hours sitting at our desks, so how do you find a desk that not only looks the part but also suits the workspace and your daily tasks?
TWO IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
How much time will you spend at your desk on an average day?
If you only sit at your desk for a couple of hours a day, the desk won’t need to be so large or hardwearing. This means you can probably get away with choosing one based simply on the style you like best. On the other hand, if you work there from morning to evening, you need to think more carefully about size, design, quality, and functionality. You may also want to think about upgrading to a sit-stand desk if you work long hours to prevent damaging sedentary behaviour.
What do you need to have close at hand when you work?
If you need to fit a lot of things on your desk, such as a desktop computer as well as any portable devices, a landline phone, letter trays for paperwork and more, you will need to choose a large desktop to accommodate everything. However, if you only have a laptop and a mobile, then you can easily work at a much smaller desk and save space in the office for other things – storage if you need it or perhaps a comfy sofa. Of course, this will also depend on how much space is available in the office. If you have limited floor space but need plenty of workspace, think about choosing a desk of a different shape or fitting a rail to your desk screen to clear some space.
Straight or rectangular desktop
Rectangular desks are space-efficient and are often used in offices where there is limited space. They are ideal for back-to-back placement when creating a bank of workstations and can be easily separated with partitions and screens.
Office desks with a wave desktop let you sit closer to your work area, which gives you a comfortable and ergonomic working position with good support for your arms.
Ergonomic corner desks or the larger L-shaped models fit well in awkwardly shaped rooms where you want to take advantage of corner spaces, leaving the central floor area clear for a meeting table, for example. For people who need to refer to paperwork or files at their workstation, this set up gives plenty of room to do so without it feeling cramped. An L-shaped design is also perfect for holding meetings directly at your desk.
Choosing the colour and wood type
Most office desks nowadays are made with a laminate finish. Laminate is an easy-care material designed to look like real wood that does not fade or scratch and will stand up to daily use in busy offices. If you spill your morning coffee on laminate or forget to use a coaster, there is no need to worry as it will just wipe clean. Alternatively, veneer is finished with a thin layer of real wood. Being real wood, it will look more natural. However, over time veneer will fade from exposure to light and can mark easily. It is generally better for executive offices or boardroom tables than everyday office use.
Both materials are available in a spectrum of wood colours, but laminate also comes in more modern tones of black, white and grey – a popular choice in the modern office.
FEATURES AND ACCESSORIES
Living a sedentary lifestyle presents one of the great health hazards of our time and sitting in front of a desk all day is one of the biggest risk factors. Fortunately, this can be counteracted by using active office furniture, such as a sit-stand desk, while you work. Switching between sitting and standing during the day is a perfect way to keep your body moving and avoid the aches and pains associated with being in the same position all day. Standing desks are more expensive than standard desks but there are good-value options available on the market, such as the ones from AJ Products, and they are a worthwhile long-term investment in your health and wellbeing. From a business perspective, they have been shown to boost productivity.
A desk tool rail is an innovative way to get your computer screen or laptop off your desktop so that you have more workspace. You may also be able to fit a letter tray for any loose paperwork. The rail sits at the back of the worktop and is integrated into a desk screen at a comfortable height for viewing the screen. If you can’t fit a bigger desk because you have limited floor space but always find yourself short of space to work, this is a simple but very effective solution.
Other simple additions could also make your work more efficient and organised: a drawer unit that fits next to or under the desktop for stationery and important papers, a cable tray to prevent messy tangled wires or a monitor arm to ensure your screen is at the right height, there are lots of options available for you to customise your workspace. Add personal touches such as family photos, a plant or holiday keepsakes so you feel at home at work.
Don’t work around your desk, make sure your desk works for you!