What to look for while buying an office desk
Posted by Sarah on 6th Sep 2016
Turn the table on your old office desk
Your office desk is both the boundary of your personal space inside the office and your workstation. While everything else about the office décor is designed to an overall theme and bought only because it ticks all the right boxes for the company, your office desk should only tick the box for you. It will slowly become the most important piece of furniture in the entire office for you.
The office desk is an employee’s personal address at work. It is your efforts behind the desk that supplements your life outside the office. At work, the office desk is the only personal place where we feel secure. This is why it is imperative to find the right office desk for you at work. If you’re still not sure on how pivotal it is to have the right office desk for your overall well being, read on as we list down the few proven health-related benefits of using an ergonomic desk at work.
It helps curb the overall costs:
- As strange as it may sound but buying new ergonomic furniture will indeed save you money during the long run. Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) can cost a fortune. Studies have revealed that nearly one-third of company’s compensation expenses are incurred in WMSDs. Buying an ergonomic desk can help the company recover a good fraction of that amount.
It bolsters productivity:
- Injuries such as backache, shoulder pain, etc. which have a direct impact on the productivity of the employee can also be thwarted by opting for an ergonomic desk. These desks are designed to offer good postural support, optimum height, height adjustments, and less exertion during the daily tasks. You do not need a table fit for the king for it to give you the motivation to work. But a full-sized desk will go a long way in increasing your productivity.
- An improved ergonomically designed desk will certainly improve the quality of the work of employees. Lack of proper ergonomics in the current office setup will result in tiredness and fatigue-related injuries. You need ergonomically designed furniture to perform at your optimum level during long working hours.
Creates a relaxed work environment:
- If you feel uneasy at your desk, you will not be able to work freely throughout the day. Ergonomically designed furniture will make you feel comfortable and help you relax. You can focus on the work at hand without worrying about the uncomfortable furniture.
Avoid stress and injury:
- Prolonged sedentary activities such as long hours spent on the computer while repeatedly typing and watching the screen can induce stress in you.Ergonomically designed desk can help you alleviate the stress levels and even reduce the chances of injury. Yes, spending long hours slouched behind a desk can also result in injuries like pinched nerves, wrist injuries, etc.
Improved employee engagement:
- Ergonomically designed desks can help you fight fatigue and discomfort making you more social and active in a day. Having ergonomic furniture can serve as a morale booster, reduce absenteeism, and decrease the employee turnover.
Give your desk an ergonomic makeover
Not everyone is lucky enough to work in companies that opt for ergonomic consultations. You may have realized by now that your office desk in uncomfortable and is causing stress or discomfort in your body. Lucky for you, you do not have to wait for your company to make the ergonomic updates. You can take small measures which will do wonders in improving the ergonomic conditions of your office furniture.
Know your natural posture
- What is your natural posture? While most of us have been taught to sit upright, it doesn’t necessarily translate to being our natural posture. For finding your natural posture, step away from your desk and sit down on a chair. Think of sitting on a car’s passenger seat. Your hands are comfortably nested in your laps; the spine is straight, whereas your feet are comfortably placed on the floor, and your shoulders relaxed and bent backwards to the support of the seat. This is your natural posture. It is a posture you will be the most comfortable working in for long hours.
Remember to change your posture occasionally
- You should keep switching between different postures so that you do not tire yourself and give adequate rest to your body. Sitting in the same posture for long hours can also have a harmful effect. You can switch between the following three positions so that you can continue to maintain the best posture for your body. You should not feel any strain on your spine while seating in these positions.
- Sit straight: Keep your body straight, lower legs vertical, and the thighs comfortably placed on the seat.
- Recline your body: While keeping your thighs horizontal on the chair, recline your torso backwards so that it forms a 115 degrees to your thighs.
Place the frequently used items within your reach
- Place all the frequently used items on the desk within your sight and reach. You do not want to make sudden and frequent movements to reach out to grab the frequently used items on your desk. The correct placement of items on your desk also matters. You do want to be angling your head to one side for prolonged period of time. A handy tip for placement of such items is to sit back on your chair and extend the arms so that the tip of the middle finger should touch all the frequently required objects on the desk.
Keyboard and mouse placement
- The keyboard and mouse placement on your desk should be carefully done so that it allows you to be in your natural posture. They should be placed in such a way that your elbows are at your side and your arms are forming a 90-degree angle or less with the desk. This helps the muscles of your elbows to be relaxed while typing or surfing. The mouse should be placed in such a way that it is near the keyboard. Do not opt for a keyboard with numeric digits as it offsets the centre of the keyboard. The ideal height of the keyboard is one to two inches above your thighs. It is where a pull-out keyboard tray may come in very handy. If you are using a writing desk which doesn’t have a keyboard tray, try lowering the height of the table. It is ideal to use a keyboard tray with a slightly negative tile so that your arms form a downward slope in respect to your thighs. This will help you lower the chances of injuring your wrists.
Placement of your screen
- You do not want to place your monitor in close proximity to your body so that it results in eye-strain. You also do not want to place your monitor so far away that you are craning your neck to read the display. An ideal length to place your monitor is to try and use the middle finger stretch technique. Your computer’s screen should be at the finger tip’s length of the middle finger when your arms are outstretched as you sit back on your chair. If you use dual-monitor setup, place both the monitors without any gap in between them. If you use both the screens of your PC equally, place them at the centre of the table. If you use one monitor as a secondary monitor, ensure that you offset its position away from the centre of the table.
- Your monitor should be placed in such a way so that the centre of it is at the eye level or slightly below the eye level. Lower the monitor if you have to tilt your head backwards to see the screen. Ideally the monitor should be 15-20 degrees below the eye –level to give you optimum viewing angle without straining your neck.
Hide the cables
- It is time for you to put the storage cabinets and hidden compartments of your desk to good use. Collect the unwanted cables, peripherals, and stow them away in these compartments so that they do not hinder your work.
Learn about the different type of office desks
Choosing the right type of desk can be quite challenging if you do not know which desk will suit your needs better. The market is flooded with different designs of desks. To help you in your quest to find the perfect desk, we have listed down some of the popular desks you can find online at DuringDays. To sweeten the deal, you will get free home delivery of the desk of your choice to most of the major cities in Australia including Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Rockhampton, and Melbourne.
Writing desks were mainly conceived to help writers have a clutter-free space for writing and storing their documents. It serves many other functions apart from writing. It can serve additional purposes like storage, decoration, etc. Its conservative styling is designed to specifically provide you with a unique writing space with a large uncluttered desktop. It will perfectly serve your needs if you tend to work using laptops. It is also lends its visual charm to amplify any room’s ambience.
Writing desks come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. Antique writing desks command a hefty price owing to its unique charm whereas ready-to-assemble writing desks provide a great utilitarian alternative to your need for a new desk. A good writing desk can offer many handy features to its users like letter organizers which can make organizing the envelopes a breezy affair. It can come with cubby holes which is a handy feature to have for organizing your office stationaries. The drawers in the pedestals can offer you ample storage space to store your valuables, documents, and anything that you want to be out of plain sight. The keyboard tray is another handy feature to have in your writing desk if you work using a computer. Opt for a writing table with a stain-resistant surface so that you do not have to worry about the regular coffee stains while working long hours.
Choosing a perfect writing desk is a personal choice. It depends on your preference of style, features, appearance, and size. While only you will be able to pick your ultimate favourite writing desk, we have listed down below the three common types of writing desks that you may encounter during your search.
- Secretary Desk: Secretary desks or drop-down desks as they are often called are utilitarian writing desks. They do not require a lot of floor space . It resembles the appearance of a cabinet when closed. They can be easily configured for writing purposes by pulling down the writing surface which serves as the lid of the cabinet when not in use. It comes with different storage options so that you can easily stowaway the documents when the desk is not in use. Since the writing surface of these desks is not a fixed structure, you will need to empty the surface when you hinge it back again at the end of the day.
- Rolltop Writing Desk: The rolltop desk is a classical version of the writing desk which has been around for three centuries. It is bigger in size than the secretary desk. The desktop can be easily covered with linked wooden planks that roll down to cover the writing surface when not in use. Modern rolltop desks come with slots for housing computer. The rolltop can easily hide away the computer when not in use. It is a great mix of vintage style and modern design.
- Standard writing desk: Standard writing desks are the quintessential choice of desk for writers and working professionals. It offers an elegant design with great functionality and large desktop surface. It comes with drawers to give you handy storage space.
Executive desks are much bigger than the standard desk. It is the default choice of desk for decision makers and top executives in an organization because of its upscale appearance. It offers a better build quality as it mostly made of solid wood or steel and comes factory-assembled because of its added weight. They are expensive additions for an office because of the work involved in creating them. Most executive desks are made of high-quality materials like oak, maple, mahogany, cherry, and walnut wood. They come in different colours to match the office décor. They are quite appeasing to the eye and their elegant design instantly adds a chic appeal to the entire office.
Executive desks come in various styles and configurations. Each type of executive desk serves a unique purpose. Read on as we list down the different type of executive desks that you will find in the market.
- Basic executive desk: They are large desks with ample working and storage space. It comes with a flat desktop to offer you ample working space along with drawers and cabinets to store your work documents and miscellaneous stuff.
- L-shaped desk: L-shaped desks or corner desks come with an extended space which gives them their L-shaped appearance. They are made of usually two pieces. The second piece can be used as a secondary workspace with extra storage. They come in either left or right L-shape. Its unique design makes them easily fit in the corners of a room or you can also place them besides the wall in the centre of the room.
- U-shaped desk: U-shaped desks are designed to make the most of the space available in big rooms. It offers the maximum amount of work and storage space to its user because of its U-shaped design. The table is made of three different pieces which are joined together to form a U-shape. You can also convert an L-shaped table into a U-shaped table by adding a credenza to its design.
Wood has long been used to make desks. Wooden desks can be made using high-quality wood like oak and mahogany that will make it worth the investment. It will easily blend in with any décor. Desks made using high-quality wood are quite sturdy and it will serve you flawlessly for years to come. Particle wood is a cheaper and lightweight alternative to solid wood tables. It can be easily dismantled into pieces and quickly assembled again. Be advised that a solid wood table will be heavy and it will require more labour cost as compared to table made using particle wood. You can also refurbish your old wooden desks to increase its lifespan.
Steel desks are extremely durable and require minimum upkeep. It is made using stainless steel which is a popular choice of metal for furniture construction. They come in many colour, design, and sizes. They are cheaper to procure than the high-quality wooden desks. Its sleek appearance and modern design can accentuate the office décor. Steel desks offer secure storage space in its pedestals. You can also opt for sleek steel frame desks which do not offer any storage space. Its clean design will make it a nice addition for your office. While the strength of steel will make the table sturdy, you will need to protect the tables for dents and scratches as it is not so easy to repair the steel tables without professional help.
Don’t miss out on adding storage space to your office tables
Office desks are multi-utility furniture items which do not only serve your table needs, but they also double up to serve your storage requirements. In some offices, storage space is a crucial determinant while picking a new table. It offers a locked area for the employees to keep their important document. The added space provides enough room for the employee to store things neatly. There are three ways in which you can add storage options to your office desks depending on the work space available at your disposal.
- Fixed pedestals: Many tables come with single- and dual-pedestals which offer fixed storage beneath the table. This storage space is immovable because it is attached to the bottom of the table. It comes with multiple drawers of varying depths so that you can judiciously use it to store your files and documents.
- Stand-alone storage: Stand-alone storage units or credenzas are horizontal storage units consisting of pull-out file drawers. These drawers consist of pencil drawers and larger cabinets so that you can use it store a wide assortment of files, boxes, and other equipment. It is covered with two doors that can be pulled open sideways.
- Mobile pedestal files: These storage units offer the functionality of fixed pedestals with the added feature of mobility. These storage units are mounted on casters so that they can easily be wheeled away from one place to another. It offers great flexibility to you to move the storage unit from one part of the office to another whenever you require.
Shipping and Delivery
You have done all the research in picking your next office table. Sadly, your work doesn’t end with the purchase. You will still need to figure out how to get the desk transported to your office space. Luckily for you, if you are buying your desks from online websites such as DuringDays, you will get free* shipping of your furniture right to your doorstep. You can also avail the easy returns offered by such websites in case you do not like the furniture or find that you have received a defective piece.