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Choosing an Office Desk

Office desks are widely available to buy online and more and more businesses are taking advantage of internet discount prices but which desk is right for your office? Careful selection can ensure that you get the most from your office environment.
Selecting an office desk may seem a simple task but with so many shapes, sizes, and styles available, it may prove to be more of a challenge than initially expected. Here are a few points that you really should consider before making your choice:

  • Desk shape
  • Desk size
  • Materials
  • Leg style
  • Cable management
  • Modesty panels
  • Dividing screens
  • Quality
  • Price

Choosing the size and shape of your desk should be a consideration of personal style - how do you want your office to look - with a practical consideration of the space available - how many desks do I need in the office? If you are constricted by space, many compact design office desks are widely available. Rectangular bench desks offer an excellent space-saving design coupled with shared structural components to reduce costs. Call center pods, usually in circular clusters of between four and eight decks are another compact, space-saving option. If you have more space, ergonomically shaped desks such as single wave, double wave, and radial - or crescent - desks provide a stylish office look with plenty of desk area. Desk sizes usually vary between 600mm to 1000mm deep and are available in widths between 800mm and 2000mm. If standard under desk pedestal drawers is to be used, 1400mm wide desks are the minimum I would recommend providing adequate legroom. If narrow pedestals are to be used, 1200mm wide desks are the minimum width I would recommend.
The materials used for your desks are largely a personal choice, influenced by the look you wish to achieve. Melamine-faced chipboard (MFC) is the most common material used and is usually available in a wide range of wood effect finishes and some basic colors. Laminate desks finishes are usually slightly more expensive and offer some additional color choices. Solid wood desks tend to be very expensive and are usually reserved for executive offices. A cheaper alternative is a wood veneer desk - a cheaper material, such as chipboard, with a very thin layer of real wood applied. An important indication of quality is the thickness of the desktop. Thickness can vary between 18mm and 30mm depending on the quality of the desk. This can determine the rigidity of the desk and a 25mm minimum is recommended unless the office desk has a strong under-frame.
The leg style of the desk can also affect the strength and rigidity of the product. Cantilever leg office desks are an entry-level style offering plenty of legroom, usually at a low cost. Once again, an indication of quality is a double cantilever leg, with two upright support columns at each side of the desk frame. Another thing to look for is a support beam under the desk. This is common on 'I' frame desks and bench desks and provides excellent strength for the work-top.
Other considerations are modesty panels and cable management. A modesty panel screens the front edge and sometimes the sides of the desk to prevent seeing underneath. Modesty panels are often included as part of the desk design but are sometimes an optional extra. Cable management allows the power and data cables for your computers and other equipment to be hidden from sight in a tray under the desk or, in some office desk designs, through the leg frame itself.
If you wish to attach dividing screens to your desks, ensure that a good quality screen system is compatible. Screens are usually compatible with 25mm worktops and most modern desk manufacturers offer a screen system to suit their desk ranges. Dividing screens with management rails - to mount monitors or filing trays - often require return screens for stability.
The quality of an office desk and the price are undoubtedly linked and costs can vary considerably depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the product. Investing in good quality office furniture which should last for many years, makes economic sense in the long-term.
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