Office Furniture: What Makes a Great Desk? ML-109

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Your desk. If you’re like many other Americans, you sit at it for upwards of eight hours a day five days a week. But despite the fact that you spend a significant amount of your time there, you may not have ever given it much thought. That’s about to change. Read on to learn more about what makes a great desk. Does yours have what it takes?

Quality Control
Desks come in a broad range of prices. And while most expensive doesn’t necessarily mean best, cheaper desks may lack high-quality construction and materials.

One way to determine the quality of your desk? Inspect your drawers. If they don’t slide easily or the rollers feel unstable, it may be of inferior design or construction.

Wood desks featuring dovetail construction are known to be particularly strong whereas desks held together by glue or staples may not withstand the test of time.

Style Matters
While it may seems trivial, style is actually an important factor when it comes to identifying a great desk. Why? Because the more aesthetically pleasing your workspace is, the happier you’ll be at work. And happy employees are productive employees.

Furthermore, the appearance of your desk suggests a message to your co-workers and clients. Do you want to appear refined and traditional or on the cutting edge? These traits can be easily conveyed through your choice of office furniture. Executive desks, in particular, are office power players when it comes to making an impression.

Material Goods
The material of your desk matters in terms of both style and substance. It’s partly an aesthetic choice: do you prefer the look of metal or wood? But it’s also a question of function: metal and steel desks are known for their durability; the heavier they are, the sturdier they are.

Thick, high pressure laminate is an increasingly popular choice because it’s strong and less costly, but look out for cheap, thin laminate which aren’t as durable.

Many people still prefer the classic look of wood although wooden surfaces can be more vulnerable to scratches and nicks.

Comfort Counts
The best desks aren’t just comfortable, they’re ergonomic. This means that they’re designed to accommodate the needs of the worker, as opposed to the reverse. A great office desk will offer you optimal levels of support, and will be at the right height while offering ample leg room. Some desks feature adjustable leg heights to ensure a good fit. You should also make sure your office chair has ample clearance to fit underneath the desk.

Outside the Box
Traditional desks are box shaped, but contemporary desks come in all shapes and sizes — from L-shaped to U-shaped to corner. Your choice of desk shape should be governed by your workspace and workstyle. But keep in mind that if you switch offices, your desk will likely move with you so pick one that is adaptable.

Functional Features
Your desk isn’t just a place to get your work done. A good desk can actually help you work better. Look for desks with features that enhance your work process. These may include pull-out surfaces which transform a rectangular desk into an L-shaped one; built-in storage hutches; optimal drawer placement (left or right?); and channels for cords. While your needs may vary depending on the nature of your job, the ideal desk will feature some or all of these elements.

Ultimately, the term “great desk” is relative. After all, one man’s “perfect desk” is another man’s reject. That said, paying attention to these features when shopping for your next office desk can help you hone in on what’s most important to you in order to make the best desk-buying decision.

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