Office desk buyer's guide
Looking for the right office desk for your workplace but don’t know where to begin? Our guide can help you find a desk that suits you.
Buying an office desk that suits your space, working style and budget can be a difficult task. With so many options available - from style to size, shape to function - it can be challenging to know what the best option is or even where to begin with making a decision. As the wrong decision can have a huge impact on your comfort, as well as your business, you want to ensure you’re opting for the right desk straight off the bat.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered together our expert knowledge to create an informative guide covering everything you need to know when buying a desk.
Desk types explained
What are the most common desk types available?
While you’ll need to know how much space you have in order to determine the size of your desk, you also need to be aware of the different types of desks that are available. There are a lot more options than a typical rectangular desk, some of which may suit you and your space better.
Here are some of the most common desk types currently available and why they might be the best option:
Created to originally accommodate old-style monitors that required more space, Wave desks are deeper on one side - hence the name ‘wave’. While most people are now using sleeker computer equipment, this style of desk is still popular as it provides a larger work surface without taking up a huge amount of room. They can also give you a bit more legroom and space for integrated storage.
However, because one part of the desk is deeper, they do take up a bit more room, which you need to factor in. If you’re short on space, it may be that a wave desk isn’t the best option and that a more compact design is better suited.
Providing a larger workspace, corner desks - as the name suggests - are designed to sit in the corner of a room. They can enable you to make full use of your available space, which is particularly useful in small offices or multi-use rooms. You can also use corner desks to create banks of desks, making them useful for open-plan offices.
Corner desks generally come in left or right-hand orientations, so you’ll need to consider which option better suits your space.
Typically rectangular desks, bench desks are designed to be laid out in rows, making them a great option for both individual desks or for full offices. They are smaller than corner desks and can be a more cost-effective option, especially if you are kitting out a large office. You’ll also find that they are a versatile choice, available with various leg types and in a range of sizes.
Another big plus is that you can easily add to a bank of bench desks simply by adding a few more. This means they are the ideal choice if you are planning to grow your business and bring in more team members.
Similar to bench desks, back-to-back desks are designed to create banks of desks. However, unlike individual desks, they provide a workspace for multiple people, meaning you don’t need to purchase separate desks to put together.
You can get this style of desk in smaller units designed for two people or go big with single desks for eight or more workers. They are great for setting teams up, encouraging collaboration and for using as a meeting table as and when required.
Based on ergonomic design, height-adjustable desks can be taken from a seated to standing position, usually at the press of a button. While previously this type of desk required manual adjustment, most now feature electronic motors, so you can easily adjust the height of your desk.
While they are one of the more expensive desk types on the market, adjustable desks are aimed at improving your health by making it easy to avoid sitting down all day. They are a good investment for home offices that see a lot of use, as well as for dynamic workplaces.
Home office desk
Even if you have a dedicated home office, it’s unlikely that you’ll have as much space as you would in a corporate office. This means that typical office desks aren’t going to be the best option for your home. To help solve this, home office desks provide a more compact workspace, taking up less room while still allowing you to work comfortably.
Designed to be narrower, this type of desk is ideal for positioning against walls, using in multi-use spaces and serving as occasional desks. However, if you have a lot of computer equipment or a paper-heavy job, you may not find they are the best fit.
What should you consider when looking for a desk?
There is a lot to think about when looking for a suitable office desk or for office desking solutions. From the industry you work in to the way your employees work, every little factor can impact your decision. Here are some of the common considerations you need to bear in mind when buying your desk:
Different jobs require desks in different sizes, not to mention the fact that the space you have available may limit how big a desk can be. If you require a lot of equipment, multiple monitors and space for paperwork, it goes without saying that a larger desk will be needed. In comparison, if you aren’t using your desk every day or only have a laptop, you may find that a smaller option is better suited.
When looking at desk measurements, it is generally better to overestimate how big you’ll need your office desk to be. After all, opting for a desk that is too small will cause more problems in the long run. If you’re looking for desks for employees, larger desks will also be more comfortable, suit more working styles and provide a greater degree of flexibility. This obviously doesn’t mean you need huge desks, especially as computer equipment becomes more compact, but you don’t want to confine your team to a small area that doesn’t encourage productivity.
The size and layout of your office will impact how big your desks can be, as well as the type, ensuring that everyone in the office has enough room to be comfortable and being able to provide the necessary storage - all while minimising wasted space. You’ll also need to ensure you’re factoring in how big your desk chars are and how much room you are providing for manoeuvrability.
All of this can mean that you’re best off splitting your office up and purchasing different styles or shapes of desk in order to cater for different roles and team sizes. You can easily do this while still creating a cohesive look by ordering a mix of desks that feature the same colour desk top and leg type.
The feel of your business
Desks are a big part of the overall office space, which means they can say something about your business. The style you choose can be used help define the overall feel and image of your company - an important factor for potential employees and visiting clients or partners.
If you have a more traditional business that has multiple departments or individual offices or cubicles, you may find that having larger, separate desks in different styles can help to define each room or workspace.
Alternatively, more creative and contemporary companies that opt for an open-plan design may find that bench desks or back-to-back desks are a better option. These help to promote collaboration, are ideal for workplaces that utilise flexible working and can suit multi-function offices.
Brand, style, colour and aesthetics
Design an office that reflects your brand
Everything about the look and feel of your office directly reflects your brand, so you should consider how you want your brand to come across to those visiting your workspace. While the type and size of desk you choose should be practical, the colour, leg style and accompanying furniture should be looked at from a brand point of view.
Choosing the right colours, materials and finishes can impact someone’s first impression of your business, as well as have an effect on employee morale. You may think that simply choosing a traditional woodgrain or simple white desk will make life easier and allow you to put your office together quickly, but it may not fit with your overall brand image.
You need to think about the type of business you have and how you want it to be perceived, which is why you need to consider these two factors:
Materials and finishes
Office desks are now available in more materials and finishes than ever before, offering more options for your budget but also your brand image. From solid wood desks to those made out of reclaimed timber and more cost-effective MDC with printed finishes, you can find a huge range of material choices for your office desks.
The materials that you choose not only need to be aligned with your budget, they also need to suit the branding of your business, as well as match the rest of your office furniture. Choosing the right material and finish will ensure you are able to create the right working environment, along with the best atmosphere for your clients.
It is a good idea to get samples where possible, so you can be sure that your desks work with the rest of your furniture and the overall design of your office.
Desks don’t just have to be traditional woodgrain, black or white. There are a lot of different colour options, which can allow you to update your office and reflect your brand. Whether you choose desks that come in a vibrant shade or team them with attached storage that injects some colour, you can easily inject some style into your space.
Coloured desks can allow you to reflect your branding or showcase which team or department is located where. When you combine colourful desks with matching storage and other office furniture, you can create a vibrant office that helps to encourage productivity.
The important details
Practical considerations for your office
Desks aren’t the only thing you need in your office in order to make it functional and suitable for possible future business growth. As office furniture is a big investment, you should ensure that your choices will last and remain suitable for the long-term. So beyond the size, shape and style of your desk, here are a few other things you need to consider:
Even with the shift toward more digital ways of working, you’ll still need to provide adequate office storage options. From paperwork to equipment, there is a lot in an office that requires storage space, so you need to think about what types of storage are required and how much room you have.
Cupboards, bookcases and filing cabinets are good options for general office storage, but you should also consider personal storage for each person in the workplace. Failing to provide personal storage can mean that desks get cluttered, paperwork isn’t kept secure and equipment can get lost.
Desks with attached pedestals or with matching mobile pedestals can be a great option that doesn’t take up too much extra room. They offer a neat solution that means you have more space for other required storage and can stop your office from looking untidy.
As with every part of your business, you want to consider possible future expansion when buying your office desks. Although you may ultimately move to a larger office, it is likely that you’ll first find that your team grows while you are in your current space. This means you’ll need to be able to fit more desks in your office while still ensuring a comfortable environment.
To prepare for this, you should consider the best desk types and layout in order to allow you to expand your team down the line. A flexible desking option, such as bench desks and back-to-back desks, can make expansion easier while still providing flexibility when it comes to the layout of your office.
You also want to ensure that the desks you choose are of high quality so they will withstand regular use but also possibly being moved to a new office space in the future.
Budget, price and value
Just as with any businesses expenses, you need to ensure your desking fits with your budget and provides good value. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the cheapest desk is the best option.
You need to choose desks with the long-term in mind rather than short-term savings. Although a cheaper desk may save you money now, it may cost you more in the future as you’ll likely find it doesn’t last long and will need to be replaced. Not only is this inconvenient, but it could also result in you needing to kit out your office again from scratch.
When it comes to desks and office furniture, you get what you pay for. This means that paying out for a higher-quality desk could ensure you save money in the future as it will last for longer.
Quality office desks from Bluespot Furniture
Whether you know exactly what you want from your office desk or you need some help finding the right option, we’re here to help.
With a range of options available, from single desks right up to eight-person setups, our expert team can provide the support and advice you need to create the perfect office space that suits your needs and budget.
All of our desks are manufactured right here in the UK to the highest possible standards using FSC sustainable-certified wood. From the cheapest to the most expensive, they all come with a 10-year guarantee, so you know they are built to last and that help is there if you need it.
As well as a huge choice in terms of desk style, colour and finish, we also provide delivery options that suit you. We can deliver as quickly as next day or provide a complete delivery and installation service for larger orders.
To see how we can help you find the desking solution that works for you, contact our team today.