Don’t know your carcass from your caster? Make shopping for office furniture easier with our helpful jargon buster. When it comes to buying office furniture, unless you’re in the business, you’ll probably encounter a few phrases that don’t mean a lot to you. There is all sorts of jargon that is used to describe types of furniture, individual parts or uses, which can leave you a bit confused as to what the right choice for you is. To try and make buying your office furniture online as easy as possible, we’ve gathered together the phrases that our customers ask us about to provide you with a jargon buster. A Acoustical Panel A furniture panel that absorbs sound to help create a quieter office and improve your workplace’s Sound Transmission Class (STC). Arch handle A handle used on drawers that it shaped so it curves outward from the drawer surface. Adjustable arms Often available on office chairs, this means that the arms can be adjusted for increased comfort. Adjustable arms may allow you to change the height or width of the arms, provide a swivel feature or be slidable. It is worth checking with adjustments are available for the chair you’re looking at. B Back pitch This is the angle of an office chair’s back in relation to the seat and can affect how comfortable you find your chair. Some chairs allow you to adjust this. C Cable management Cable management means that a desk or other item of storage provides a way of keeping the cables and wiring of any electrical equipment tidy. For example, our desks provide cable management ports or slots to allow for your computer setup. Our Cantilever Deluxe legs, also have built-in cable management to avoid visible dangling wires while we also provide cable management trays that can be added to your desk. Cantilever desk A cantilever desk has C-shaped legs rather than four individual legs. They provide a stable workspace that allows for freedom of movement when sitting at your desk. Carcass This refers to the frame or body of a piece of storage furniture, such as a pedestal or filing cabinet. Caster Casters are the wheels attached to the bottom of furniture – such as chairs, pedestals and tables – to allow for mobility. Combination cupboards Our combination cupboards allow you to choose from three different storage types in one unit. You can combine shelves, drawers and cupboards to create the ideal storage solution for your needs. D Desk divider Desk dividers or desk screens are used for separating desks and providing additional privacy. They are a great addition to back to back desks or in offices that have rows or banks of desks set up, as they allow for collaborating working while allowing for defined individual workspaces. Desk depth We often get asked what the difference between depth and width is. Desk depth is measured from front to back as though you are using the desk. You can learn more about desk measurements by taking a look at our helpful guide. E Empire handle Empire handles are used on drawers and are flat, rectangular handles that are set horizontally. Ergonomic You hear a lot about ergonomic furniture but what it essentially means is the furniture is designed to provide comfort and the right support to avoid injury or physical stress. It is a good idea to ensure your office furniture is ergonomic to help support extended use. F Fixed arm chairs The opposite of adjustable arms, these chairs feature static arms that cannot be moved or adjusted in any way. Fixed chair base Fixed base chairs have no casters (wheels) so they are designed to stay in position. Foolscap filing Foolscap refers to files that are larger than A4. This type of filing is easy-to-use as it allows you to store your files without having to ensure all the pages are lined up in order to fit. Flip-top table A flip-top table is a great option if you need a temporary table or some flexibility in your layout. These tables are designed so the tabletop can flip 90 degrees so you can store it vertically when it isn’t needed. G Glides/levels Sometimes referred to as levels, glides are the small, adjustable feet on large pieces of furniture that allow you to ensure they sit levelly on a surface. They tend to only offer a small level of adjustment, but enough to ensure your workspace, for example, is flat on an uneven floor. L Laminate Laminate is a coating used on office furniture to provide added durability and protection. Loop handle A loop handle is a rounded handle used on office storage drawers. This type of handle curves outwards from the drawer’s surface. Lumbar support Lumbar support is an important part of ergonomic design when it comes to chairs. It is found in the lower part of a chair so that it provides extra pressure for the lower back. This helps to maintain the spine’s natural curve in order to reduce pain and discomfort. M Melamine This is a plastic resin that is used as coating for direct pressure laminate. It is also used between layers of high-density laminate. Mesh back Mesh back is used in reference to office chairs that have a breathable, mesh material on the back support. This material stretches to allow for improved comfort and support, as well as temperature control. MFC MFC stands for melamine faced chipboard, which is the material we manufacture all of our wooden furniture from. MFC is a composite wood that is made by mixing wood chips with the strong melamine resin to create hardwearing and durable boards. All of the wood we use in our MFC is FSC-approved and our wooden furniture comes with a 10-year guarantee. Mobile pedestal A mobile pedestal is a storage unit with drawers that comes with casters (wheels) to provide mobility. They are often used as under desk storage and are ideal if you need flexibility. Modesty panel Modesty panels are the panels underneath the desk top at the back of the desk. They are designed to provide an extra level of privacy underneath the work surface and are a good option for rows and banks of desks. Modular furniture Modular furniture is essentially a set of various types of furniture that can be tailored to fit your space and suit your needs. You are able to assemble and disassemble modular furniture to suit your needs and the layout of your workspace. It allows a great level of flexibility as you can easily add extra furniture or remove pieces as required. O Open-plan Open-plan refers to most modern workplaces. An open-plan office is an open working environment that makes use of banks of desks rather than individual offices or cubicles. It is a beneficial layout option to make the most of your space and to encourage cross-team collaboration. Overhead storage This type of storage sits above desks and workspaces, providing additional storage space without taking up additional room. Our Home Work desks provide overhead storage options that allow you to create an all-in-one office at home. P Pedestal A pedestal is a storage unit with drawers that is commonly used alongside desks to provide personal storage. We have storage pedestals available in a range of sizes to suit your needs and available space. Pedestal desk Pedestal desks provide a workspace and storage through the attached storage pedestals underneath. You can get single or double pedestal desks, depending on your needs, which provide you with storage drawers, as well as plenty of legroom to allow for comfortable working. R Radial desk Another name for a corner desk or workstation desk, a radial desk is designed to provide a larger worktop, with a larger return portion of the desk on one side. They can fit in a corner to make the most of your pace or be used to create banks of desks in a shared office. You can get radial desks in left or right-hand orientations to suit your space. Reception station A reception station is a large workstation that is suitable for a reception area. It tends to include a desk top, storage and a standing-height work surface for visitors. Return The longer side of a corner, radial or workstation desk is referred to as a ‘return’. Rounded square handle This type of handle is used on drawers and has a rounded, rectangular design. S Sit-stand desk Another name for a height-adjustable desk, a sit-stand desk is able to be adjusted to be used in a standing position. An item of ergonomic office furniture, this type of desk comes with a button that you press to make the adjustment easy. It is a great option if you want to avoid sitting for long periods of time or if you require a desk that is higher than average. Sled base Often featured on meeting room, reception or cafe chairs, a sled base is a chair base that has u-shaped legs. They provide a good level of stability and modern design. Support column This is a single straight leg that is used to support corner desks, multiple-person back-to-back desks and other work surfaces to ensure stability. Swivel This is a common function on office chairs that allows someone to turn 360-degrees while seated. This freedom of movement provides added comfort and makes collaborative working easier. T Task chair Task chairs are fairly standard office chairs – such as our Ava chair – providing a good level of comfort, support and flexibility. They may come with features like swivel, adjustable seat height and other options. Tension control A feature often included on office chairs, tension control refers to a knob usually found under the seat of the chair that allows you to adjust the level of resistance the chair has when you are leaning back. You can use it to ensure your chair is as comfortable as possible. U Upholstered back Chairs with an upholstered back feature a padded cushion on the back that is wrapped in fabric. Our upholstered chairs come with a variety of different colour options. Upholstered seat As with upholstered back chairs, office chairs with upholstered seats have a padded cushion on the seat that has been wrapped in fabric. W Wave desk A wave desk features a section of desk top that forms a wave-shape. This type of desk provides a larger work surface, with one side of the desk coming with greater depth than the other. It is a great option if you need room for extra equipment and you can choose between right or left-handed orientation. Can’t find the phrase that has you confused? Let us know! We’re always happy to help so send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call on 0800 093 0115 or start a live chat.