After you receive the promotion of your dreams, you might be excited to crack open a catalogue and pick out a new desk. Unfortunately, if you choose office furniture without being able to see or feel it in person, you might regret your purchase later. Here are two things to consider before you start shopping, so that your office can be a functional, beautiful space:
When you think about ergonomics, you might imagine strangely shaped keyboards or state-of-the-art chairs. However, unless you want to deal with an uncomfortable workstation, ergonomics are crucial when it comes to your desk design too. Here are a few ergonomic considerations that might make or break your workday:
- Desk Height: Most desks are 28 to 30 inches high, which will accommodate a worker that is between 5'8" and 5'10" tall. However, if you fall outside of that height range, you might need a shorter or a taller desk. If you choose too short of a desk, your knees might ram into the edge of the frame. If you choose too tall of a desk, you might end up reaching to use your computer. As a general rule of thumb, look for a desk that allows you to rest your palms comfortably on the surface when you are seated and your arms are relaxed.
- Distance from Computer Screen: Issues with viewing distance can do a lot more than make it hard for you to read your emails. Believe it or not, being too far away from your computer monitor can also cause eyestrain and muscle stress—because you will have to lean to see your work. To avoid workplace injuries, OSHA recommends a monitor viewing distance of between 20 and 40 inches.
- Keyboard Orientation: That rollaway keyboard tray might look pretty sleek, but how comfortable will you be when you type? Avoid computer desks with awkward, hard-to-reach keyboard trays. If you have to twist to type, or your chair won't fit under the tray, it might make it less comfortable to work.
One of the best ways to find an ergonomic desk is to spend some time trying out different varieties. Since the size and scale of a desk can be hard to determine online, look for an office furniture store that has an in-person showroom. If you really want a real-world experience, bring along your laptop or keyboard to imitate your day-to-day activities in the store.
2: Storage Space
When it comes to your new desk, you might be more focused on finding a sleek design than you are about finding a space for your papers. However, if you don't take storage concerns seriously, your new office won't look nice and new for very long. Here are a few reasons to look for a desk with adequate desk storage:
- Files: In addition to potentially cluttering up your workspace, budget documents and employee records need to be kept private. Look for a desk that contains a separate, locking file drawer so that you can keep crucial documents safe and sound.
- Computer Equipment: Hard drives, computer cables, and printers might make it possible for you to do your work, but they might also take up extra space and pose trip and fall hazards. Try to find a desk that has space for your key equipment so that it won't get in the way.
- Personal Belongings: Unless you have a large office and free reign of the décor, you might also need a place to stash personal belongings like your purse, cell phone, and pictures of your kids.
As you shop, remember that your storage requirements might shift over time. For example, your computer or printer might be upgraded in the future, or you might need someplace to store a winter jacket. Look for a desk that gives you a little room to grow—so that you aren't cramped later.
By finding the perfect desk, you might be able to personalize your office without sacrificing comfort. For more ideas, visit local office furniture retailers.