Tag Archives: electric desks

Cable management for your office furniture

Most businesses, when budgeting for their new office furniture, don’t always allow an amount to cover any additional cable management requirements which they may have.
Most office desks will have some form of cable management, although on some of the budget office desks, the facilities will be somewhat limited.
So you should spend some time to work out exactly how your new office desks will be used, and what level of cable management you will require.  Different styles of desk need different forms of cable management so it is important to get it right before deciding on they style of desk you like.
Also you need to look at you current office wiring, as perimeter cabling and  floor boxes need different cable management systems.

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Office furniture innovations

Its not often that something comes along in  our  industry that is truly unique and exciting but we think that we have found it.

In reality it is more “office furniture meets technology” than just a different take on an office desk, but nevertheless it is truly groundbreaking and if priced correctly, could be the next big thing to hit offices all over the world.

The Company which came up with it is FG Technology in Northampton, who are a business partner of ours. They have been working  for years on improving  our workspace and have come up with various innovative products and designs in the past.

So what have they come up with this time?

Well,  the picture on the right gives you a clue. By using a remote control unit the CPU at each workstation can be moved to a central location up to 20 metres away.  So all you need at your desk is a small receiver/transmitter unit, which also houses the disk drive, usb points and other connections.

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Office desks- don’t forget cable management

Many people, when buying office desks, just look for something they like, and  which is within their budget, without thinking how important cable management can be.

In the brochures, on line or even in the showroom the desks look great – clutterfree, with just one laptop sitting on the desk. Most of the time the lap laptop doesn’t even have a power cable attached.

There are people out there who really can just use a laptop on their desk, without having to plus anything in.  The battery is fully charged, the wireless internet and printer is working fine, and they don’t need a larger screen, but in our experience there are not many people like this.

More often than not the laptop battery is nearly dead, as is their mobile battery, and as anyone who uses the same desk for a long period of time each week will agree, eventually the small keyboard and screen on the laptop means that full sized versions are soon required, and then power will be required.

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Electric height adjustable desks

The market for height adjustable desks is growing steadily in the UK and we have been developing new products to cater for this increased demand.

Due to the complexity of these desks and the fact that motors and drive systems are involved , these electric height adjustable desks are considerably more expensive than a standard operator desk. 

So in order to keep the overall costs down at the budget end of the electric desk range you would usually see a single motor ( not dissimilar to a cars windscreen wiper motor) fixed into one leg, with  a metal drive shaft operating a worm gear in the other leg. 

This design does have its problems due to its inherent design, namely unequal lifting height of the desktop, when under load, and sticking or jerky mechanisms when the load is on one side of the desk top

So whilst being cheap, this design is not the best  for long term reliability, and users can become frustrated with the less than perfect operating mechanism, and even regret their decision about their office furniture.
The best electric height adjustable desks are the ones which have a motor built into each leg, and each leg is moved up and down via a sealed chain and cogs system, hidden inside the desk leg frame.

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Height adjustable desks

We have a great deal more enquiries for height adjustable desks nowadays, and a good range of products to suit all requirements and budgets.

It seems that more and more workers are becoming aware of the advantages of height adjustable desks, but we should pointy out that there are distinct advantages and disadvantages with the different types of height adjustability.

In general though the advantage of having the desk height adjustable as well as your office chair is that you are one step nearer to acheiving your ergonomically perfect workstation

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Office furniture cable management

This area of our business is the area which causes many  headaches.

Many customers specify top end desking systems and then fail to use the sophisticated cable management systems that they provide.
For instance sliding top desks are really useful if you need to get at your cabling on a regular basis, but no good if you have radial desks and desk height pedestals.

We have also seen sliding top bench desks specified and then fitted with central and intermediate desk top fabric screens. These units, when fitted, mean that the sliding top wont slide, which negates the point of buying them in the first place.

So we usually start a new project by looking at what the client actually needs with regard to cable management for most of the time.

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Height adjustable tables with thought

For many years we have been selling height adjustable tables, or more precisely electrically height adjustable desks  from our main office furniture site, but not without some problems.

Our main source of height adjustable tables is a Danish company called Conset, and although cheap, their product range is a not very specialised.

Their products, like all things based on price, are a little compromised and therefore the purchaser needs to make some allowance for this. For instance on certain sizes of height adjustable desk the desk frame actually partly blocks the cable port. To a normal person this would be regarded as a bad design but this height adjustable desk manufacturer is willing to accept slight flaws such as these on the basis of cheaper manufacturing costs ( and presumably less intelligent designers).

The other area where these desks have more serious problems, is where they are purchased, for example, by wheelchair users who need an electrically height adjustable desk in order just to get on with their life. The Conset  height adjustable desks all have horizontal support beams between the height adjustable legs, which reduce the amount of leg room available. This also restricts the amount of under desk space for CPU’s especially when using a CPU cradle, as the CPU has to be positioned in front of the support beam.

So if you are just after some height adjustable office furniture then in most cases their  products will fit the bill.

However, should you be looking for a height adjustable desk which has been specifically designed for a wheelchair user, then Scanflex have some very interesting and very clever products.

We will be dealing with their product range in greater detail later but  one of their products which we are very excited  about is a four  legged height adjustable desk or table, where each of the rectangular legs are height adjustable, and all operated at the same time by one control.
The legs are fixed to a box section perimeter frame, which will support all kinds of standard office desk tops. These box section frames are available in any length which allows for maximum flexibility. And best of all, the perimeter frame gives the user of the desk, the maximum amount of under desk space, and cable ports can be situated anywhere without risking being blocked by the steel frame. Plus there is plenty of room to accommodate a mobile pedestal  ( drawer unit on wheels) under the desk as well

This height adjustable desk or table and many other clever designs can be seen at on their website at www.scanflex.co.uk

Buying a Height Adjustable Desk

There are many reasons why you might want to buy a height adjustable desk. A standard desk is about 72cm high and is designed for people of average height and reasonable mobility. An enlightened employer

Linnea Height Adjustable Bench Desk
Linnea Height Adjustable Bench Desk

may want to have office furniture which is adapted to suit workers outside the averages or with reduced mobility. In fact, many people interpret recent legislation regarding health and safety at work and disability discrimination as requiring employers to make height adjustable desks available to those who require them. Some classes of workers often want to use sit-stand desks, ie desks which can be easily transformed for use either sitting or standing. Many graphic designers, architects etc prefer to work in this manner.

There are basically three different types of height adjustable desk: fit-and-forget, mechanical and electrical. I will describe each in turn.

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Cabling solutions for your desk

Most desks are sold with, at best, a very limited cable management system, but more often with nothing at all.  A simple system might be a horizontal beam system for your cables and power sockets, and two cable ports in the desk top to get the wires onto the desk.

Sometimes you might even get a vertical section of trunking which will tidy away the wires from the floor up to the underside of the  desk.
But effective cabling on any desk is essential for ease of use and for safety.  And once the power and data has been successfully brought up to underneath the desk, what then ?

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