Desk design – Evolvement over the last 10 years

Several years ago the office furniture market in the UK was quite straight forward and there were few options available for desks. Before computers became commonplace most workers used a rectangular desk with drawers and the secretaries added a return unit to house their typewriter. But as computers became the norm office furniture began to evolve to become the sophisticated products we have today.

The design of modern office furniture has been largely driven by the computer and in particular the size and type of screen used. As CRT monitors became larger office desk shapes had to change to enable operators to work straight on to the monitor. Crescent or L shape desks and wave desks were specifically designed to create depth across the curve or corner to create an ergonomic workstation. Since the introduction of flat panel monitors the shape of desks has gone full circle and we are now back to specifying rectangular desks more often.

However, the biggest change created by computers and other electronic tools is the requirement for cable management solutions to hide the multitude of cables that cover our desks today. Even with the introduction of supposed wireless solutions there still seem to be cables sprouting from the back of monitors and CPU’s.

Even though technology has driven the office furniture industry to design sophisticated shapes, complex metal leg systems and intricate cable management systems there has also evolved a range of simple and cost effective products that meet the needs of designers and end users without breaking the bank.

A good example of this trend is our MT30, MT40 and MT50 furniture ranges. These three products offer a comprehensive range of desk shapes and sizes including crescent and wave desks and also include a simple cable management system. The desks have cable outlets cut into the tops and a steel beam that joins the two legs. Vertical cable management is provided in the legs and therefore we have a simple system allowing cables to be run from the top of the desk horizontally through the cable beam and vertically through the leg to either the floor box or wall.

It is easy to spend a great deal more but in practical terms it can be difficult to justify the additional cost as a desk at twice the price will probably offer the same cable management solutions and as these entry level products feature 25mm thick tops and hard-wearing melamine surfaces they will last for many years.

Cost is usually only one of the criteria that will determine which product you finally choose and the smallest detail can affect this choice. For instance a range such as Perform has a very stylish leg detail and can be customised with coloured trim, which makes a real difference to the final look of the desk. In addition the materials used are much better quality than those found on entry level desks, although anyone but an expert would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

The latest innovation to the office furniture industry has been the development of bench desking, so called because they are created from two desks face to face using a shared frame and then add-on desk are used to create blocks of rectangular desks. Whilst the shapes are somewhat regimented these designs do allow for the most practical cable management solutions and very neat and tidy installations. We often add desk mounted screens to the centre of the bench systems and we can then mount the flat panel monitors to the screen using a toolbar and monitor arm leaving the desk top uncluttered.

So, whether your budget is large or small CH Workspace can offer a product to suit your requirement be it traditional or contemporary styling and a simple or sophisticated solution for hiding the wires. The best advice is to speak to an expert as early as possible to guide you through the multitude of products that are out there.