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7 Things to Consider Before Buying an Office Desk (Updated 2020)

7 Things to Consider Before Buying an Office Desk (Updated 2020)

Most people spend a great part of their day working on their desks. Desks offer work surfaces, spaces for computers, storage for supplies, and even armrests after typing out a long report. No matter how an office desk is used, choosing the right desk is a long-term investment as it will be the reliable companion of every employee. 

Importance of Having the Right Office Desk

Anyone who doesn’t feel at ease with their environment won’t be comfortable moving in it. As far-fetched as it might sound, the right desk can make or break productivity. Uncomfortable desks can discourage employees from working to their fullest potential. Employees might also want to spend less time on uncomfortable workstations. This can lead to low-quality and hurried outputs.

For instance, desks that are too small for the employees’ equipment can make it harder for employees to move around or to organize their stuff. This results in a cluttered workspace, which can waste an employee’s time finding their things. A disorganized workspace can even make it difficult for employees to sort their thoughts. 

Importance of Having the Right Office Desk

Having sufficient space for work, on the other hand, can help employees organize their supplies and other things easily. It can save time spent on continually rearranging and looking for things. Moreover, a clearer workspace can possibly clear the mind as well. This statement rings true for people whose workspaces usually reflect their state of mind. 

Another advantage of choosing the right office desk is the well-being of employees. Repetitive strain injuries are some of the most common work-related injuries, and they affect millions of employees from around the globe. These injuries affect various areas of the body and are often caused by repetitive tasks, forceful physical exertions, and awkward posture. 


In spite of how common these injuries are, they can be easily prevented. One of the ways to prevent these injuries is to replace old, uncomfortable desks and invest in comfortable office desks. Since employees spend a great deal of time on their desks, there’s a high chance that they’ll develop repetitive strain injuries while working on poorly designed office desks. That said, having an ergonomically designed workstation can go a long way when it comes to employees’ health and the overall productivity in the office.

Factors in Choosing Office Desks

Whether you’ve decided to replace your old, worn desk or you’re looking for a new desk for your home office, you have to consider several factors in buying office desks. Knowing these factors first before setting out to buy a new desk can help you make an informed decision. As previously mentioned, buying an office desk is a long-term investment. Having all of the necessary information about office desks can help narrow down your choices.

1. Ergonomics

Ergonomics in desk design must always be prioritized. It is most often overlooked, so it’s pretty common for most offices to have furniture with poor ergonomics. This might be the reason why repetitive strain injuries persist among employees. 

Ergonomically designed office desks can significantly boost the overall efficiency in work environments and improve the employees’ comfort. Ergonomics, also known as human factors engineering, refers to the way products are optimally designed for the needs and preferences of people. It mostly focuses on the design of office furniture, such as chairs, monitors, keyboards, and desks. Office desks, in particular, can be considered ergonomically designed when there’s sufficient leg space or clearance for feet, knees, and thighs under the desk. To clear the leg space of any obstruction, desks should have drawers or other storage spaces in which supplies can be stored. 

Sit and stand desks

Sit and stand desks are fast becoming a trend in modern workspaces. Using these desks is an effective way to prevent repetitive strain injuries caused by bad posture while unconsciously hunching over the keyboard. Sit and stand desks prevent employees from sitting for long periods and allow them to work while standing. They feature heights that can be adjusted to comfortably suit the employee’s height while sitting or standing.

2. Functionality

Apart from the physical demands of employees, choosing office desks also depends heavily on the type of work setting. In other words, desk design should be suited to the needs of the office environment to make it more conducive to work. 

Locking Drawers

For instance, a work environment that needs frequent collaboration should have an open workspace design, which consists of long desks without dividers or panels. In home offices that double as living spaces, writing desks on wheels allow users to roll them out of the room easily. Those working on various server devices should have IT workstations, which usually have shelving for different devices as well as panels for cable management. Employees who are more inclined to an independent working style can greatly benefit from working in cubicles or on credenza desks placed next to the wall. Simple desks with locking drawers or cabinets are perfect for professionals who spend more time outside the office.

When choosing desks based on the type of work environment in the office, it all boils down to what the company and employees need to create an environment conducive to work.

3. Desk Size and Office Space

Considering the space of the office is crucial when choosing desks. Of course, large desks won’t fit in an office with limited floor space. Employees will also have a hard time moving around a cramped office. Small desks, on the other hand, will easily fit in a spacious office, but the office space won’t be optimized. Furthermore, employees might be uncomfortable working on narrow work surfaces. 

Before buying an office desk, measure the entryway, stairwell, and corridor to determine if the desks can get into the office in one piece. Narrow entryways, stairwells, and corridors require desks that can easily fit through narrow spaces, such as compact desks or ready-to-assemble desks. 

Additionally, employers or employees should measure the size of the office as well as the work area of every employee. Each person must have a work area of at least 150 to 175 square feet and a desk that can perfectly fit in this space. The size of desks should also allow ample space for employees to move around the office without difficulty. 

Lastly, work surfaces must be wide enough for equipment and supplies that employees need to access every day. A standard office desk has a width of around 5 feet, which is comprised of 18 inches for laptops, 20 inches for reading or writing, and 12 inches for filing. 

Desk Size and Office Space

4. Material

Since office desks are in it for the long haul, they should be constructed with durable and quality materials. In the office furniture market, desks come in various materials, the most common of which are wood, metal, glass, and plastic. 

Desks made of wood are usually of the highest quality. They can stand the test of time, and they’re also aesthetically pleasing with their traditional appearance. The downside of wooden desks is that they’re a lot heavier than other kinds of desks. Wooden desks are also quite expensive, but given their qualities, these desks are still worth the purchase. 

While metal is mostly used as desk frames, legs, and other furniture parts, there are desks that are purely made of metal. Metal desks can be considered utilitarian and modern in design, and they perfectly fit in office interiors that lean toward an industrial style. They’re also resistant to stain, rust, and wear. Depending on the gauge of the metal used, these desks are usually long-lasting and durable.  

Glass desks have surfaces made of thick tempered glass as well as frameworks made of metal. For this reason, glass desks add a touch of sleek and modern style to any office. Fingerprints do tend to stick on glass surfaces, but they are easy to wipe off. Although these surfaces are thick enough to be durable, glass desks are not immune to shattering. 

The cheapest option of desks out there is a plastic desk. Because plastic furniture is easy to manufacture, plastic desks come in various shapes, designs, and colors. They thus offer a wide range of options at an affordable price. Compared to other kinds of desks, however, plastic desks lack durability and longevity. They also don’t offer the elegance of wooden desks or the style of glass and metal desks. 

5. Appearance

Office Desks

In businesses, first impressions, particularly on clients, are important. One of the ways to create a good first impression is to choose furniture that reflects the company’s identity. Appearances matter in businesses, so having a set of aesthetically pleasing furniture pieces can leave a lasting impression on clients. 

An example of this is having a wooden conference table in executive conference rooms. Plastic tables might give the impression that the business isn’t successful at all, while metal desks are better used as work surfaces. Wooden tables, along with their classic appearance, create an air of professionalism in the room. 

Another example of choosing furniture based on aesthetics is using stylish desks in startups. Startup companies come off as fresh and vibrant, so colorful or trendy desks are a perfect choice. 

Desks with neutral colors, such as black or grey, complement office walls with vibrant colors. For interiors with a combination of vintage and modern styles, metal desks offer a versatile and utilitarian design that can seamlessly blend in. 

Desks greatly contribute to the appearance of offices, and they reflect the culture of the company. Their designs can also enhance the working atmosphere and make employees feel comfortable while working. However, choosing office desks shouldn’t be solely based on their designs. As long as their designs complement the company’s identity, they’re good enough to be visually appealing office desks. 

6. Furniture Dealer

Like all other products, office desks should be chosen based on their brands and dealers. Office desks don’t come cheap, and choosing some for your office isn’t something to be taken lightly. That’s why doing research can go a long way. Fortunately, the information about most companies today is readily available online. 

Look up the brand and always check for product reviews. This way, you’ll know the experience of other customers who have tried and tested the brand’s products. Checking the company’s background and portfolio might sound unnecessary, but it’ll definitely help you steer clear of poorly designed low-quality desks.

In addition to reading product reviews, ask the dealer about the services that they offer. Check with them if they offer delivery, installation, and other services. It’s also best to buy office desks that come with warranties, which usually guarantee the quality of products. Moreover, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that the dealer has your back in case the office desks are defective. 

7. Available Budget

Businesses take every investment decision seriously, and buying office desks is no different. It isn’t recommended to cheap out on desks since they’ll be used by employees every day, and they contribute to the overall productivity of the working environment. It’s also not practical to buy extra expensive office desks when there are high-quality desks at a more economical price out there.

Aside from desks, there are other pieces of furniture that an office needs, such as chairs, file cabinets, and so forth. That’s why estimating the budget for every type of furniture can help you set the price for your office desks. 

AV Carts

When the budget on desks is limited, consider the office’s priorities. For instance, it isn’t worth sacrificing functionality just for aesthetics or compromising on comfort for some extra cash. If there isn’t enough budget for purchasing several office desks, why not select a few, high-quality desks? You can invest in a long office desk on which a team of employees can work and collaborate easily. You can also choose desks that offer various uses, such as workstations that double as AV carts or filing cabinets that can be used as desktops. In the future, you can always buy more office desks as your budget grows. Investing in high-quality furniture today is more practical than frequently purchasing replacements in the future. 

Choosing the Right Office Desk

Generally speaking, the right office desk isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Choosing the right desk depends on the needs, priorities, and preferences of the office, work environment, and employees. Given all of the factors mentioned, office desks must at least be comfortable, functional, wide enough, and durable. They should also be bought from reliable dealers at the best possible price. 

Buying the right desks for your office can enhance the overall efficiency of the work environment. It can also improve the comfort and even the well-being of employees, which in turn can boost productivity. 

With countless options for office desks out there, it tends to be pretty difficult to single out the best one for your office. Luckily, Engineer Warehouse has carefully selected various office desks from the best brands. Browse through our online catalog to find high-quality office desks for your business. They’re guaranteed to contribute to your company’s productivity and your employees’ comfort.

Choosing the Right Office Desk


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