Choosing new open concept desk can be intimidating. The process is no small task. As much as we may wish it was, it’s not like picking out a new outfit or hairstyle. You can’t switch it weeks later when you have a better idea.
Your new office furniture is supposed to last for years; it’s certainly not a decision to rush. Making an educated decision based on modern knowledge and products is essential since no one enjoys buyer’s remorse. Bear in mind the value of great office furniture lies not only in functionality but also in how it changes the look and feel of your space. Each type of furniture has its own unique considerations.
In this article, we cover open-concept desks specifically.
You should consider several factors when choosing desks. You will want to include the needs of your staffers, how you want them to function, your budget, and the way you want your clients and prospective employees to perceive your office space.
Not sure what factors are needed to choose the right open-concept desk for your space? Below, we go over the top three things to look for. Alternatively, you can use the office design services provided by COI.
The first consideration is desk size. Avoid choosing a desk that is too small to hold a computer and still have room for other items that you may use during the day and allowing room to work. Select a desk that is big enough to furnish the work surface you need, at the same time, avoid choosing one that is so big that you waste space. Enormous desks can be visually overwhelming, and they can waste precious real estate that you could use for other furniture items.
How will the open concept desk be used?
- Shared Desks: Designed for two or three employees who work together regularly and benefit from spontaneous and planned collaboration. You might see spine-based systems with moveable monitors and freestanding furniture, which enable workgroups to easily reconfigure their workstation as needs shift without disturbing power and data infrastructure. You can also facilitate shared work with adjacent desktops or an extension top for the occasional visitor. Storage components or panels are commonly used to create the boundaries of shared work areas.
- Team Planning: This concept integrates both primary workstations and collaborative spaces for bigger groups who need constant communication. A ‘big table’ arrangement encourages open and frequent exchanges for a team of four to eight workers. Having nearby standing-height tables or lower storage islands will offer alternative group work settings.
- Versatile: The continuous tops of a classic bench plan or a conference table can accommodate any number of workers and are perfect for free-address facilities. Technology spines distribute power, data, and communications while translucent glass just above desk height can form the boundaries of a team workspaces.
Be sure to consider your storage needs when choosing an open concept desk. A desk with few drawers may have a modern visual appeal, but that might not be practical. A desk with more than enough drawers, however, may seem cluttered and too busy.
Think about what you need to keep within easy reach when seated and use that to determine how much drawer space you need.
Consider your technology needs. As an example, do you need a sliding keyboard tray? Do you need built-in openings to hold multiple electric cords? Do you need these openings to be on the top of the desk, on the sides, or both? Carefully think about where you will position and how you will power your computer and any other devices that you use before choosing your final desk.
By now, the importance of comfort and ergonomics for your employees and their productivity is a given. Comfortable employees will work harder and longer, their productivity increases, and they are more flexible concerning coming in early or staying late. Continuing discomfort at a desk has been observed to cause back problems, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and more. All of which adds up to lost productivity due to more time away from the desk and lower work output.
Make sure there is clearance for knees, thighs, and feet. If the desk is too low or too high, it can cause unwanted posture, so in cases where multiple people will be using the same desk, be sure to provide footrests and adjustable chairs.
Optimize the physical environment to promote better habits
If an open concept is your goal, know that an open office can be a hotbed for disorganization, clutter, and frustration. More than just being an irritation, a disorganized environment can affect the way you think and feel.
Behavioral science consultants at the non-profit ideas42 found that:
“Context matters, often far more than we think. We’re not always aware of the extent to which we are swayed by the way information is presented to us. But these seemingly minor contextual features often influence what we think and do in subtle but powerful ways.”
You may not notice it, but the things with which you surround yourself can have a significant impact on your work. According to neuroscientists at Princeton University, clutter competes for your attention, causing distraction, decreased performance, and increased stress.
I’ll sum up what this means to you. Choose an open concept desk that is easy to keep clean and free of clutter.
Be sure the desk you choose will blend well with the other furniture in your office in case you aren’t purchasing all new furniture. Mixing wood finishes, as an example, can lead to a thrown-together look instead of the polished, professional style you want. Make sure that the color and style (contemporary or traditional) coordinates well with the other items you have.
Choose furniture which will reflect your style
Now it’s time to be creative. Select furniture that reflects your companies style. Is it traditional or contemporary? Wood furniture can have a traditional feel, while glass and steel pieces are typically more modern and industrial. For a transitional atmosphere, consider combining these materials. Professional offices need a consistent look, so pick a common aesthetic for your chairs, storage cabinets, desks, and other prominent elements.
Office furniture could play a significant role in attracting more talented applicants. No one wants to work in an office that appears crowded, dirty, or worn out. Having comfortable and attractive furniture is essential for creating a productive and happy work environment. Savvy talent will take note if your staff appears comfortable, is productive, and engaged.