My perfect desk for £300
When you visit offices, meeting rooms or talk to people, its all about the chair, everyone is focused on the best chair you can get. Herman Miller lead the way in brand awareness, but does anyone ask about the desk. I recently was at an office where they had nearly 100 Herman Miller Aeron chairs, but their desks were over ten years old.
So what makes the perfect desk at a reasonable price.
Designing the desk
After trying different sized desks, I found that 100 cm wide by 50 cm deep is the smallest workable area, and the sweet spot is 120 cm by 70 cm.
Sitting / Standing
Having a desk you can easily control the height of for sitting, standing our ensuring you’re at the best height for you is key, you can fork out for a fancy electric desk, but hand crank ones will do the job just as well. Just taking an extra few seconds to get into that position.
If you work in a large open plan office, classic cubicles or the corner office the ability to manoeuvre your desk around is a unique benefit that isn’t found in many environments because people think it looks messy and wheels come with several issues.
You need good wheels. Ideally, rubber, 40 mm with a metal frame and brake (Health and safety will love you. I tried plastic wheels and if you have anything other than wooden or plastic floors you don’t get the free movement needed once your desk is loaded up.
Now you have a wheel-able desk, you need to control cables, the main being power, a typical desk has one-two screens, a laptop or desktop, phone charger etc. That is a lot of cables to be dangling off the back off a desk. Using an under desk rack with a surge protected six gang plug enables your desk to have one plug from desk to the wall. This makes it easy to move around as and to find just a single plug socket to connect it back up.
Having a developer focused desk means micro USB, iPad chargers and lightning cables hanging off the edge when not in use. Adding a small magnetise plate to the side of the desk along with magnetic buttons to each cable can give you a tidy multi-device cable system.
Mouse and keyboard are personal to each user but getting a wireless mouse mean no getting tangled personally a standard wired keyboard is suitable as there isn’t much need to move it around on a daily basis but that is up to you.
Most laptops and desktops have many USB sockets for you to connect with but are they accessible, on the iMac, there are around the back of the screen requiring you move screens to plug and unplug. A slimline USB 3 port can give you front-facing access without resulting in a clutter surface.
When you’re focused, maybe with headphones on or not, people may distract you when you’re in your flow. A small LED light on the side of desk gives those around you an indicator that you don’t want to be interrupted.
There are many ways you should have your monitor height configured; the top is eye lined, two screens next to each other. Screens angled in, clear surfaces underneath. The list continues, the key is that you need options. Mounting your monitors in a way that you have the flexibility to move them easily is what matters, as well as providing an easy want for moving them out of the way and if you keep the table monitor stand connected you have a handy keyboard and mouse stand.
Ikea SKARSTA desk 120cm x 70cm — £179
Ikea SIGNUM cable trunking — £10
Masterplug SSRG62N-MP 6-Gang Surge Protected — £9.50
Heavy Duty Castors M8 40mm / 8m thread x 4 — £9.71
Magnetic Cable Clips, Hizek Cord Organizer — £6.98
Duronic DM35L1X1 Single LCD LED Desk 13"-27" Mount Arm Monitor Laptop Stand Bracket — £44.99
Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Data Hub — £10.99
Logitech M185 Wireless Mouse — £10.98
Tekbox Digital LCD Magnetic Kitchen Cooking Timer — £4.97
Dell KB216 USB Keyboard — £14.50
All for the grand total of £301.62 (that’s inc VAT)
And if I price wasn’t an issue?
The monitor stand suggested is great, but the ability to move the screen vertically more freely would be a small benefit but one that wasn’t worth the double price of the bracket considering the number of times the change would happen.
I wanted to add small motors to the wheels so the table could move into place each morning depending on where you were working but that is something for 2018.
Treadmill, I have been trying an under desk treadmill for the last few weeks as part of my boxing match training. The Lifespan TR800-DT3 is a great device, I use it for one to two hours a day when doing a batch of emails, admin or on meeting calls. The device could do with being 20 cm’s wider to allow for a person’s wider stance but for the price (£760 inc VAT) it is well worth it.
I wouldn’t say each desk should have one of these but a pool device that people could jump on and off throughout the day would be ideal.