Workstation Buying Guide

Your home office workstation should help you to stay comfortable, focused and productive. This workstation buying guide outlines the different types of setups and options.

Workstations 101

Whether you’re prepping for meetings, working from home or keeping up with household bills, you require a workstation that allows you to stay organized and focused. With so many different office desks available, you can easily create a work area that meets your needs. If space is limited or you need to move around while working, a sit-stand workstation or laptop cart offers portability and a stable work surface. Desk or corner workstations have larger work surfaces and storage shelves to keep your office essentials organized and close at hand. If you have the space, larger L-shaped and U-shaped desks provide even more workspace and storage. 

Workstation Options


Desk Workstations

Desk workstations have enough surface space to accommodate a laptop, monitor or all-in-one PC, plus your writing and research materials. To reduce clutter and free up space on the desktop, most desk workstations have built-in cable holes and sliding drawers for your keyboard and mouse. This type of office desk also has drawers or shelves to keep files, office supplies and other materials well organized and easily accessible. Desk workstations are simple to assemble and made from low-maintenance particle board or wood. 

Corner Workstation

A corner workstation has a compact space-saving design that fits easily into the corner of most rooms. Built-in storage shelves and drawers help you keep your files and supplies organized and within reach. A great thing about this type of workstation is it offers two separate work surfaces, one to the left and one to the right. This allows you to manage your desktop better and stay more focused on your work. Corner workstations come in different sizes to suit different work needs and room restrictions. 

L-Shaped Workstation

L-shaped workstations are configured similar to corner workstations, but one side is longer than the other, resulting in an “L” shape. In this style of workstation, the main work surface, where you place your laptop or monitor, is often deeper than the secondary surface. L-shaped workstations have plenty of drawers and overhead shelves to store your work essentials. These models are typically made from attractive, low-maintenance wood or particle board.

U-Shaped Workstation

A U-shaped workstation has three work surfaces that form a “U” shape. This setup is ideal for multitaskers. It puts you in the center of the action, with easy access to all of your files, supplies and office devices. You also get more work area as there is desktop in front of you and to both the left and right. U-shaped workstations are larger so they require more space to set up. Higher-end U-shaped workstations can give your office an elegant, executive-style look. 

Sit-Stand Workstations

Sit-stand workstations house your monitor, mouse and keyboard on an adjustable stand, so you can move between a sitting and standing position to stay comfortable. This innovative workstation design allows you to burn calories while you work, and to easily adjust your posture to avoid strain. The sit-stand workstation has a small footprint, making it ideal for use in a furnished living room or crowded office area.

Laptop Carts

The main benefit of laptops is that you can take them anywhere. But using a laptop on your lap for extended periods can become uncomfortable and cause injury. A laptop cart provides a sturdy work surface for your laptop, and it's built on wheels so you can move easily from room to room. The height and angle of computer carts are adjustable, allowing you to maintain a relaxed working posture and avoid straining your neck, back and shoulders. 

Floating Desks

If you need to make the most out of a small area, a floating desk is a great option. This type of desk is long and narrow and mounts to the wall like a shelf. The work surface can accommodate your monitor and a reasonable amount of writing and research materials. Most designs feature shelves and open drawers for storing office supplies, reference materials and other items.

Workstation Safety Tips:

• Position your workstation so you can work comfortably without straining
• Consider purchasing an adjustable desk chair and footrest to keep a comfortable working posture
• Position your monitor an arm's length away and at eye-level so you don’t strain your eyes
• Adjust your keyboard and mouse so your wrists are straight and your shoulders relaxed
• Organize your work area to keep everything you need within easy reach
• Point your monitor away from windows and direct light to prevent glare on your screen
• Take frequent breaks and change your posture while you’re working to avoid stress to your neck, back, shoulders and legs
• Store heavier materials in waist-level shelves and drawers so you don’t strain or twist from bending low or reaching too high

Workstation Features

Ergonomics +

All desks are designed to be comfortable, but your personal needs, the type of computer you have and the size and layout of your office will inform the ergonomic design you require to work comfortably. Choose a workstation that positions your monitor at eye level and your keyboard at a level that keeps your arms and shoulders relaxed. Some desks and workstations are adjustable, so you can personalize the design to what’s most comfortable for you.

Storage +

Depending on the size and style, workstations can come with drawers and shelves both above and below the desk surface for storing your printer, computer tower, office supplies, files and books. Smaller desks like sit-stand workstations and floating desks don’t have room to store much more than your computer and a few office supplies and materials for immediate tasks. Larger home-office furniture like L-shaped and U-shaped desks provides more storage space, allowing you to create an organized office. The work you’re doing and the size of your office space determines how much workstation storage you need and can accommodate.

Construction +

Workstations are made from a number of different materials, including wood, glass, particle board and metal. Solid wood workstations add elegance and classic style, but are heavy and expensive. Glass and metal offer a modern look, but are fragile and prone to smudges. Particle board has the timeless look of a wood desk, but is more manageable and less expensive than solid wood. Workstations also feature a laminate or melamine finish to prevent scratches and damage and to provide a smooth work surface.

Size +

Workstations come in a variety of sizes to fit into any office, bedroom room or work space. Larger L-shaped and U-shaped models have plenty of working surface and storage for active home-office environments. Floating desks, desk workstations and laptop carts are smaller and more basic; they're well suited for less demanding home-office use and installation in smaller spaces.

Grommets +

Many desks have pre-drilled holes to allow power cords and wiring to travel from the desk surface to outlets and inputs below, kind of like how your lace pass through the eyelets on your shoes. A grommet is a ring or edge strip made of rubber or plastic that inserted into the hole to prevent the wires from getting damaged or caught by rough surfaces.

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Cable Management Tips:

• Use wire ties, tacks or raceways to bundle cords together
• Don’t cinch cables too tightly or bend at sharp angles to avoid damage
• Separate AV cables from power cables to avoid signal interference
• Buy longer cables to account for routing around obstacles and to avoid the need to pull cables too tight to reach outlets
• Camouflage or hide cables by running them along wall edges, baseboards, door jambs or under carpeting
• Use clips to shorten cables to the right length so they don’t tangle
• Label your cables to keep them organized
• Use wire tacks or clips to anchor cables to the back of cabinetry or workstations
• Route cables into cabinetry or closets to keep them hidden
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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