Workstation Buying Guide
Workstation Safety Tips:
• 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
• 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