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The history of the bench office desk

Just as businesses and office working practices are changing to accommodate new technology - the world of office desks is changing faster than ever before. Whereas once, elaborate executive desks and office cubicles with individual desks were the norm, those days are long gone, and now the bench desk is king.

 At, we’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity of bench desks over the past few years – and today, they’re some of our biggest sellers.

 This month on the blog, we’re taking a brief look at this phenomenon, examining the development and growth in popularity of the bench desk, and the business benefits it delivers in the modern office environment - read on to discover the history of the bench office desk:


 The changing office environment

 Perhaps the biggest driver in the popularity of the bench desk has been the big changes in the way offices are laid out.

 20 years ago, it was the norm for businesses to separate their offices into different departments – smaller office spaces and dedicated working areas separated by long corridors. Now, this has changed completely, and more and more companies are tearing down the partition walls in an effort to create open plan spaces.

 Today, open plan is the preferred layout for many businesses, as companies begin to understand the benefits in terms of the collaborative and creative nature of the space, and its ability to boost productivity and staff harmony.

 Bench desks are the ideal space and cost-saving solution for large open plan offices, and with more and more businesses changing the layouts of their premises every year, they’re becoming increasingly popular.

green bench desk

 Evolution in design

 10-15 years ago, wave or radial style desks had become really popular. Designed to provide enough space for large CRT monitors and chunky desktop computers, they were perfect for the time period – but things have changed significantly.

 Office computing technology has got significantly smaller – apple Macs, flat screen monitors, smaller laptops and wireless technology have all decreased the need for significant amounts of desk space for many office workers.

 In addition, increasing digital working, cloud technology and a general reduction in the amount of paper used by offices has reduced the amount of storage needed by employees.

 Bench desks tend to be significantly smaller than radial and waves desks. Using bench desks enables businesses to accommodate more office workers in the same amount of space, whist simultaneously dedicating more space to other purposes.

With the increase in tech based 'google' type businesses we've also a focus on interior design in the office, with office refit companies working hard to get minimal and clean workspaces for high profile businesses.  White bench desks are the common solution for a lot of these offices as they offer style and stability alongside affordability, all things that an office planner needs to be successful.

 Hot-desking and flexibility

 Increasingly, businesses are moving away from dedicated single employee workspaces, towards more flexible working environments.

 Bench desks are the ideal solution for hot-desking, desk sharing and flexible working areas – providing an easy way for businesses to create collaborative occasional spaces for group working.

 In addition, the design of bench desks means that they are modular – meaning businesses can easily expand working space to accommodate expansion and new employees.

 Reducing costs

 The recession saw a big increase in the popularity of bench desks, for one simple reason – bench legs are one of the most affordable styles of office desks available.

 Part of the cost benefit of using bench desks comes from the minimalist design and the number of legs required. Bench desks are laid out in rows, which means they can share legs, and need significantly fewer legs to support them than with L shaped desks.

 As office-fitting budgets began to be squeezed at the start of the recession, businesses began to turn to the bench desk in an effort to reduce costs.


 Get the perfect bench desks for your business at

 Visit, and you’ll find thousands of different bench desks in an unrivalled range of sizes, styles and colours, all at ultra-competitive prices.

 All our furniture is made in the UK from high quality materials, to exacting standards. Choose Kit Out My Office, and you’ll benefit from free, next day delivery, honest advice, and a 10-year guarantee on all our products.

 For further information on any of our products or services, call a friendly member of our experienced sales team on 0800 8044 760, or email today.

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