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Understanding desk types - What are wave, workstation and bench desks?

When choosing a new desk for your home office or workplace, the number of options available can be somewhat intimidating. This is especially true if you’re not sure of the terminology used to describe different desk types.

Fortunately, we’ve created this handy guide to help you understand what various terms, such as wave, workstation or bench mean. This should help to make your desk buying experience much more pleasant and straightforward.

It is worth noting that, while these terms are the industry standard, we cannot guarantee that other office furniture suppliers will always stick to these definitions. As a result, we advise caution if shopping elsewhere.

What is a rectangular desk?

Rectangular desks are, as you may have guessed, desks with a rectangular desktop. These are the most common type of desk and are suitable for most applications.

Rectangular Desk

Kaleidoscope UCLIC Aspire Rectangular Desk

What is a wave desk?

Wave desks are desks that have a curved front so that the desktop is deeper on one end than the other. This allows for larger equipment to fit on the wider end of the desk. They can also provide extra support for your favoured hand while using a mouse. Wave desks come in left or right-handed configurations, which relates to which side of the desk is deeper. A left-handed desk, for example, is deeper on the left side than the right side.

Wave Desk

Valoir Cantilever Wave Desk

What is a workstation desk?

Workstation desks are sometimes referred to as ‘corner desks’ or ‘radial desks’. These are desks that have a return to extend the desktop to either the right or left-hand side of the user. This can be useful for users with larger equipment. It can also help maximise the available desk space without extending the width of the desktop. Workstation desks come in left or right-handed configurations, which relates to which side the return part of the desk is on. A left-handed desk, for example, has the larger return portion of the desk on the left side.

Sylvan A Frame Workstation Desk

What is a bench desk?

A bench desk is usually a rectangular desk that is suitable for creating longer runs of desks. These bench desk runs are suitable for open plan offices. Many bench desk solutions can be constructed using a number of single desks laid out next to one another. Alternatively, some desk solutions allow for each desk in a run to share a middle leg.

Bench Desk

Touch Bench Pedestal Desk

What is a back to back desk?

Back to back desks provide two desks in a single unit. As the name suggests, these units provide two desktops that sit with their backs to each other, so are typically double the depth of a standard desk. These are most often used in open plan offices. Back to back desks often have the option for privacy screens to be installed between the two desks. This improves privacy and provides more individual workspaces for both users.

Kaleidoscope R8 Lite 2 Person Back To Back Desk

Don't forget, if you're not sure which desk solution is right for you and your office, you can always give us a call and we can talk you through your options. Our customer service team can be contacted on 0800 8044 760 and are always ready to offer advice and assistance to ensure you get exactly the office you were looking for.



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