Curved vs Straight – which office desk is best for you?

By Sam Kjniff
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Choosing a suitable desk is more important than you might think.

Whether you're buying a single desk for your home office, or a whole slew of desks to fill your office space, there's a lot to think about. Choosing the right desk can have a massive influence on your health, productivity, and even mood.

 

When choosing a new office desk, one of the main things to consider is whether a curved desk is more suitable than a traditional straight desk. Of course, there's no right or wrong answer, and there's probably more to think about than you first thought.

Keep reading, and we'll try to walk you through some of the most challenging considerations and help you make the right choice for you.

 

Which desk shape is better for you - curved or straight?       

The nature of your work, the space you have available, your budget and your personal preference will all place a part in determining whether a straight desk or a curved desk is suitable for you. Each has its pros and cons.

In the past, the rise of CRT monitors led to increased use of curved desks, as the monitors simply took up so much desk space. This is no longer an issue with modern flatscreen LCD monitors, so a curved desk is no longer the default option out of necessity.

Below we walk you through some of the critical factors you should consider when deciding whether a curved or straight desk is best for you or your employees.

 

Office Space

The size and layout of your office space will play a large part in determining which desk is right for you. Straight and curved desks can both have very different use cases, so it’s important to weigh that against the amount of space a desk will take up.

If you need a desk for a small home office, the available floor space may dictate which desk to go for. Although it may seem counterintuitive, in some rooms the placement of a straight desk may dominate the room, despite taking up less floor space than a curved desk. Curved desks typically fit snuggly in corners and allow for a much more self-contained desktop workspace. Conversely, a straight desk may fit neatly under a window, giving you a much more pleasant working experience. 

For an office manager, choosing the best desk to fit your space while improving productivity can be like navigating a labyrinth. Some offices have a clear-desk policy, preferring a minimalist approach to productivity, or prefer workers in close proximity to each other for tasks like pair-programming.

Knowing each employee's role and needs will be vital in choosing the best desk for them. What equipment will they need? Do they need space for printers, phones and reference material? Will they need desk storage? Put yourself in their shoes, and you'll find it easier to choose the best desk for them.

This can be an excellent time to future-proof your office environment. Is it likely that you will need to make changes to the layout in the future? A straight desk often gives you the flexibility and versatility that can be hard to find with a curved corner desk. Straight desks can be combined and configured in ways that are impossible for curved desks.

 

Aesthetics

While perhaps not seen as being as important as some of the other considerations, the aesthetics of your desk can play a significant role in your overall satisfaction and that of your workers. A drab workspace can make your work lower your mood, and in turn, reduce your productivity. After all, a happy worker is a productive worker.

Many now consider a curved edge to be more pleasing to the eye, giving a more inviting and dynamic modern workspace. A straight desk can seem tame in comparison, but when placed well can dominate a space and become a focal point for the room.

For those who are clutter averse, a curved desk can be a great option. A large surface area means desktop items don’t need to be bunched. Any curved desk under-desk storage has more room to be built in, feeling less forced and claustrophobic than a straight desk.

Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Ergonomics

In the modern workplace, health and safety are paramount. Something you should look for when planning which desk to buy is the Optimal reach zone. Having items within easy reach has been shown to reduce office injuries significantly, so a well-designed desk is crucial. Curved desks have larger optimal reach zones, so a curved desk can be a better choice for anyone who requires loads of items within easy reach.

Back posture is perhaps the biggest concern for anyone choosing a new desk. Partnering and correct use of the right desk with a good chair is essential for good posture. Ensure that you and your employees follow the NHS  guidelines for good posture, and if using a curved desk a swivel chair can help minimise any twisting. 

A good curved desk can help reduce cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist strain injuries. A cramped desk can lead to people moving their mouse from the wrist rather than the shoulder, so the larger surface area of the curved desk allows more room for movement.

Often, it can be easier to place a straight desk under a window. This can be advantageous for two reasons, i) a lovely view creates a more pleasant working experience, and ii) having something to focus on in the middle-to-long distance can help rest eyes that have been focused on a monitor for long periods.

 

Cost

Your budget may have a significant say in your final choice of desk. Executive desks can run into the thousands, and it's worth pointing out that although curved desks have more utility than a standard straight desk, often they can be much more expensive.

If you intend to spend a lot of time at your desk, it makes sense to go for the best desk within your budget that meets all your needs. You or your employees may well spend thousands of hours at these desks over the coming years, so a bigger investment now will pay for itself handsomely in the future. You can't put a price on protecting your health and increasing productivity. Choose your desk wisely.

 

Straight Desk vs Curved desk comparison.

The best way to understand the difference between a straight and a curved desk is to look at real-world comparisons.

Drawing of lef anr right hand desktops of curved desks.
It is important to notice the 2 variants of curved desks.

For example, for anyone working from a small room at home, a desk like the White Curve Desk With Mobile Pedestal may be ideal. Limited floor space means a corner desk would be the best choice, while the mobile pedestal provides versatility. Cable ports allow for a clutter-free desktop, while a 1600m x 800m work surface provides you with plenty of space to work.

White curved office desk with cantilever legs and mobile underdesk pedestal.

 White Curve Desk With Mobile Pedestal £261.91 + VAT

 

For those with a slightly larger home office or more those who need a larger surface area, our Cantilever Radial Desk with High Pedestal still offers many of the same advantages as the previous desk; the fixed high pedestal gives you that extra bit of desktop real estate. Ideal for anyone who needs to use a printer or telephone regularly. Smaller businesses with limited floorspace could also benefit greatly by using this desk.

 
White curved desk with desk height pedestal.
Cantilever Radial Desk with High Pedestal £264.44 + VAT

 

 

An office manager looking to create a clean, flowing working environment while using floorspace efficiently would be well advised to go for an option like our White Straight Cantilever Desk NB. These desks come in various sizes, up to a 1600mm x 800m desktop, and can provide the versatility a modern workplace needs. Desks can be combined to create larger working areas for groups or pairs, creating a more productive flow as needed.

White straight office desk on cantilever legs.

White Straight Cantilever Desk NB £117.13 + VAT

 

Which is the best desk for you?

As we've seen, choosing whether a curved desk or a straight desk is right for you will depend a great deal on your requirements and budget. Health, productivity, environment all can be affected by your choice of desk, so it's crucial that you take your time and plan accordingly.

Now that you’re armed with all the knowledge you need, we’re sure you’ll make the right choice and pick the perfect desk for your situation. Investing in a good desk now will save you money and help avoid problems in the future. Choose wisely!


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