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Computer Desks Buying Guide

December 1st, 2019

Contents

Intro

Why choose Computer Desks

Designing the most productive office

Top tips for home working

Questions to ask before shopping for Computer Desks

Pros and cons of different computer desk shapes

Choosing Computer Desks

Types of Computer Desks

General best practices when buying Computer Desks 

Further information

 

 

Intro

Computer desks are useful for home workers, family rooms, smaller offices and educational establishments thanks to their smaller footprint and integrated storage features. There are many styles and designs available, each with their own benefits, and you could be forgiven for being a little bewildered if you’ve already had a look online.

That’s why we created this buying guide. Work your way through it to the end and we’ll help take the hard work out of choosing the right computer desks for your needs.

Firstly, we’ll look at why computer desks are so popular and which environments they work best in, before giving you the low-down on some key ways to design a more productive office, including lighting, noise level and, believe or not, scents.

Then we’ll give you our top tips for home working to help you get focused, organised and on-schedule, with some key advice on how to maintain your life/work balance.

We’ll move on to the buying guide itself, where we’ll start by giving you the key questions to ask before shopping for computer desks. Your answers to these will give you a clear idea of your requirements and will help you to narrow down the options open to you significantly.

Next, we’ll cover the four main factors involved in choosing a computer desk, budget, shape, material and quality, and the various types of computer desks available, including some of the fabulous ranges we stock.

Finally, we’ll give you a best practice guide to make your purchase. You’ll want to the best quality products at great value and with excellent aftercare from the most reputable suppliers. We’ll also guide you on how to protect yourself if you’re shopping online.

By working your way through this guide, you’ll familiarise yourself with the world of computer desks, work out your needs and narrow down your choices, allowing you to make a decision and get the perfect computer desk for you.

 

Why choose Computer Desks

Computer desks can be distinguished from other types of desk mainly by their size and features. Typical office desks tend to be large, with a heavier construction and materials used, while computer desks have a relatively small footprint and are constructed out of lighter, slightly less durable materials.

Features that commonly distinguish a computer desk include an adjustable, pull-out keyboard tray, shelving, drawers or cupboards for storage and/or a monitor riser.

They are designed for people who will mainly do computer work at their desk, although many variations are available now, including ‘L’-shaped or return desks that have much more surface space on which to carry out a range of tasks.

Computer desks are also specifically designed to carry basic computer equipment. This includes a monitor, a CPU tower unit, a keyboard and a mouse. Some styles will have extra features that stow peripherals away when not in use or keep them up off the floor.

The monitor riser mentioned earlier can either be an integrated part of the design or an accessory purchased separately. It is designed to lift the monitor up off the desk surface which has the dual benefit of reducing eye strain and giving you more space to work on. Your keyboard and mouse can be easily moved underneath the riser which allows you to make more use of the work surface available so that you can carry out other tasks like writing or illustrating.

As mentioned earlier, computer desks generally have a smaller footprint than other desk styles, which makes them useful in a variety of spaces. They are ideal for those who work from home, small to medium businesses with smaller premises and for schools and other educational establishments.

For home workers, they have the advantage of being useful in multipurpose rooms. For example, computer desks are often small enough to sit in the corner of a living room with being too obtrusive. This is perfect for those who share their home and, therefore, their working space with others and don’t want to cause any disruption.

They are also useful for students as they offer comfortable workspace even in the family home or student halls.

Computer desks are often ergonomically-designed to allow people to sit at them comfortably for hours at a time and are suitable for 8-hours-a-day, 5-days-a-week work. There is a vast range of styles, sizes and materials available when it comes to looking for computer desks, and we’ll break these down later.

 

Designing the most productive office

We spend significant periods of our lives at work and the environment we work in can have a big impact on us. The impact of office working on health is being constantly measured and research suggests that this is a massive potential public health crisis in the future.

However, the place you work can also have a huge effect on productivity. If you work in a dingy, badly-lit office, it’s likely that you feel constantly tired or fatigued and this can make your performance suffer, bringing the threat of disciplinary action or loss of bonus.

If you’re responsible for an office, then you have an even greater responsibility. It’s on you to design a workplace that encourages loyalty, productivity and harmony. Luckily, there are some key things you can do to make your workplace a better and more productive place to be.

Lighting

While lighting is often an afterthought when moving into new premises, it’s one of the most important factors in having a comfortable, productive workplace. We know that bad lighting can cause tiredness, headaches and eyestrain, while good lighting can help us to feel energised and focused.

Natural lighting is the best solution as it works with the body’s circadian rhythms and lifts our moods. However, most companies have limited natural lighting available and must make do with the electronic alternative.

In that case, there’s only one thing you should do: get rid of your fluorescent strip lighting. It’s prone to flicker which can cause migraines and fatigue and the low level of lighting provided can cause eye strain. Not only that, but the flood from fluorescent bulbs just constantly reminds you that you’re at work.

Use warmer bulbs or, better yet, daylight bulbs, which replicate natural light. Sculpt with light instead of having it flood the room; use a mix of up and downlighters and choose bulbs and colours that will help to define areas.

Clutter

Unless everyone is scrupulously organised, over time your office will have accumulated clutter that no one wants to tackle. And, yet, this clutter probably frustrates everyone working there. We all have stationery cupboards that have empty boxes piled around, making it difficult to reach shelves, or printer stations with bits of crumpled paper or empty toner boxes.

These little things add up and can contribute to an overall feeling of irritability. Do yourselves a favour and put a team together to tidy everything up. You’ll reduce frustration and remove any potential health and safety hazards, making the office a more enjoyable place to be.

It won’t take long for a small team of three or four people to get around the whole office, squaring up those areas that have fallen into disarray.

Colour

Room colour is an important consideration in designing a productive office, too. Colour can influence our brain function and moods, with both a physical and emotional response. Neutral colours are usually the safest bet but play around with colour combinations using basic colour theory.

Reds are warm colours and are said to be stimulating and possibly even make you angrier, so use them with care. Blues and greens are colder colours; blue can make a room feel colder, while green evokes nature and calm. Yellows can be creative and inspirational.

Whatever colours you use, remember that it’s best to paint in neutral colours and supplement those with brighter colours in the form of soft furnishings and furniture.

Temperature

Energy costs often cause companies to heat their offices inappropriately. Warm rooms boost productivity, while colder temperatures cause the brain to become foggy. Make sure you have the right balance between heating and A/C and invest in an A/C system that distributes colder air evenly.

Ensure that each team has control over the temperature of their area and use smart technology where possible to cut down the costs. There’s really no excuse now to have the heating on in a room that hasn’t been used for two hours; a smart thermostat could turn the heating down when there is no movement in the room.

Noise level

The move towards open plan offices has made them a noisier place. Without walls and rooms to baffle the noise, the sound of one person on the phone can be amplified 20 or 100 times, depending on the size of the office.

There are health and safety concerns where there are high noise levels, but for most offices the problem is going to be one of productivity dropping. Loud offices are incredibly distracting, and it prevents people from focusing and staying on task.

In a pinch, issue noise-cancelling headphones to employees and encourage their use. However, a better solution is to ‘baffle’ the noise using acoustic shielding. This can be in the form of expensive, specialist shielding, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, you can always use screens.

Places correctly around the office, they will contain and shape the noise, directing it to less populated areas or cutting it off completely in some spaces.

Equally, if you work from home, you might find the lack of noise to be distracting. If you also find it difficult to concentrate with music on in the background, try something with no lyrics, such as classical or soundtrack music, or try one of the many apps available that create white noise, or ambient sounds such as the babble and clinking of coffee shops.

Scents

This is one factor that almost no one considers a key part of office design and yet, it can be a great way to boost productivity. The mind and mood respond to scents the way we do to visual stimulus; certain scents can make us feel either calm, sleepy or energised.

Good scents to try are pine, which helps us to stay alert, cinnamon which helps with focus and citrus, which wakens us up and makes us feel more positive. If you don’t want complaints, keep it subtle; some plugs ins or diffusers carefully spaced around the room should do the trick in an unobtrusive way.

 

Top tips for home working

If you’re looking for a computer desk for your home, you either want something that works for the whole family, or you’re working from home. Many people have made the leap to become a remote worker, full-time freelancer or part-time hobbyist. Working from home can really add to your sense of freedom, but it also requires a lot of discipline and organisational skills, otherwise that freedom will turn into procrastination.

Distractions and other people in your space can also contribute to making home working tricky. Thankfully though, there are some simple things you can implement at the start (or if you just want to start doing things differently). Follow our top tips for getting the most out of working from home.

Use a designated space

When you’re working from home, you need to carefully consider your work/life balance. This is particularly true if you share with family or other people in the household, as you may be working in a space that others use too.

The easiest way to get around this problem is to designate a space in the home for your work and make it off-limits to everyone else. Whether it’s a desk in the corner of a room or you have a room you can dedicate to your work, that area needs to be untouched by anyone else or you could risk losing important paperwork and such.

A separate space can help you to switch off from home life and get into the zone and, equally, to switch off work when you’re finished. However, if you’re making a specific place off-limits to anyone but yourself, you need to behave in kind. Don’t fall into the bad habit of letting your work spill out into the rest of the home.

Commit to a schedule

Working from home can be focusing for many people, but for some of is, there are distractions around that can make productivity harder. If you’re prone to prevarication and find yourself dusting and hoovering when you should be working, you’re going to have to get into the habit of creating, and sticking to, a work schedule.

Grab a diary, journal or notebook and lay out the next 4-13 weeks. On each day, write down the key times and activities for each day. Then, each evening as you finish work, have a look at what’s on your agenda for the following day.

Look over this again each morning and familiarise yourself with the key tasks you need to complete that day and tick them off as you go.

This will also help you to balance your work and life better; set yourself a strict start and end to your working day and stick to this rigidly. When it reaches 6 o’clock (for instance), turn off your computer, file away your paperwork, and go spend some quality time with the family or other members of the household.

Become a multi-tasker

When you work for yourself, that really means yourself. Where once you might have been part of a team that had IT and telephony support, cleaners, administrators and managers, now it’s all on you. You can obviously outsource this if you have the funds, but for most people, it requires you to juggle a variety of responsibilities.

Your main goal when starting out on your own should be to become a problem solver. Become self-sufficient and find the answers yourself where you can. The internet is a wonderful resource full of tutorials on everything under the sun.

Acknowledge that you’re responsible and start learning how to deal with common PC or network issues, for instance, and you’ll find that they become easier to tackle as they come up. Plus, you’ll get the sense of satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself. It will result in a better business too; that problem-solving capacity will come in useful for sourcing new clients, upselling, charging more, launching new services and any of the other many things that comes with running your own business.

Stay organised

One of the key responsibilities you’ll need to attend to as a home worker is coming up with an organisational system that works for you. You’ll end up with a lot of paperwork, some of which you’ll have a legal obligation to keep safe.

An efficient and simple filing system will be a life-saver here; you’ll need a filing cabinet or a pedestal with a hanging file bottom drawer. There are many excellent paperwork filing systems out there if you do a search online. Pick one that works for you and stick to it. File all your paperwork and create tables of contents to make it easier to find documents.

Don’t overfill your drawers or cabinets or you’ll find that loose sheets of paper will fall down the back of the drawer to the floor where you’ll likely never see it again, nor know that it’s missing until you need it!

One key piece of equipment you should purchase is a label maker. They’re reasonably priced and will come in handy when it comes to organising everything. It will save you a lot of time.

Uphold cleanliness

It’s also important that your workspace remains clean. If you’ve been gathering junk in your desk drawers and on shelves, it’s time to have a comprehensive clear out. That means emptying your drawers out entirely and then disposing of anything that is no longer useful.

Everything that is not needed immediately should be appropriately stored or filed, and you should consider archiving older documents to free up space; you can scan and store on the cloud now rather than in hard copy but remember to make sure you have backups in case something goes wrong.

Get moving

As increasing research shows that sedentary lifestyles are damaging to our health, it’s more important than ever to make sure you get up and moving around throughout the day. This should be easier when working from home than it was in the office, since you can take breaks whenever you want.

But remember that home working also reduces distractions significantly and many home workers find that they can become more absorbed in tasks and thus take less breaks. They are also prone to worker longer day shifts, and have less travel, so they tend to walk less during the day rather than more.

If you can, schedule in regular breaks, even if it’s just to get up and stretch your legs by going through to the kitchen for a coffee. Even better though would be scheduling in at least 15 minutes of walking each day.

 

Questions to ask before shopping for Computer Desks

Before you start shopping for computer desks, it’s crucial that you know exactly what you’re looking for and why, otherwise you could be bewildered by the range of options available to you and you might end up with the wrong product for the job.

The easiest way to do this is to grab a pen and paper and work your way through the following questions. At the end, you’ll have a list of requirements that you can use to help you decide which computer desks to purchase.

What kind of work will you be doing?

The style of desk you choose will be largely governed by the kind of work you’re doing there. If you’re planning on mainly using a PC at the desk, a computer desk or straightforward rectangular desk should suffice, but if you will be doing writing, planning, paperwork or illustration, for example, you might want to consider an ‘L’-shaped desk or one with a return.

How much space do you have?

Measure the room and jot those figures down on a loosely sketched floorplan. This will give you an idea of how much available space you have; use this in conjunction with product specifications to get the perfect desk for your space.

If space is at a premium, you could opt for a corner unit that will fit neatly into most rooms, or if you need your desk to integrate into a living room, for example, you could choose an armoire or hideaway desk.

Will you be standing for work?

With sedentary lifestyles being attributed to many health problems among workers, taking a break from seating is a great idea. One way this can be achieved is with a sit-stand desk, which is ideal for stretching your legs while you continue working.

Have you thought about storage?

Many computer desks styles include integrated storage solutions in the form of shelving, drawers or a combination of the two. Shelving is fine for storing equipment, peripherals and other objects but if you’re also storing stationery and documents, you should think about drawers.

Building storage on the wall around your desk is a great space-saving tip, and you could even have a bookshelf above your desk for storage. These can also be used to display ornaments or photographs to help you personalise your space.

What about ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the study of how humans interact with our environment and is most commonly related to the safety and comfort of office furniture. If you want to look after your health, choosing the right desk and a fully-adjustable chair are key purchases, so take your time to find the right models. Measure yourself sitting so that you can ascertain the right desk height and think about whether your monitor will be at the right height when you’re sitting; if not, think about buying a monitor riser as well.

When you’re seated comfortably at a desk, your knees should be bent at 90°. Your arms should also be bent at 90° at the elbows, with your hands sitting comfortably over the keyboard. If the proper adjustments to your chair to reach the desk leave your feet dangling, buy a footrest too.

 

Think about accessories

Once you’ve decided on your furniture choices, you might want to add in some accessories too. Think about extra storage caddies, cable tidy systems or extra shelving.

 

Pros and cons of different computer desk shapes

Straight desk

The straight, rectangular desk which sits along or against the wall.

Pros

  • Very stable
  • Works in most rooms
  • Can be moved around with little hassle
  • Full work surface is available for use

Cons

  • Your view is the wall facing you
  • Only one workspace, little room for other tasks

Corner desk

Pros

  • Fits into smaller spaces
  • Ideal for multi-use rooms like living rooms

Cons

  • Screen isn’t private
  • You could have the door to your back, facing the corner
  • Some space is lost at the back of the monitor so not as efficient use of space as other models

L-shaped desk

Pros

  • More efficient use of space than corner desk, less wasted
  • Easier to reach the entire work surface
  • Allows for various tasks without adjusting the space

Cons

  • Often very large pieces, taking up a lot of floor space

U-shaped desk

Pros

  • Lots of work space
  • Perfect for use with multiple monitors
  • Clear separation of work

Cons

  • Very large items, so need large rooms/lots of space
  • U-shaped desk is not easily moved, so is basically a permanent fixture

Choosing Computer Desks

Budget

When you’re considering making a large purchase for your business, such as computer desks and other office furniture, you should always set yourself a budget. That way, you won’t overspend on useless features that you won’t use, and it will help you narrow down your choices too. Think about what you expect to get from your purchase, especially in terms of how heavy the work will be and how long you expect it to reasonably last before needing replaced.

Thankfully nowadays, computer desks offer great value for money; even cheaper models are hard-wearing and will last if they’re maintained properly and kept in great condition. Value for money is key, and that includes getting the best warranties or guarantees you can for your budget.

Remember; your computer desk is a piece of furniture you will probably use every day, so you’ll want to get the best you can afford. Durable, well-built furniture might cost you a little more at the outset, but it’s a great investment for the future.

Shape

Computer desks come in a variety of shapes and configurations and the shape you choose will often be governed by the kind of work you do. The most common desk shape is a straightforward, straight-edged rectangle, either on a frame or with panel sides. Panel-sided desks tend to have drawers and/or shelving integrated into the design. There is also the compute workstation style which is built up but has a smaller overall footprint and storage integrated.

Any of these shapes are fine if most of the work you will be carrying out is computer work. However, if you’re going to do work that involves switching from your computer to paperwork, for example, you might need more desk surface to work on.

In that case, you could opt for an ‘L’-shaped corner desk or one with a return, effectively giving you two desk surfaces on which to work. Remember, though, that the more work surface the desk has, the larger the overall footprint, so such desks may not be ideal for small spaces.

If you’re really struggling for space, you could opt for an armoire or foldaway desk. These integrate well into existing rooms and are usually small; perfect for hiding away when not in use, but available to fold out when you need a desk to work on with your laptop.

Material

When it comes to material choices for your desk, there are a lot of options, and each has its advantages over the others. These are the main material choices when it comes to computer desks:

Wood or veneer is an elegant option. Solid wood furniture is some of the most attractive available; it is also hard-wearing and long-lasting. However, it can be pricey, especially if you need several desks. Wood veneer is the next option; veneer is a slim layer of wood that is applied to a cheaper core, usually chipboard or MDF. It has the same look and feel of real wood but without the cost.

Both are durable, although wood veneer can fray and chip over time; make sure you get a desk with proper edging, usually made from PVC, to prevent this from happening. Real wood needs to be kept away from high temperatures like radiators or direct sunlight, and you should make certain to mop up any spillages immediately.

Laminate is similar to wood veneers in that it is a plastic layer applied to a cheaper core. It is a great choice if your budget is tight and has the advantage of being available in a wide range of colours and finishes.

Laminate comes in a variety of strengths, so always check the specifications and balance durability and budget. If you can, opt for a desk with a thicker, high-pressure laminate as this will last longest.

Metal and steel is probably the most hard-wearing of all materials available for computer desks. Often associated with a utilitarian look, and still chosen for this aesthetic by many, metal working has improved over the years and tends to have a more integrated feel, especially when paired with wood.

Glass has become a common material in the manufacture of office furniture. It has a smart, modern look and comes in clear, white or black. While looking modern, its transparency means that it integrates with most décors and it allows more light to flow around the room too.

Always check that you’re buying the best glass available for your budget, though; it should bear the load of your PC monitor, printer and any other peripherals or equipment you intend to store on the surface of the desk. Most furniture glass is tempered, which means is has been heat or chemical treated to bear heavier weight without cracking or shattering. Tempered glass is also designed to shatter rather than crack, though, which means that if it breaks, it will shatter into smaller, rounder shards than it would if it cracked.

Quality

Your aim should be to get the absolute best-quality furniture for your price and, thankfully, advances in design and manufacture means that even lower-budget items tend to be very well constructed and are built to last if they’re treated with care.

Higher-end desks will be more carefully constructed and will tend to have a much better finish; you’ll find stronger corner joints on drawers, for instance, and there will be a seamless finish at the edges to prevent warping or fraying.

Corners, edges and drawers are the key things to look for when assessing quality. We’ve talked about fraying on corners and edges, but when it comes to drawers, you should look for ones that work on metal rather than plastic rollers, as these will wear more slowly.

Drawers should be easy to open and close without force, sliding easily across the rollers. On high-end desks, drawer corners will be constructed from an interlocking dovetail design or similar, and should bear a reasonable weight.

 

Types of Computer Desks

There’s a massive variety of styles of computer desks available nowadays, each with some key advantages. Let’s break down the types available and help you to narrow down your options and find the right desk for your needs.

Glass computer desks

We carry a fantastic range of glass desks, from the straightforward designs of the Cornice glass computer desk and the Glacier model, to breathtakingly modern styles in the form of the Century Glass computer desks with a floating-style drawer pedestal or the Quartz desks with its glass shelving and striking black metal frame.

Most glass computer desks come with a metal frame, often with a chrome coating, highly prized for its reflective qualities. Most use tempered glass for its heavier load bearing and shatterproof properties, and for extra safety, most have rounded off corners.

Static computer desks

The widest range of the most recognisable kinds of computer desks. Most of the styles in this range are rectangular, often in the workstation configuration but with plenty of choice outside of that style.

These are usually heavier desks and are designed to be installed where they will be used; they aren’t portable, so if you’re looking for something you can move from one room to another, check the mobile desks section below.

Most models have integrated storage, such as shelving, drawers and cupboards, while some have specialist storage compartments like printer/scanner shelving, cupboards for CPU towers and space for storing CDs/DVDs.

Mobile computer desks

If you need a more portable solution, one that you can perhaps move into one room for storage and another for use, then you should check out our comprehensive range of mobile computer desks. Situated on wheels or castors, these are well-built to take the strain of being moved occasionally with no fuss.

Corner computer desks

There are two key designs of corner desks; one is the compact wedge design that is designed to slot into a corner with a small footprint, thus taking up less space, when the other is the ‘L’-shape or return desk.

The latter is best for those who need to carry out a number of different activities over the course of a day and often come with extra storage in the form of shelves; just be aware that these models take up far more space than their cousins.

Next Day computer desks

We carry a fantastic range of desks in all styles that are eligible for our free next day delivery service. If you need your desks in a hurry, this is the range to check out.

Laptop desks

Laptop desks tend to smaller, lower and have a narrower footprint than other computer desks. Sometimes they are comprised of a simple wooden or metal frame with a small desk surface and they are designed to be cleared of everything but your laptop.

We also carry bureau style laptop desks that work well in multifunction rooms as the work surface can be moved out of the way.

Laptop storage & cabinets

For offices that have lots of hotdesks, you’ll need somewhere safe and secure to store laptops overnight when not in use. We carry a massive range of LapCabby solutions, from vertical laptop stores and charging trolleys to portable charging units and secure lockable storage units.

We have everything you need to keep your laptops safe and protected under lock and key.

ICT desks

Designed for use in classrooms, libraries and ICT suites, the SmartTop range of ICT desks is designed as the all-in-one solution. They come with a flip-top desk compartment that conceals the screen, keyboard and mouse of your computer with a choice of positioning for the CUP tower. Optional CPU plate attached to the frame either inside or outside of the leg.

Crafted from a 25mm wipe clean melamine surface and steel cantilever desk frame, these desks are built to withstand a lot of use. They come with a 2-year manufacturer’s guarantee for the flip top, with a massive 10-year guarantee for the rest of the frame.

These also come in a single desk style and a two-seat, height-adjustable style.

High gloss computer desks

For an elegant, classy look, we carry a superb range of high gloss desks. The Cirque desk is rectangular with rounded edges and chunky leg panel design all finished in a gorgeous white gloss, while the Trinity Designer laptop workstation has a walnut and high gloss black finish with chrome hooped frame legs.

General best practices when buying Computer Desks

Making a business purchase of computer desks is like making any other investment in your business. You need to make sure that you do your homework and protect yourself and your purchase, especially when buying online. Best practice tells us the do’s and don’ts of shopping around so follow our top tips for getting the best products at the best value from the best supplier.

Research suppliers

There’s a wealth of choice available to us when it comes to procurement of business furniture; you could choose to buy from a preferred supplier, a well-know High Street retailer or an online-only business that’s just appeared on the scene. There are no rights or wrongs here, just make sure you do your homework to ensure you are buying from reputable, trustworthy and legitimate retailer before agreeing to do business with them.

Some of the key red flags to be on the lookout for when it comes to online shopping include:

  • Warnings or security flags from your browser or anti-virus software when landing on a site; most modern software will flag up unscrupulous websites, but you need to make sure you keep it up to date so it has the latest information
  • If the retailer uses customer reviews on their site, check to make sure there is nothing overly negative or patterns of poor feedback
  • Reputable suppliers will post contact phone numbers and their registered head office address on their site; if these details are not present or there’s only a PO Box number, look elsewhere
  • Websites nowadays are expected to be fast, easy-to-navigate and informative, and retailers spend a lot of time and money making sure this is the case; if the site you’re looking at is outdated, hard to navigate, has lots of broken links or images or bad spelling and grammar, try another supplier
  • It might sound corny, but if prices seem too good to be true, they probably are; check the catch or small print, especially at checkout
  • You might also want to be careful about buying from a very new or young business

Thankfully, there’s a really easy way to check the authenticity of a website these days; just go to the ‘Whois’ service online and input the IP address or URL of the site in question. Whois will provide you with all the details of the owner, including the registered office address and how long the site has been running. It’s possible to hide your details behind those of your web hosting company, but this is designed to protect the privacy of individuals and shouldn’t be used by reputable companies.

Scammers have become incredibly sophisticated over the years and can even clone or mirror entire reputable websites in order to phish for credit card or other personal information. Thankfully, most browsers pick up on unusual activity of sites like these and will warn you, but if you see strange or unusual texts or fonts, or if you just feel in your gut that something isn’t right, look elsewhere.

You might find a trustworthy, authentic site, but be wary of purchasing from a very new or young company as they will have no track record. While they might be offering cut down prices to try and carve out a share of the market, most young companies fold within a year or two. This could mean that any warranties or guarantees become null and void in the event of the company folding, leaving you with no option but to stump up to buy new furniture should your purchases become faulty.

Compare quotes

Every supplier is different, and each will be able to offer deals on different products at any give time, so once you have a product in mind, it’s a good idea to shop around for a better price. Comparing prices is really easy with online shopping, especially thanks to price comparison sites and browser add-ons. Within just a few clicks you could compare multiple prices on the same product, so make sure to get a few quotes before deciding.

Sometimes you might want to get in touch with a prospective supplier, perhaps to discuss product specifications. If you do, it can be worth asking them for a discount or to price match a cheaper quote. Many suppliers will be happy to give discounts for first time buyers or those opening credit accounts to secure your business. There’s no harm in asking and it could save you money.

The headline prices will attract your eye, but also ensure that you’re aware of any other costs included in your purchase, especially when you make it to the checkout page. Some of the most commonly encountered unexpected charges include:

  • VAT: This currently stands at 20% in the UK which represents a considerable proportion of the total price. Suppliers can display prices inclusive or exclusive of VAT (although they should clearly say which is which); just make sure you know before you decide.
  • Import or export tax: If you plan on shopping overseas you can get some fantastic bargains, but you should be aware that you could be landed with import/export charges which can be particularly hefty for large items. You won’t be aware of these until you take delivery of the items, so try an internet search to see if you can get a ballpark figure in advance.
  • Delivery: Here at Equip4Work, we offer free delivery on most of our product ranges to addresses in mainland UK. However, other retailers could charge for delivery so factor that cost into your decision.
  • Express: If you need your computer desks in a hurry, you could be charged a large fee for express couriering items to you. Thankfully, Equip4Work carries a comprehensive range of items that have free next day delivery included in the price. If you’re not sure which products are covered, search for ‘NEXT DAY’ on our website or talk to our Sales Advice team.
  • Admin: Admin fees are rare these days but always check invoices if you’re buying on a credit account and query any unexpected charges.

While price is important when procuring for your business, it’s not everything. You’ll also want fantastic customer service, high-quality products and excellent aftercare, including cast-iron warranties or guarantees, so consider these factors when shopping around.

Only ever buy what you need

It’s important that you buy products that will solve the problems you set out to fix, so stay focused on your requirements and don’t get side-tracked. It’s easy to be seduced by new technologies and interesting features, but unless the will really benefit you they’re just gimmicks. Stick to the answers to the questions we asked earlier, and you won’t go wrong.

It’s of course important to plan and prepare when you’re buying computer desks for the office but try not to become trapped in a loop of endless decision making, which can be a problem with online shopping. The longer you spend looking at products the more you’re missing out on the benefits of your new computer desks. Focus on working out your requirements, narrowing down your choices and making a decision!

Further information

At Equip4Work, all of our products have clear photographs, upfront pricing and comprehensive specifications but if there’s anything you can’t find, or you’d like some help choosing the right products for your requirements, talk to our Sales Advice Helpline who will be happy to help.

Get in touch by calling us on 08444 999 222, emailing us on sales@equip4work.co.uk or complete the contact form on our site and we’ll get back to you asap.

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Last Modified / Updated on: June 27, 2018 at 7:05 pm