4 Alternative Desk Options for Today’s Workplace

After spending a few days combing the historic Merchandise Mart in Chicago looking for the best products in furniture, I (Beth) left with new ideas, inspiration, and plain old curiosity that got me thinking about alternative desk options in today’s workspace.

The notion of alternative desking has evolved dramatically over the last 20 years. We have seen the trends go from 80-inch panels with a door to lower panels, to no panel separation. We have seen mega service walls and questions of how much cat 5 cabling could be coiled into the product, to the raceways being diminished for simple power packs under the work surface for plug and play.

Our client’s have a desire for:

• Ultimate untethering of a fixed environment
• Management of collaboration/innovation
• Brining the outdoors inside; blurring the lines
• Unassigned workstations
• Speed to market
• Multi use of common spaces

that has led to the following ultimate alternative desking modes.

1. The Picnic Table. That right folks, a simple picnic table now has the capacity to accommodate today’s work environment. BuzziSpace thought through the details with their latest introduction. In 2012 they introduced a large picnic-style table for conference room and huddle spaces. They have broadened their product offering to now include two desk height workstations, a seated height desk, and a standing/counter height desk. They have refined the traditional grooves of the table to accommodate technology, and have placed wire management access at the tabletop with cable management below. Simple, mobile storage elements could flank this inspiring creation. This fun, out-of-the-box idea is perfect for creative spaces, organizations that want to blur the lines of indoor/outdoor or appeal to the environmental market.

2. Gaming Tables. Although organizations are trending towards more common spaces and idea of amenities is in demand, most decision makers are not convinced to allot square footage to gaming spaces that are under utilized. Scale 1:1 has a solution! With the introduction of Nomad Sport, this highly versatile table can fill the void of amenity without loss of real estate. They have perfected the gaming table. This conference table—with useable marker surface—comes with data/electric ports on either side of the table and plugs facing all users. The table, with a simple lever, can collapse and fold for ease of storage for space reallocation. That’s not all—this conference table has a retractable net for a quick game of PING PONG!

3. Collaborative Workspace Perfected. Space 1:1 has also introduced a new offset facing table perfect for program development, drop down spaces, team work. This table comes in the traditional seated height, counter height or an electrical base option. The desk has a marker surface for note taking, work surface electrical, and wire management below. This Ying-Yang desk allows for true collaboration and real-time work to occur for speed to market.

4. Office in a Box. Can’t find an open table at your favorite Starbucks? No worries, we have a solution! Roll in your own Office in a Box. This mobile 2′ x 4′ box from Fluid Concepts comes equipped with a collapsible handle and opens to a full-size workstation. The interior includes reference and file storage, a task light and electrical. The unit locks, can be ganged, has a retractable cord for power, and even has a coat hook. This is truly the fastest station install I have witnessed and is ideal for temporary spaces, quickly changing spaces or those office Nomads that want to stir up where they chose to work.

The workplace is changing, and furniture is evolving to keep up with the non-traditional work styles of a new generation of the American workforce.

What unique furniture installations do you have in your workplace? What is on your wish list?