Desks have been around for Centuries, created out of necessity and an integral aid to our productivity. We have so much available choice, when it comes to picking our next work desk – but it wasn’t always that way!

Desks and productivity have always been intertwined

Before the invention of the printing press (in the 15th Century), desks needed to be sturdy, as all books were handwritten and extremely heavy! Productivity dictated that desks needed to be large, to accommodate writing materials and several manuscript volumes at a time.

The Renaissance era saw a change in desk style, dictated in part, to our changing writing habits and cabinet-making becoming a distinct trade. This led to desks becoming slimmer and including handy drawers for storage. Home bureaus became popular and the desks themselves became functional, quality pieces of furniture.

The advent of the home computer

Our changing habits dictated another change in desk design in the 1980’s – when home computers became popular and affordable. This saw ‘U’ shaped desks being created to accommodate large monitors, various papers and, by the 2000’s, broadband routers. Desks also incorporated ‘knee-hole’ areas to make the user more comfortable (and more productive).

However, as the computer shrank in size, so did the desk – and our habits changed again.

Standing desks – the fashionable option

The benefits of standing desks have long been disputed. With them growing in popularity recently, it may surprise you to know, they’ve actually been around since the 18th Century. Thought to increase productivity, some of history’s greatest names used a standing desk – including Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill and author Virginia Woolf.

As the risks of sitting too long have been well documented, so have the risks of standing for long periods – leading to a rise in popularity for both the ‘height-adjustable’ and the ‘sit-stand’ desk options.

But do you need a desk, now we have laptops, smartphones and Wi-Fi?

With the advent of laptops, smartphones and Wi-Fi, more and more people are understandably going portable.

But does this mean you don’t need a home desk anymore? I don’t think it does.

The benefits of a working desk

Whether you work from your smartphone or use the nearest café, if you want to keep your productivity high, you need a home base – somewhere that’s your designated space. A place where you can get organised, spread out your paperwork and have room to plan and grow your business.

Working from the sofa, beach or nearest café is great, but it isn’t always kind on your posture or your productivity. Long periods of sitting hunched over your laptop WILL have an influence on your health, your motivation levels and your desire to focus on your working day.

You also need somewhere to store your business essentials, such as a printer and the accompanying paper it needs, as well as client files, stationery etc. And of course, no office desk would be complete, without an office chair – and this is a definite essential, if you want to look after your posture, increase your productivity AND run a successful, thriving business!

What are your thoughts around working desks? Do you think they aid productivity or do you think they’re now outdated and redundant? Why not share your thoughts and opinions in the comments box below!

Image © MarianKadlec311/