U-shaped desks are not a very common purchase for offices, and they are even less common in home offices. That is partially a reason why if you search for U-shaped desk pros and cons you will find very little helpful information. For that reason, I went ahead and created my own article on the advantages and disadvantages of U-shaped desks. Read on to see if they’re something you should seriously consider or avoid altogether. Let’s get started!
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U-shaped Desk Pros And Cons
A U-shaped desk is a good choice for people who require a large work surface and plenty of storage. U-shaped desks also tend to be durable and create a professional atmosphere in an office. However, U-shaped desks are one of the most expensive types of desks, ranging from $77.71 to $4895. Shipping costs can also be higher due to their weight and size. They also consume a large footprint and are not suited to small areas. Furthermore, they require more time and effort to assemble.
There are many reasons why you might opt for or against choosing a u-shaped desk. However, it’s not as straight forward of a decision as you might think. With this simple pros and cons list, you can decide in a matter of minutes if a U-shaped desk is the best option for you. Taking a few minutes to read through them is guaranteed to save you some massive headaches and poor decisions too!
U-shaped desks are typically made of three compartments: a desk attached to a bridge which is attached to another desk, hutch or a credenza. Source
Advantages of U-shaped desk
1. U-shaped desks have a larger work surface
U-shaped desks are one of the largest types of desks available. The average surface area of a U-shaped desk is 6043.09 in2. They have ample surface area for performing tasks.
This is extremely valuable for people who perform activities which require a large workspace. It’s also an excellent choice for people who need to separate computer activities from paperwork activities.
2. U-shaped desks have large storage space
One of the biggest advantages of owning a U-shaped desk is just how much choices you have in terms of storage compartments.
You can buy separate lockers and cabinets to hold your items. But it’s much neater if the storage is built in than having standalone units.
In the most basic form, U-shaped desks feature the desk itself in a U shape with little to no storage compartments.
You do have extra desk surface space for storing items and documents on though.
The next level up includes lockers built into the U-shaped desk.
If you need even more storage, you can opt for a U-shaped desk with a hutch or credenza on the side for extra storage.
Deciding how much storage you require will help you to significantly narrow down your selection of U-shaped desk.
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3. U-shaped desks tend to be durable
The sturdiness of the u-shaped desk will be a deciding factor for most people. What’s more annoying and disappointing than a desk wobbling underneath you.
The last thing you want is to spend good money on a wobbly, frail piece of furniture that won’t last 6 months!
Fortunately, u-shaped desks tend to be sturdy by nature. Especially if they are made from a reputable brand.
That said, it’s not something that you can take for granted either.
If the u-shaped table has a very low price, then cheap materials were probably utilized to build it.
These materials tend to be of poorer quality than ones used in mid-priced u-shaped desks.
Furthermore, shortcuts could have been taken to minimize the costs, such as not adding in support beams.
Poor quality materials suggests that they are less likely to be capable of enduring wear and tear.
Plus, they are likely to have a lower weight limit too.
4. U-shaped desks offer greater comfort
Ultimately having extra space on your desks lends itself to increased comfort levels. We have all been in a scenario where we have worked off what feels like the corner of a desk.
Having extra desk space allows you to position items at a comfortable distance away from you.
Plus, the workspace will feel less crowded. Therefore, you’ll be able to have plenty of space to fit your keyboard and mouse without hanging your wrists off the edge of the desk.
This lends itself to a more ergonomic desk setup which contributes to long-term comfort.
There are also the mental benefits of having adequate space. Working in a cramped space may make it feel cluttered.
Consequently, you might find it difficult to focus when you’re sitting in what feels like a bomb site.
Tip: Workers who have a clean desk are able to work 7.5 minutes longer without feeling distracted.
5. U-shaped desks enable better productivity
Believe it or not, the desk that you work from can impact on how productive you are. If you have ample space on your desk, then you can organize your worktop and know where everything is stored.
The statistics relating to desk productivity are game-changing…
Having a clean desk increases productivity and persistence by as much as 84%!
Having an organized desk with adequate space encourages and enables you to work better. You can arrange your desk to make you feel comfortable while you work. This in turn means less time is spent taking breaks from your work.
Having everything you need to hand also means less time is spent walking and searching to get it.
For instance, if you need a printer, you can fit that on a corner of your U-shaped desk.
Personally, I like to have a dedicated area for reviewing paperwork. Normally, I would have to spend time clearing away a section of my desk to fit the documents. So, by having that extra space, you wouldn’t have this issue.
Furthermore, if you need to use 2 or more monitors, you’ll need extra desk space for this.
Again, U-shaped desks have ample space for fitting extra monitors or miscellaneous pieces of kit.
6. U-shaped desks have a higher weight capacity
Weight capacity shouldn’t be a problem for the majority of people who are interested in a U-shaped desk. The weight capacity for u-shaped desks starts at approximately 200 pounds.
Some u-shaped desks have a weight limit as high as 650 pounds or more, excluding storage.
The more storage compartments that you require, the higher the weight capacity should be.
For the majority of people, a weight limit of 45 pounds will generally be sufficient for normal office duties.
Therefore, if you’re only performing tasks which involve light equipment, such as a laptop, keyboard, mouse and monitor, then a desk with a low weight capacity will probably be adequate.
7. U-shaped desk shape can be customized
U-shaped desks can be customized to suit your preferences or to more effectively fit into your workspace.
With U-shaped desks, you can have the option to sit in up to 3 different locations, the left, the bridge and the right side. This can be a significant factor towards boosting your comfort levels while you work.
Especially if you need one area for computer activities and another area for paperwork tasks.
When storage compartments and credenzas are included, there tends to be less choice available in terms of which side you can sit on.
However, reversible U-shaped desks can be configured to have the storage side either to the left or right of the bridge.
Ultimately this means you can arrange the desk layout to suit the room as opposed to the other way around!
For instance, you can face the wall or have your desk facing outwards – whatever suits you best!
This will be important to consider once you have decided where you plan to place the desk.
Generally, you’ll want the storage side to go against the wall.
So, this will depend on what direction you want to face in the room and what side the wall is on.
8. Style of u-shaped desk
U-shaped desks are typically made from wood. From that perspective, you’ll be slightly limited as However, the type of wood finish choices you have are plentiful!
This means that you can choose a wood finish to complement your preferences or the atmosphere or design of the office.
Below are just some examples of wood finishes that you can choose from:
- Dark Wood
- Espresso – Mocha
- Light Wood
- Medium Wood
For some people, this won’t be a concern, however, for the majority of people, you’ll probably want some furniture that complements or matches the existing design of the room.
The most popular type of u-shaped desk is a wooden style u-shaped desk.
Disadvantages of U-shaped desk
1. U-shaped desks are more expensive
U-shaped desks tend to range in prices from $77.71 – $4895. Consequently, they tend to be more expensive than most types of desks.
This is due to the fact that u-shaped desks have a larger footprint, more storage compartments and more materials are generally required to make them.
Also, bear in mind the potential costs incurred if you need to return it.
If you think buying a U-shaped desk is expensive, then wait till you incur the cost of a cheap, poorly designed U-shaped desk!
You can dodge that headache by using OfficeFurniture2Go who offer U-shaped desks with both free shipping and a lifetime warranty!
Tip: Merely choosing a desk based on the price is not a guaranteed way of getting a quality desk.
2. U-shaped desks consume a large footprint
The average footprint consumed by U-shaped desk ranges anywhere from 3714.64 in2 – 15194 in2 for a U-shaped desk unit.
This makes them one of the largest desk types available. If storage compartments or a hutch comes with the desk, this will further increase the overall area required to fit it.
Consequently, U-shaped desks don’t tend to be suited to small rooms or areas where space is at a premium.
Therefore, if you are contemplating the idea of a large desk, you’ll need to carefully measure out the footprint available.
This will be needed to determine how much space and height is available.
U-shaped desks can come equipped with a storage hutch which will require extra space for storing it at height.
Therefore, you’ll need to ensure that there are no shelves, lights or objects which could become obstructed or damaged by the hutch.
Extra caution should be taken if the U-shaped desk will be placed in a small room.
3. U-shaped desks are not portable
We already know that U-shaped desks are one of the largest desk types available. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that they are difficult to move.
Often this will require separating parts or in some cases, dismantling it.
If you’re looking for a more portable option, some options include:
- Folding Desk Size – 20 Best Desks + Simple Cheat Sheets!
- Laptop Desk Types – 4 Popular Types & Genius Uses For Them!
4. U-shaped desks are more difficult to assemble
With a U-shaped desk comes a much greater number of storage compartments, surfaces and parts to attach.
The more parts there are to connect, the longer it will take to assemble.
If you’re hiring an expert to build your U-shaped desk, it will probably cost more due to the size of the unit.
Practically all U-shaped desks will require assembly, however, you can get an expert to assemble it for you. Sometimes, the company you’re buying for will include this in the purchase!
Tip: Some U-shaped desks come with partially assembled components, such as cabinets.
5. U-shaped desk are heavy
U-shaped desks are one of the heaviest types of desks. They weigh in a range of 69.4 pounds for the most basic type of U-shaped desk.
However, they can go all the way up to 895 pounds in weight for a desk with a hutch and additional storage compartments.
This makes it a difficult task in terms of shipping it, assembling and moving it.
If it does need to be moved, you’re often faced with the requirement to disassemble parts of it.
This is particularly true if you need to fit it through a door.
The weight of desks can influence how much shipping costs will be. Plus, if it’s a large unit, it may need to be built by an expert at a price.
While U-shaped desks are typically found in corporate environments, that’s not to say that they don’t belong anywhere else. In fact, they’re often a better solution than straight desks for many people.
As you can see from above, there are more advantages than disadvantages to U-shaped desks.
That said, they do come at a cost, and their size is rather large too. So, if you have the space and the money, this could be the desk of your dreams!
When purchasing a u-shaped desk, it’s important to make the perfect choice first time around.
If you’re still on the fence about whether a U-shaped desk is a good investment for you, fear not as I created a helpful guide.
So, before you waste precious time and cash buying one, take just a few minutes to run through this guide: U-shaped Desk Buying Guide + Simple Fail Proof Tips!