Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 3.19.30 PMDo you remember your first desk in college? Some milk crates and a sheet of plywood, perhaps. Hopefully, when you graduated from college, you moved on to a better workspace.

The basic component of the desk hasn’t really changed for hundreds of years: a flat, stable work surface for writing. Over the years we’ve added hutches, cabinets, outlets, lamps, and more. If you’re like most of us, you also probably do less writing now than you do web-surfing and tapping at a keyboard. So what do you need in a desk?

The first question you need to ask yourself is what your use of the desk will be. We talked in our last post about the birth of the cubicle, and the move back towards more collaborative spaces. Is your desk just for you, or will you be working closely with others? One of our vendors is DARRAN, and they have a number of unique pieces that really foster that sense of get-togetherness.

You also need to determine what sorts of peripherals will be used with your desk. Are you a simple laptop person? Will you have a hulking iMac? Multiple screens? One person in our office has a desktop with two screens, a laptop, tablet, smartphone, telephone, and a small Keurig. So, basically, everything but the kitchen sink.

Did we mention that he keeps a mini-fridge under his desk?

You should also ask yourself how large of a workspace you need. Like, how large you REALLY need. Sure, a sense of importance comes from having the super-expansive Dr. Evil desk, but think of the ergonomics. Will you be able to easily reach the gadgets and information that you need to work efficiently?

Speaking of ergonomics, make certain that your desk fits you. You can always make adjustments with a suitable chair, but a small person can easily be swallowed up in a large desk, and a larger person will end up feeling cramped in a smaller one. That’s what modern air travel is for.

Also on the comfort and ergonomic front, many are converting to a standing or adjustable desk. This allows the user to stand while working. This is better for your back, helps to improve your posture, and there are studies that say it helps to lower your blood pressure. When you’re poring over end of year tax statements, this would be a good thing.

Lastly, where are you putting your snazzy desk? If you’ve graduated from the milk cartons to the deluxe corner office, you may be able to get away with the mammoth mahogany beast. Your smaller starter office may need to accommodate file cabinets, and perhaps even the office copier and coffee station. Just saying.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to you and your desk. And what’s important during your work day.