Below is an email I sent to one of my dealers recently when he was facing a predicament that his client wanted to order sliding top desks for a large order, his best supplier of desks (me, AKA Claremont Centre) doesn’t do sliding top desks. Why don’t we? here’s my email back to him…
I have been giving some thought to your project with sliding desk tops – I am very keen to help persuade your client into not buying them to secure better business for you and with me of course. I spent some time yesterday trawling the internet to find some resource/ opinions on sliding desks, to provide some good old fashioned features and benefits sales advice.
- There’s not a huge amount of them, am I biased? Please comment so I can make this list larger, without a larger list here, i’m struggling to see the point of sliding desk tops!
- Full access to cable trays for quick tech changes.
- Access to cable management trays & thus unauthorised access to non PAT tested devices being plugged in and used within facility.
- Desk instability through improperly secured worktop once reinstated.
- Users leaning over the slid out top providing instability to the other users whilst also putting strain on desk frame fixings.
- Finger trap risk when moving the top in and out.
- Risk of damage to cabling when trapped in sliding mechanism.
- Cable stretch if using a desk mounted CPU as it moves away from the tray when the top is pulled out.
Before I suggest a solution I firstly need to understand the reason for requesting a sliding desk top. My research would suggest the only feature/ reason for having a sliding desk top is to provide the user access to a cable tray that in most marketing images will be completely organised and only contain a single power lead and a data lead.
The reality is very different. The trays are normally filled with power blocks, powering more than just a single user. So why would you risk disturbing power to everyone else just to give access to plugin in a laptop for example?
The other reason I can assume is an argument that facilities managers prefer it, but do they? Is it really that good for them? Needing to police what is being plugged into their managed cable space. Dealing with network issues because cabling is disturbed? Re-cabling a desk doesn’t need to be done that quickly, surely? Access under a desk is easier to manage, rather than leaning over a wobbly slid out top… no?
So, what’s the solution?
The solution, for me, is to always answer the brief of the customer and the user of the desks, what is their need & how can I facilitate that?
Understand how often the cabling needs to change. The solution? Provide a dropped cable tray with high capacity, accessed from under the desk, FM’s can control this space.
What needs to be cabled on a day to day basis. The solution? Provide affordable desk top power units that are safe, tidy and easy. PAT tested and controlled by the FM’s these units are great for charging phones, laptops and tablets.
Do monitors need to be changed – provide quick release arms to swap out monitors if faulty.
Ultimately, the desk is there to support the technology and thus the user. Go with a solution, which has a flexible cable management, is solid, strong and has a 10 year warranty.
The trend for office interiors is to move away from the desk, how about we start with moving away from the sliding desk?