With lockdown partially eased, you might be dipping a tentative toe back into the real world. But if, like many of us, your return to the office won’t be five full days a week, it’s time to reexamine the work-from-home setup you cobbled together back in March. Here, we round up six of the best desks and workstations for a fresh take on home working.
Elegantly proportioned, impressively finished and, most importantly, out of the house, this modular garden office (above) is available in three sizes starting from 2m x 2.4m with a generous internal ceiling height of 2.3m. Small enough to sidestep any planning bureaucracy, it boasts supreme levels of insulation for year-round use, a double-glazed corner window and a multi-point locking door as well as a waterproof membrane clad in smart larch paneling. A pre-prepared foundation is required, either as a concrete base, or YouKube can supply heavy duty ground screws for mounting. Each office comes ready-wired with twin double sockets, LED spotlights and slimline electric panel heater.
Price: From £5,995 | YouKube
Designed in Copenhagen and made in Denmark, this potty-mouthed but socially responsible flat-pack cardboard desk is strong enough for daily use, despite being held together by just a handful of cable ties. Naturally, the cardboard chosen is FSC certified and between 80-100 per cent from recycled fibres, and can itself easily be recycled when no longer needed. It’s available in either raw brown or white, and in three heights (75cm for standard sitting, or 108cm and 125cm for stand-up converts) – and if you know your way around a CNC machine you can download the plans and print your own for free.
Price: 480kr | Stykka
Fläpps Secretary Desk
WIRED can’t help but admire the philosophy of German-based Ambivalenz, who design products to “give the freedom not to commit”, and “allow some indecision in a world full of options”. What this means in practice is a fantastic collection of fold-up and drop-down desks, chairs and shelving that can transform a corner into a functioning desk without dominating. Designed by Malte Grieb and Joe Mania, the Fläpps Secretary desk is made from birch plywood with super-strong stainless steel hinges. Once opened, it gives a generous 50cm x 50cm of working space.
Price: €445 | Ambivalenz
Hartô Gaston Secretary Desk
A wall desk for more than work, the Gaston, designed by Florence Watine for French interiors brand Hartô, features a practical drop-down desk for laptop work, but with the addition of stationary-sized shelves and drawers it works equally well as a wall-mounted station for stashing life admin, sorting bills and hiding clutter. Choose from 60cm or 80cm widths, both with a 40cm deep desk, with everything made from oak-veneered plywood and finished in a stylish range of matte colours with loop leather handles.
Price: €585 | Hartô Design
A refreshingly simple slot-together podium designed by Alexander Schenk for Tojo that works well as a laptop-sized stand-up desk or, by switching around the larger shelf sections, can become a side table, desk or lectern for those stricter home-schooling moments. The flat-pack design, super value and impressive multifunctionality ensures it should remain a useful addition at home long after lockdown is a distant memory.
Price: £152 | Tojo
While we’re not suggesting the side-table height Ziggy and complementary stool will be much good for your lower back after several hours on Zoom, we heartily commend the playful style and stackable convenience that, in a traditional office setting, would be ideal for break-out meetings. In the new world it makes for a refreshing workplace alternative to the sofa. It’s designed with a 60° angle to allow six tables to be stacked neatly, but we think just one, complete with the stool that works equally well as an ottoman, is the most stylish of solutions.
Price: From $795 | Hightower
More great stories from WIRED
🚅 Night trains are brilliant. So why doesn’t the UK have any to Europe?
💉 The race is on to create a vaccine. This mRNA coronavirus vaccine is two breakthroughs in one
🎧 Need some peace? These are the best noise-cancelling headphones in 2020
🔊 Listen to The WIRED Podcast, the week in science, technology and culture, delivered every Friday
👉 Follow WIRED on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn