Trends In The Business Office

by : Gina Ireland

In the 1980s, it wasn't uncommon to see large, oversized desks, wingback leather executive chairs and lots of filing cabinets. In the 1990s, offices became more compact. The prevalence of the computer began to reduce the amount of paper files needed and the filing cabinets began to wane. Office workers realized that working at a computer desk was much different than working at a desk where all work was done with a typewriter and calculator. Doctors began to understand that diseases like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome were linked to repetitive motions like mouse-clicking and keyboard use, giving birth to increasingly ergonomic desk and computer desk accessory designs.

At the turn of the millennium, people were well aware of the importance of articulating keyboard arms, ergonomically designed chairs, and adjustable LCD monitor arms. And just when they thought they'd created comfortable, productive workstations, along came the laptop to throw a wrench in the mix.

As companies realized that laptops were far more affordable, mobile, and convenient than desktop computers, laptops began popping up in companies all over the country, replacing the bulky traditional computer. Assistants as well as executives can easily take their laptops with them, allowing them to work hassle-free in airports, hotels, at conference centers, and of course, at their very own desks. With wi-fi pretty much everywhere, there's no reason not to make the switch from computer to laptop.

But with a new type of computer came a new problem to revisit. How do we make laptops ergonomic and functional for everyday use? Setting a laptop on a desk does little to provide a comfortable, ergonomic workstation. There are no keyboards to be tilted at the correct angles or lowered to the correct heights. There are no monitors that can be tilted or angled to keep the user looking straight ahead. So how do we make laptop users comfortable?

One way is by adding a sliding laptop tray to your existing desk. Laptop trays allow you to pull the laptop out to use it, and then slide it back when working on the desktop. They also lower the keypad of the laptop tray so that the user isn't reaching up at such a severe angle.

Another way is to buy a height-adjustable chair to control the user's height. While traditional keyboard arms allow for height control of the keyboard while the user is stationary, an adjustable chair allows the user to change his/her height and keep the laptop's keyboard stationary.

High-quality laptop drawers start at only $69 at Versa Products, Inc., a well-known manufacturer of computer desk accessories. Higher priced options from Versa include laptop drawers that add an extra measure of security by locking. Versa's products are all guaranteed for life and ship for free via Fed-Ex. They also carry a line of mobile computer carts, ergonomic office and school desks, and other computer workstations. Most can be customized to fit the customer's specific needs, but the standard versions are, in most cases, height adjustable and require no customization. For more information on ergonomics or the products Versa sells to the public, check out their website.