Student Desks: How to Choose the Right One
Student desks are pivotal in shaping the learning environment and influencing student outcomes. They provide a designated workspace where students can focus on their studies, engage in collaborative activities, and develop academic skills.
Choosing the right student desks requires careful consideration of several factors that can significantly impact student comfort, productivity, and overall well-being. Here are some of the main aspects to consider when choosing the next desks for your classroom:
1. Thinking on the Students
- Student Age: Tailor your desk selection to the specific needs of different age groups. Younger students may require smaller desks with a lower height, while older students may need larger desks with high adjustable features.
- Student Needs: Consider the specific needs of students with disabilities or learning challenges. Choose desks that accommodate individual requirements, such as wheelchair accessibility or specialised features for sensory sensitivities.
Size: Desk size ensures proper ergonomics and prevents posture-related issues. Measure the student's elbow height from the floor to determine the ideal desk height. The desk should allow the student's elbows to rest at a 90-degree angle when seated.
2. Thinking on the Teachers
- Teaching Methodology: Align desk selection with the teaching methodology. For instance, for group-oriented teaching, choose desks that can be easily rearranged; in the case of technology-focused learning, consider desks with built-in features like tablet holders and power outlets.
- Shape: Rectangular desks are traditional and suitable for learning spaces focused on individual tasks. On the contrary, Curved desks can foster collaboration and encourage group learning. Here are some examples of how the desks can be adjusted to each space:
3. Thinking in the Classroom
- Durability: Student desks undergo daily wear and tear, so choose desks made from high-quality materials like wood tops or metal frames. Our desks, for example, are manufactured in Australia, which allows us to keep a close eye on quality and have up to 10 years of warranty.
- Available Space: Be sure to properly assess the available space in the classroom and select desks that fit comfortably without compromising movement. We understand how difficult this process can be, so we often visit our clients' sites to help them organise the space.
Keep in mind some additional considerations to having a learning space cohesive and clean:
- Aesthetics: The desks, although important, are only a part of the learning space. Choose furniture that complements the classroom design and creates a visually appealing learning environment. Our designer can create a visual proposal for you to envision your space setting, colours and overall aesthetics.
- Sustainability: Consider environmentally friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing practices when selecting desks.
- Safety: Ensure desks comply with safety regulations and are free from potential hazards like sharp edges or pinch points. Our Ealy Learning Range is a great example, as it is specially designed for younger kids and its safety.
- Maintenance: Choose desks that are easy to clean and maintain to ensure longevity and contribute to an organised and tidy learning environment.
Student desks play a crucial role in shaping the learning environment and influencing student outcomes. Educators can select desks that promote comfort, productivity, and collaboration by carefully considering factors such as student age, needs, and teaching methodology.
- Karen Rodriguez
New Textile Designs by Aboriginal Artist Helena GeigerOffice Line is a proudly Australian-owned company that has been producing cutting-edge classroom and office furniture for over 30 years. Our extensive range of desks, chairs and stools, classroom storage, and other furnishings and accessories can be found in educational and commercial settings right across Australia.
- Ammad Khan
Our Projects: Victoria Park Christian School
Victoria Park Christian School is a unique educational institution committed to offering an outstanding education while embracing the power of nature-inspired learning. With a focus on delivering a holistic education that integrates outdoor classrooms and nature play areas, the school strives to create an inspiring educational environment.
In partnership with Office Line, Victoria Park Christian School undertook a project to furnish its new teaching block, including four General Learning Areas (GLAs) for early learning years and a small admin area. The school sought furniture that not only provided functionality but also aligned with its vision for a natural aesthetic, complementing the nature-play playground in front of the classrooms.
The project involved the design and furnishing of the new teaching block at Victoria Park Christian School, in collaboration with Matthews & Scavalli Architects. The facility included four GLAs designed for Pre Primary, Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3 students, accommodating 24 children per GLA. Additionally, a small administrative area with three workspaces was created. An existing GLA for Kindy students was also part of the project.
To meet the school's vision of a natural aesthetic and durability, Office Line provided a range of furniture and soft furnishings, including:
- Cubs Range: Developed specifically for early learning years, this furniture range was chosen for its practicality and comfort. The range includes many types of furniture, such as tables, chairs, stools and benches – all made from high-quality solid European beech. Each piece has been designed and manufactured with children in mind. Sharp edges and corners have been removed, and non-toxic raw materials have been used throughout.
- Tetris Lounges: These lounges offer flexible seating options for students and teachers, contributing to a dynamic learning environment.
- Flexistack Units: Versatile and space-efficient, these units facilitate organised storage and seating arrangements in the classrooms. Combining the Gratnells trays and runners with a full melamine cabinet, they are available with various tray combinations, and we even offer a model with a comfortable seat pad to meet the needs of any flexible learning area.
- Teacher's Armchair (Saba): These armchairs, with timber legs and upholstered in Rosie Paine Fabric, provide a comfortable and stylish seating option for educators. Moreover, embrace the Aboriginal culture and teach kids about it from an early age.
- Heavy-Duty Bean Bags: Designed to withstand daily use, these bean bags offer students a comfortable and flexible seating alternative. They are also a great alternative for neurodiverse kids.
- Dot Mats: These mats provide a soft and clean surface for various classroom activities.
- Custom Eduflex Square Desks: Three 1500x1500 square desks were customised for Year 1 to allow for group activities and collaborative learning.
- Play and Sensory Furniture: Various play and sensory furniture items, including a Shopping/Theatre Stand, dress-up trolley, and Play Kitchen, were incorporated to enhance interactive and imaginative learning.
The choice of fabric was critical to achieving the desired aesthetic and durability. Combining Rosie Made fabrics and Warwick Key largo in shades like 'Navy,' 'Sky,' 'Atlantic,' 'Marigold,' 'Paprika,' and 'Pumpkin' created a vibrant and cozy atmosphere in the classrooms. Office Line also provided Eduflex Bean Bags in 'Red' and 'Dark Blue' Marine grade vinyl to match the school's colour scheme.
The partnership between Office Line and Victoria Park Christian School resulted in a teaching block seamlessly integrating with the school's commitment to nature-inspired learning. The furniture selected not only met functional requirements but also contributed to a welcoming and nurturing environment. The chosen materials and fabric ensured longevity and ease of maintenance, aligning with the school's vision of providing an outstanding and sustainable educational experience for its students.
Creating Inclusive and Diverse Educational and Working Environments
In today's diverse society, fostering inclusivity and diversity within educational and working environments is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage for any organisation. As July is a celebration of NAIDOC Week and Harmony Racial Day, it is the perfect time to explore how we can create inclusive spaces that celebrate and respect the cultural diversity of our communities.
Inclusivity and diversity are key drivers of innovation, creativity, and productivity. By cultivating an environment where individuals from various backgrounds feel valued and respected, educational institutions and workplaces can harness their diverse communities' unique perspectives and talents. This leads to improved collaboration, problem-solving, and overall success.
NAIDOC Week and Harmony Racial Day provide excellent opportunities to celebrate and acknowledge the rich cultural heritage of Australia. Engage your educational or working community in activities that promote cultural understanding and appreciation. Encourage participation in events such as traditional dance performances, art exhibitions, and storytelling sessions. Incorporating cultural celebrations into your space demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and respect for diversity.
Designing Inclusive Learning and Working Environments
Designing inclusive learning and working environments is essential for fostering creativity, collaboration, and equal opportunities for all individuals. By considering various design aspects, such as flexible and collaborative furniture solutions, multifunctional spaces, and accessible furniture design, organisations can create environments that accommodate diverse needs and promote inclusivity.
- Flexible and Collaborative Furniture Solutions:
Consider modular Furniture such as mobile desks and chairs that can be easily rearranged to accommodate various group sizes and learning styles. Adjustable-height desks ensure accessibility for individuals with different physical needs, and incorporating ergonomic seating options can enhance comfort and well-being for everybody.
- Multifunctional Spaces:
Create versatile spaces that can adapt to different activities and promote open conversations by incorporating furniture that can be easily reconfigured, such as mobile whiteboards or partitions, ottomans, and modular lounges, promoting flexible room layouts. These adaptable spaces encourage collaboration, active learning, and teamwork.
Furthermore, incorporating customised furniture with fabrics by Aboriginal artists like Rosie Paine and Helena Geiger is a meaningful way to support Australian small businesses. It also sparks conversations and serves as a valuable teaching tool, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous communities.
Have a look at some of our Aboriginal Fabrics projects here
- Accessible Furniture Design:
Ensure that your furniture choices cater to the needs of all individuals. Consider furniture with built-in accessibility features, such as height-adjustable desks, wheelchair-accessible workstations, and ergonomically designed seating for improved posture and comfort. By addressing accessibility requirements, you promote inclusivity and remove barriers for everyone.
Creating inclusive and diverse educational and working environments requires a holistic approach that extends beyond furniture selection. Embracing cultural celebrations, designing inclusive spaces, and engaging the community are key components of this effort. Collaborating with local Indigenous organisations and cultural centres to develop educational programs and initiatives fosters understanding and appreciation for Indigenous cultures. Engaging the community through workshops or seminars facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experiences.
Encouraging the formation of employee or student-led resource groups focused on promoting diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness is also valuable. These groups can organise events, provide educational resources, and serve as a support system for individuals from different backgrounds.
It is important to celebrate diversity every day, not just during specific occasions such as NAIDOC Week and Harmony Racial Day. Let us commit to nurturing inclusive environments that inspire and empower all individuals to reach their full potential. Together, we can make a difference.
- Karen Rodriguez
Reducing plastic waste and fostering environmental responsibility
In the modern era of heightened environmental consciousness, sustainable practices have become paramount for businesses in all sectors. At Office Line, we understand our critical role in promoting environmental responsibility, working hard on our sustainable furniture solutions and focusing on reducing plastic waste to contribute to creating eco-friendly educational and office spaces.
The Plastic Waste Crisis
Plastic waste is undeniably one of the most critical environmental challenges we face today. The prevalence of single-use plastics and non-recyclable materials is wreaking havoc on our oceans, landfills, and natural ecosystems. Surprisingly, even educational and office spaces have played a part in contributing to this problem, with traditional furniture often made from plastic-based materials that eventually find their way to landfills, despite their short lifespan.
At Office Line, sustainability is at the heart of our strategy, and we are committed to tackling this issue head-on. One of our key focuses is reducing the use of packaging materials, especially single-use plastics, during the transportation and assembly of our furniture.
Adopting eco-friendly alternatives is essential for educational institutions and offices to reduce environmental impact and foster a culture of environmental responsibility.
Here are some actionable tips to achieve this:
1. Utilising Recycled Materials:
Incorporating recycled materials into furniture manufacturing is one of the most effective ways to reduce plastic waste. Choosing furniture made from recycled plastics and other sustainable resources helps divert waste from landfills while reducing the demand for virgin plastic production.
This action conserves natural resources and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional manufacturing methods.
Some noteworthy products that use recyclable materials include:
2. Durable and Long-lasting Design:
Investing in high-quality, durable furniture may require a higher upfront cost, but it pays off in the long run. Longer-lasting furniture reduces the frequency of replacements, resulting in a reduction in plastic waste generation.
At Office Line, we prioritise creating timeless designs that withstand the test of time, ensuring both economic and environmental benefits for businesses. A great example is our Space for Me products, backed by over 20 years of Warranty.
3. Opting for Biodegradable Materials:
We proudly collaborate with suppliers like Sustainable Living Fabrics and Gratnells, who promote the responsible sourcing of fabrics and use compostable bioplastic trays for their Educational Storage Range.
Sustainable furniture solutions encompass eco-friendly packaging as well. Minimising single-use plastics and utilising recycled or biodegradable packaging materials can further reduce the environmental footprint of the furniture supply chain.
At Office Line, we assemble most of our furniture at our Warehouse facility, which means we do not use additional packaging, ensuring it is prepared for delivery most efficiently. Additionally, we collaborate with furniture carriers who employ eco-friendly methods, such as using blankets and furniture rugs to safeguard items during transit, eliminating the need for single-use plastics.
Implementing sustainable furniture solutions allows you to create eco-friendly environments that inspire environmental responsibility among staff, students, and visitors. These spaces are living examples of the organisation's commitment to sustainability, fostering a culture of environmental awareness and consciousness.
Some of the additional benefits of choosing sustainable furniture solutions:
• Cost Savings: While sustainable furniture may have a higher initial cost, the longer lifespan and reduced replacement need lead to cost savings over time.
• Regulatory Compliance: Embracing sustainable practices can help businesses comply with evolving environmental regulations and standards.
• Employee Engagement: Creating a sustainable workspace can boost employee morale and engagement, as employees take pride in working for an environmentally responsible company.
At Office Line, we believe in the power of sustainable furniture solutions to drive positive change. By reducing plastic waste, utilising recycled and biodegradable materials, and embracing eco-friendly practices, we can collectively create educational and office spaces that inspire productivity and nurture a deeper connection to the environment.
Let's work together to build a greener, more sustainable future, one piece of furniture at a time. Join us in our commitment to promoting environmental responsibility and creating a lasting impact on our planet.
- Karen Rodriguez
The Transformative Power of Standing Desks
The Transformative Power of Standing Desks
In recent years, you've likely heard a great deal about the rise of the standing desks, also known as stand-up desks or sit-stand desks. The growing popularity of this revolutionary piece of furniture prompts many to wonder, "Is a standing desk actually good for you?" and "How long should you stand at a standing desk?" Today, we're addressing these questions and more to uncover the true benefits of integrating a standing desk into your workspace.
Health Benefits of Standing Desks
Standing desks have gained recognition for their numerous health benefits, as acknowledged by chiropractors, corporate health advisors, and experts from various fields. By offering the flexibility to alternate between sitting and standing, height-adjustable desks promote movement and help combat the sedentary behaviour commonly associated with traditional office environments.
Utilising an adjustable desk offers a range of health advantages, including:
- Reduced back pain.
- Lowered risk of heart disease.
- Improved mood and energy levels.
- Boosted productivity.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, standing desks offer multiple benefits. Not only can they help regulate blood sugar levels after a meal, but they also have the potential to reduce the risk of shoulder and back pain when compared to sitting. Furthermore, standing desks have garnered praise from individuals with ADHD and some medical professionals who believe that standing can enhance focus and alleviate restlessness.
However, it is important to note that standing all day at a standing desk is not advisable. Excessive standing can lead to discomfort and fatigue. Therefore, the recommended standing desk routine involves regularly switching between sitting and standing. A practical approach is, to begin with 20-30 minutes of standing per hour and adjust the duration as necessary.
Choosing the Right Standing Desk for You
When it comes to setting up a new workspace or revamping your current office, selecting the appropriate standing desk is crucial. We understand that everyone has unique requirements, so we offer various options to suit your needs.
Our range includes manual adjustable desks and electric standing desks, also known as electric sit-stand desks. The latter provides the convenience of effortlessly transitioning between sitting and standing positions at the push of a button.
Our latest addition to our collection is the JoJo Desk. This electric standing desk not only offers height adjustability but also doubles as a whiteboard, adding versatility to your workspace. It comes equipped with a powerful Lithium-Ion battery pack, ensuring smooth height adjustments while featuring a battery indicator and audible alerts to notify you when the battery is running low
With the JoJo Desk, you can bid farewell to tangled power cords. Its cordless, rechargeable battery operation eliminates the need for cumbersome power leads. Additionally, the desk includes an integrated USB port, allowing easy access to charge your devices while keeping them within reach.
If you want to have all the benefits of a sit/stand desk but you already have one you love, consider adding a laptop sit/stand platform. This platform raises your device to a comfortable viewing height, promoting better posture. Alternatively, a vertical laptop stand can save valuable desk space by holding the laptop in a closed, upright position.
Our platform provides a convenient solution to convert your existing workstation into a sit/stand desk by easily adjusting the working height between sitting and standing positions. It helps alleviate lower back pressure, improve posture, and encourage daily movement.
Make an informed decision when selecting the right standing desk for your needs, ensuring a workspace that promotes comfort and productivity.
Standing desks are more than just hype. They present a versatile, health-conscious solution for today's workspaces. At Office Line, we offer various options, from a manual sit-stand desk to an electric cordless standing desk, to cater to all your needs. Start revolutionising your workspace today with Office Line.
- Karen Rodriguez