JAZZYEXPO’S EXECUTIVE GUIDE SERIES:
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DESIGNING YOUR EXECUTIVE OFFICE
HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU NEED A RIGHT OR LEFT SIDE RETURN FOR YOUR EXECUTIVE DESK.
Determining if your executive desk needs a right or left side return should not be based on whether you’re right or left handed. The most important factors to determine if your desk should have a right or left side return are (1) the posture of the desk in your office, (2) the location of the entry door in relation to the desk, (3) the location of electrical and electronic services in the room, (4) privacy and exposure of materials and video monitors to guests in the room, (5) locations of windows in the office, (6) where you want to place other furniture in your office such as sofas, coffee tables, and a meeting table.
There’s no need to be concerned if you’re right handed or left handed because you’ll quickly adapt to a return that is on either side. This is also true if you had a right or left side desk for years before and now need to change the side for a new office or new office configuration.
The single most important factor in determining the handing of your desk return is the posture of the desk in relation to the location of the office entry door. Most executives prefer their desk to be facing their office entry door for better visibility so that they can see who is entering their office, and to more easily summon assistance from employees outside their office. When the desk is positioned towards the entry door, you should then determine if the entry door will be biased towards the left side or right side of the desk or in the center straight in front of it while seated at the desk.
Select the handing on your desk to eliminate having to walk around the front of your desk or the return to enter it. Walking around guest chairs in front of your desk or racing around a return to catch a telephone call on your desk is uncomfortable and will get tiring very quickly. Following are rules-of-thumb to avoid these problems (see below illustrations).
Entry door towards your right when seated at your desk – select a left side return.
Entry door towards your left when seated at your desk – select a right side return.
Entry door is in center of the front of the desk when seated at your desk – select either a left or right side return. It may be best to select the handing that more easily accommodates the location of your floor or wall services for electrical, data and telephone services to minimize or eliminate cable runs around the back of your office.
If your desk will be positioned on a diagonal across one corner of your office, use the same rules-of-thumb listed above to determine the desk handing. Most importantly, configure your office and desk handing so you don’t want to have to go around guests seated in front of your desk or around the return to enter the desk.
Other factors that you may need to consider in determining the position of your desk and subsequently its handing are the location of:
• electrical outlets and other floor or wall connections in your office
• windows in your office
• other furniture including a credenza, a meeting table, and a sofa set in your office
• privacy and exposure of materials and video monitors to guests in your office.
See the various illustrations below for examples of how you may want to configure your office.
If you like some professional advice when purchasing your furniture, contact us – www.jazzyexpo.com (760)727-1190 opt. 1
Plan A – Entry is in front of desk for complete privacy behind desk. Desk access is satisfactory. Executive is in view of entrance.
Plan B – Entry has very easy access to desk but has some exposure to rear of desk. Executive has only partial view of entrance
Plan C and Plan D – Both have easy access to desk with privacy of back of desk. Executive can see entry when facing forward.
Plan E – Entry is near front of desk. Desk access is satisfactory. Executive has partial view of entrance.
Plan F – Access to desk is very easy though back of desk is exposed to guest entering room. Executive has no view of entrance door.
Plan G and H – Both have easy entry to desk. Window location give executive outside view while working on return. For better privacy of back of desk, meeting table should be more forward. Guests have easy access to office.