As your workers require more technology at their workstations, they will also need desks that fit their needs. Even Google went through its own phase transitioning from basic furniture to fancier pieces that could support more work. There’s a chance that your business will make use of a variety of new and used office desks as its needs change, and Google’s situation serves as an example.
The story comes from the Xooglers blog, an online place for “ex-Googlers” to post their memories of working for the company. One poster quotes former general facilities manager George Salah on how Google’s approach to desks changed as the business grew. Originally, employees used “wood doors and sawhorses,” but over time the standard layout changed. The newer desks served as a sign of the business’s increasing growth.
“It was these unfinished doors and they just threw them on the sawhorses and barely even put any screws in some of them,” Salah said. “They were falling off. And that worked for a while and it was great when you had these big massive CRT monitors that were heavy and you needed all this space on your desk for multiple monitors.”
In the early days, Salah also had to contend with the “selective clutter” that Google employees often kept on their desks. Attempts to tidy up without permission were met with loud protest from Googlers, and it soon became clear that this company would take its own approach to desk space. Later, the company went on to proper furniture, but this remained a memorable first step for them.
Businesses that have grown or changed since their beginnings should reconsider the desks they use. What worked before isn’t necessarily the right choice for the future.