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The Ultimate Guide to School & Office Furniture: Maximize Space, Foster Productivity, & Ensure All-Day Comfort

How much time do you spend in the classroom or office? Eight hours a day? As much as 10 or 12 hours daily during the busiest time of the year? Regardless of the specific number, chances are it’s fairly high. As such, quality furniture isn’t just a sound investment; it’s a necessity. 

With the right school or office furniture–i.e., products that are durable, versatile, and comfortable–you and your students or employees will thrive. How do you go about finding the best chairs, desks, and tables, though? Where do you even begin?

Start With McDowell-Craig Furniture 

From classroom desks to office workstations, McDowell-Craig has everything you need to furnish the ultimate productivity hub. Founded right here in America in 1946, they manufacture all their products from locally sourced materials. Engineered to last a lifetime, McDowell-Craig furniture can withstand the daily demands of bustling institutions for decades. 

Check out some of their most popular pieces of schoolhouse furniture below, or click here to scroll to favorite office items. 

For Schools

At the very least, every classroom needs student desks and a teacher’s desk. Here’s what you should look for in these essentials, so you know what to prioritize when comparing products. 

Student Desks 

Student desks should be strong and durable, engineered and built to last for decades. Look for products that have a welded frame chassis and are made of domestic raw and finished materials.

Adjustable legs are another feature worth seeking in school desks. Taller students need a higher writing surface to ensure the same ergonomic position that someone of average height finds comfortable. 

For classrooms that are frequently rearranged, mobility is a must. With high-quality, locking casters, you can move desks from one end of the room to the other with ease. 

Other features that may not be essential but are definitely convenient include backpack hooks, book boxes, power modules, and cable troughs. To find desks with all these extras–and more!–check out the SchoolHouse Catalog. In it, you’ll find:

  • Nesting Mobile Flip Tables
  • Boomerang Student Desks 
  • Round & Half-Round Activity Tables 
  • Training Room Tables 
  • Heavy-Duty Science Lab Tables 

Teacher Desks

Like desks for students, those for teachers must be strong and durable. Instructors often stack lots of heavy books, papers, and electronics on their desktops, and they should be able to do so with confidence. 

Unlike students, however, teachers also need storage space for stationery supplies, classroom materials, and other essentials. That means if you don’t opt for desks that have several deep drawers, you should compensate with filing cabinets. 

Depending on the layout of the classroom and how the instructor approaches the curriculum, some kind of presentation podium may be necessary, too. A mobile workstation with a sit-stand adjustable base is a popular choice.

To contribute to the well-being of your teachers, it’s worth exploring E-Lift adjustable desks as well. The tabletops on these desks can be used in a sitting or standing position, and your instructors can switch between the two at the touch of a button. 

While more research needs to be done on the benefits of standing, scientists have identified a number of risks associated with sitting for hours at a time. Leading a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. By giving your teachers the opportunity to stand while they work, you can help them reduce the risk of such conditions. 

When it comes to teacher desks, the selection at McDowell-Craig furniture includes a host of options. Read on to learn about some of the most popular products:

E-Lift Desks 

McDowell-Craig’s E-Lift desks are adjustable to accommodate both sitting and standing positions. With a simple two-button control, instructors can set the height anywhere from 24 to 50 inches. The six-foot power cord maximizes functionality, and the various finishes–including slate, light gray, dark tone, and matte black–add visual appeal. 

Double Pedestal Desks 

Double pedestal desks offer the most storage space, so teachers have plenty of room for all their supplies and classroom materials. With an ample work surface, full extension file drawers that lock, and a sleek modesty panel, these desks are sure to pass every one of your teachers’ tests.  

Mobile Bi-Level Desks 

The Mobile Bi-Level Desk from McDowell-Craig has a podium-like pedestal with full extension locking drawers. Available in both right- and left-hand configurations, this desk is ideal for everything from grading papers to giving presentations to holding small conferences with students on the fly. 

For Offices 

When it comes to office furniture, every business has unique needs. Factors that will determine your essentials include the size of your team, how their workspaces will be configured, and whether you digitize everything or need tons of storage space for paperwork. At the very least, though, you’ll probably want to purchase open-plan workstations, and for private offices: desks, chairs, bookcases and filing cabinets. 

Office Desks 

There are two kinds of office desks: individual and collaborative. Individual desks can have one, two, or three workspace surfaces, but they’re designed solely for one person. 

Collaborative desks, on the other hand, are designed for multiple people to sit at and use all day long. Not to be confused with conference tables, which are much larger and typically only used for a portion of the day, collaborative desks can accommodate two, three, four, or more people. 

When shopping for individual desks, you should prioritize storage space, security, and functionality. For example, filing cabinets and overhead storage are usually a must, as are their locking capabilities. As for functionality, employees tend to be most productive when they can spread out, making L- and U-shaped configurations the ideal choice when there’s enough room. 

As for collaborative desks, you should look for expansive tabletops with plenty of underlying legroom. Cable troughs and power modules are also great features, since they allow employees to set up their computers with ease. 

For maximum versatility, steer clear of massive collaborative desks that seat more than five or six people. If you want your entire team to work together, opt for nesting mobile flip tables that can be moved and rearranged….or stored away in a matter of seconds. 

Regardless of whether you want to furnish your company with individual or collaborative desks–or some combination of the two–McDowell-Craig can meet all your needs. Between their Suzy Freestanding Desk System and Simon Series Panel System, there are virtually no limits to what you can design for your employees. Constructed of heavy-gauge steel, this office furniture is built to withstand countless working lunches, brainstorming sessions, and promotions.  

Office Chairs 

To operate efficiently from the time they clock in to the time they clock out, your employees need a comfortable place to sit. As such, no desk is complete without an ergonomic chair. Enter McDowell-Craig’s Mesh-Back Ergo Chair with triple density foam and a 360-degree swivel.

Designed to optimize posture while promoting circulation, this office chair can prevent fatigue all day long. What’s more, it has seven possible adjustments, so it can be totally customized for each and every employee’s liking. 

As for furnishing conference rooms and temporary workspaces, stock up on McDowell-Craig’s Stackable Chairs. With a sculpted backrest comprised of thick, high-resilience foam, these chairs provide sufficient lumbar support to ensure comfort during even the longest meetings. 

Turn to McDowell-Craig for All Your School & Office Furniture

If you need to furnish a school or office, turn to McDowell-Craig for all the essentials. Our in-house design team can help with every step of the process, from drafting an overall scheme to picking out each individual desk and chair. Let us bring your vision to life. To discuss your project, reach out on our website.