Service desk dynamics for libraries

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Responsive customer service is at the heart of today’s library front of house. However, beyond aesthetics and overall function, it is important to consider how the service desks themselves work organically with staff and customers to support well-being.  Specifically, it is essential to choose desks and counters that are flexible and allow for ergonomic movement because it is important that the things we use fit us. Helping people feel connected and facilitating a comfortable exchange is a great way to contribute to your library’s friendly, welcoming environment. This blog will outline our top recommendations for choosing desks that support an ergonomic and responsive front of house in your library.

A curved worktop optimizes free movement.
Choose an ergonomic desktop

A curved worktop with an open form optimizes free movement between staff member and customer, allowing staff to flow easily between tasks and get alongside customers in a natural, spontaneous way.  Further, in a library setting where staff may be required to shift books across the desk, a curved and correctly proportioned worktop helps facilitate this movement to avoid overreaching.

 

Library pod
A curved worktop facilitates easy interaction.
Choose accessories that facilitate ease of interaction and communication

Accessories such as articulated monitor arms further enhance interaction, making it easy to swing the screen between staff and customers to share information. They also allow staff to adjust the height and angle and distance away from the screen to meet their individual needs.

Articulated monitor arms make sharing information easy.
Height adjustability fits the person to the task.
Choose desks with seated to standing electric height adjustability

Height adjustable desks are becoming increasingly common in workspaces, as people recognize the negative impact that sitting for long periods can have on their health.  However, height adjustability also has an important function in front of house settings, that will be used by many people and for different tasks throughout the day.  Staff can customize their workspace to fit themselves and respond to a variety of tasks and situations.  Specifically, staff can meet the needs of their customers and feel confident knowing they can sensitively interact with people of all levels of mobility.

Height adjustability enables staff to respond to customer needs effectively.
An open form enhances customer comfort.

And so…

Thinking through who, how and why staff and customers will be using the service desks is a great first step when planning your library front of house.  Choosing service desks that prioritize flexibility, and support ergonomic movement will allow staff and customers to work and interact naturally, supporting a friendly and welcoming environment in your library space. And during these challenging COVID times ensure the desks can be fitted with effective screening that provides staff and customer safety, while also supporting the dynamic nature of working at a freestanding customer help point.

Written by Paul White, Director of Design – YAKETY YAK Furniture

For more tips for creating ergonomic workspaces be sure to check out our other blog posts, and follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date and to discover more ideas and inspiration.

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