If the office desk is wobbly, it is most annoying. When you apply pressure to the tabletop, it moves along with you every time. This problem is not only an aesthetic one, but quickly leads to a lack of concentration and annoyance, because the desk’s own movements distract from the work and are quickly seen as annoying. Fortunately, a wobbly desk is not a problem you have to accept. In the following article, we will show you what you can do about it and also discuss the possible causes.

Your efficiency suffers from a wobbly desk

Ein wackelnder Schreibtisch reduziert die Arbeitsleistung

A wobbly desk reduces your work performance – that’s why we always recommend a high-quality desk that can be additionally adjusted to the user.

A wobbly desk is regarded as annoying just like a creaking floorboard or a roommate who whistles cheerfully while you are working.

But why is that? Desk work requires the utmost concentration, so even the smallest disturbances become unpleasant. Depending on what you are working on, you may find this disturbance annoying or even unbearable. If you are working at a computer, you will find the wobbly desk unpleasant. It is even worse when the desk wobbles while you are writing. This is extremely inconvenient because when you are writing, the wobbly desk can even make your writing look washed out because the desk moves with each push that is made.

The wobbly desk can also be a strain on your eyes in the long run, as the monitor or documents are set in motion and your eyes have to constantly refocus. Overall, your work performance will definitely decrease, so we recommend stabilising the desk quickly.

The desk wobbles: most common causes

Incorrec construction

In most cases, a wobbly desk is the result of an incorrect construction. Even small nuances decide whether the desk stands straight or wobbles. Self-built desks are most often affected by this problem, for example when the desk legs are just screwed to the top. This construction is usually more fragile and often the reason for a wobbly desk.

Desks with frames and traverses are built more sturdily but are usually a little more expensive. In the end, however, the extra cost pays off because the frame absorbs the weight and ensures a flat stand.

The table legs do not have the same length

Schreibtisch wackelt: Häufige Urrsache sind billige Tischbeine

The manufacturing tolerances of high-quality desks are smaller. Furthermore, the height of the table legs can often be adjusted individually.

Legs of unequal length can also be the reason for a wobbly desk. Particularly low-priced products that have to be self-assembled are often affected by this. Work has already been done carelessly in the manufacturing process, so that the table legs turn out to be of different lengths. You cannot always see the difference in length with the naked eye – often a few millimetres decide whether the desk is safe or not.

The floor is uneven

If the floor is uneven, even the best desk is useless. Small unevennesses are common, for example if parts of the floor are worn out. Here as well, the smallest differences in height are enough to cause the desk to wobble.

Screws are loose

The problem is less often due to loose screws. If these are not tight or are knocked out, the overall construction can become unstable. If you feel that the desk is not wobbly in its entirety, but rather unstable “in itself”, this may indicate loose screws.

Tips to stabilise a wobbly desk

Attach stabilising material to the desk

The easiest way to stabilise a wobbly desk is to use underlays. This is not only a quick but also a very inexpensive option. Underlays are ideal if the desk legs are of different lengths or if there are unevennesses on the floor. The most elegant and durable solution is to buy felt glides, like those used for chair legs.

For tables, we recommend extra-large, well-made felt glides because the table has a lot of weight and cheap glides will flatten and wear out too quickly. Check which table leg is too short and place a felt glider under it. Do the same if the floor is uneven. If you don’t have felt glides at hand but are annoyed by a wobbly desk, you can improvise with pieces of carton or paper.

Make table legs height-adjustable

With height-adjustable table legs, you can easily solve the problem by fine-tuning the height for each leg. Persistently wobbly desks can also be upgraded by screwing adjustments to the legs afterwards. The advantage of this is that you can fix the desk even higher than originally intended, allowing for an ideal working position.

When adjusting, it is best to place a spirit level on the desk and, after adjusting the desk legs, check whether the desk is now standing upright.

Fixing it to the wall

A very successful, although somewhat primitive, method is to fix the desk to the wall using an angle strip. We recommend this step especially if your desk is extremely wobbly and other possibilities have not been successful. For most desks, it is possible to attach an angle strip onto it.

To do so, attach the strip to the back of the desk with several screws. Then place the desk close to the wall so that the angle strip lies flat against it. Finally, fix the strip to the wall using plugs and screws. Now the once wobbly desk is firmly attached to the wall so that there is no more room for the materials to move. The wobbling is eliminated, and you can work without any problems again.

The post "Wobbly office desk – 3 tips for more stability" written by:

Sophie Voigtländer

Expertin für Bürogestaltung und Ergonomie

Sophie joined deskonia at the beginning of 2021. Since then, she is mainly responsible for translating all kinds of texts into English.

She studied International Communication and Translation.

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