A “desk return” refers to the portion of one of these desks that attaches to the main desk surface and extends outward to one side. On a u-shaped desk, the return is often referred to as a bridge, which attaches the main desk to a credenza. 

If you’re shopping for an l-shaped or u-shaped desk online, you’ll want to know exactly what type of return you’ll need before you make a purchase. Purchasing a desk with a return online can be tricky, so consider these tips before making your final decision.

L-shaped and u-shaped desks will come with 1 of 3 different types of returns: left-sided, right-sided, or reversible. A right or left return is determined by where the return is positioned in relation to your body while you are seated at the main desk. In other words, when you are seated at the main desk, a left return will be on your left side, and a right return will be on your right. A reversible return is a return that can be positioned to either the left or right side of the main desk, whichever you prefer. On many desk models, however, the return can only be attached to one side or the other, so be sure to read the product description carefully before making a selection. Measure your office and visualize where in the room your desk will be placed to determine whether you will want a left- or right-handed return.


Selecting a certain type of return is largely about your personal preference; however, your home or office may have space constraints that will force you to choose one type over the other. Be sure to keep in mind the overall dimensions of the desk. Remember, the total width of an l-shaped desk or u-shaped desk is equal to the width of the main desk. The total depth of an l-shaped desk is equal to the length of the return plus the depth of the main desk, and the total depth of a u-shaped desk is equal to the length of the return plus the depth of the main desk plus the depth of the credenza.


Another factor to consider is the functionality the desk return will have in your day-to-day work life. Typically, users are more comfortable using a return that correlates with their dominant hand. You may also need to facilitate other functions of your workspace, such as a computer area or space for guests.



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