Clarke Murphy Print goes into fully recyclable desk production

Clarke Murphy Print, a fifth-generation family business in print, had to get innovative to save the jobs of its 65 staff that were impacted by the effects of COVID-19.

Within seven days, its owner Benn Murphy designed and manufactured Build-A-Desk – a desk that is fully recyclable and one that adults and children can use for remote learning or their work from home.

According to Murphy, a shortage of office desks as a result of stay home laws following COVID-19, along with the prospect of reducing staff at his manufacturing company Clarke Murphy Print, resulted in his creation of an easy to assemble desk that connects like a simple jigsaw puzzle.

The desk can be assembled in less than 10 minutes.

Murphy said he came up with the idea for Build-A-Desk when his dining room table became a permanent school zone for his four children, leaving the family nowhere to sit for meals.

“I couldn’t buy a desk anywhere because everything was sold out within seven days, so we created Build-A-Desk, a lightweight durable product that’s made from all Australian products and is 100 per cent recyclable,” Murphy said.

“You don’t even need an allen key to put it together. It’s not only made life easier at home but also in the workplace because by creating this new product I’ve been able to keep my 65 staff in a job during COVID-19.

“Being in the printing and design industry, we were looking at sales halving for our business, which would have forced me to scale the business down. Instead, we decided to get creative.”

Keeping staff employed was a key priority for Murphy, so the business quickly repositioned itself to initially make and meet demands for protective face screens.

“Then when I couldn’t find a desk for home schooling and neither could many of my colleagues and friends, we designed one to ensure families can have it in their home within 48 hours,” Murphy said.

“We sourced the materials from Lithgow [in NSW] and it is manufactured in our warehouse in Chatswood and comes in two colours – white and kraft.

“We’ve also made them educational with some of the desks for children having timetables, the alphabet and even a measuring ruler on them to help make learning fun.”

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