Your desk is an important purchase. For most of us it will be the backbone of the home office and where we spend most of our time when working on the computer, writing, or doing other related work.
There’s good news and bad news about the amount of choices you have.
It’s probably no surprise, but there is a huge variety of desks to choose from. This can be a bit overwhelming at first if you’re not sure what you need.
The good news is that you can find a desk to fit all of your needs (and wants).
The best place to start is by browsing through the types that you know that you are already interested in and seeing what features you like the most.
Finding out if you need things like a file cabinet, drawers for office supplies, and extra storage space is important too.
For example, if you already know that you want a desk that can be use for sitting and standing, then you probably want to skip looking at a smaller writing desk.
Narrowing down your search like this will save you time and let you focus on what the most important features are so you can start comparing and ultimate get the desk that you need for your home office.
When you work from home having the right desk will increase your productivity, make you more comfortable, and make your home office “right” for you.
Types Of Home Office Desks
- Standing Desks
- Shaped Desks
- Executive Desks
- Writing Desks
- Corner Desks
- Computer Desks
How To Choose The Best Desk For Your Home Office
Step 1 – How Will You Be Using Your Desk?
When you are actually using your desk how will you be using it?
Will you be:
- Sitting down for long periods of time?
- Coming and going throughout the day?
- Using it only with a computer?
- Only using it once or twice per week?
- Doing other activities like arranging paperwork, creating graphic layouts?
These are just a few ways that many of us use our desk setups and the way YOU intend to use yours will influence your desk purchase.
If you’ll be sitting down for long periods of time, you might want to consider sit stand desks (adjustable) as well as the L-shape desk that lets you arrange more material. For example, you might have your computer or laptop on the long “L” section, and paperwork or reference material on the short side.
If you want to use it with a desktop computer check out desks that offer solutions for holding a PC tower, or at least don’t make it difficult to position the tower in your work space. Another great addition is routing for computer and monitor cables (sometimes through small wiring holes) and trays that help keep wires and cables from drooping down and getting caught.
If you will only be using the desk for short periods of time, then you might want to consider a smaller desk with a surface big enough for your work – perhaps you have a laptop, but want a docking station with mouse & mouse pad. This means you can have a smaller desk with a small footprint in your office, but still need enough space to position all of that easily, along with a monitor or two.
And while most of us (probably all…) are using computers, you might be doing graphical layouts, creating binders, or other physical designing that means you want some serious desktop space. In this case you’re going to want to optimize for surface area and get a bigger desktop that will still fit in your home office space.
With all of these choices, consider what you want to have nearby at all times when at your desk. Do you want drawers for pens and paper? Could you get a shelf or storage cabinet to have nearby for extra storage?
Most home office desk users can use a pretty minimal desk in terms of storage space so long as there is extra space available nearby in a bookshelf or other storage tool. This can also help with productivity and organization by keeping distractions and clutter from taking over your desk…however you still have to keep things organized yourself!
Step 2 – Your Home Office Space
Have you measured out your home office space?
If not, this is a great first step after considering how you will use your desk. Make sure you know how much room you have and take into consideration any doors or windows that might be opening into the space.
A few more pointers may help save you some trial and error:
- Remember that your desk will likely not be backed flush against a wall, you need room for cables and probably don’t want it rubbing on the wall.
- Add at least an inch or two to each side to make sure you can get it into position – a really tight fit can be tough to deal with.
- If you have time, get out the measuring tape and pretend that the desk is in position. Are there any obvious obstructions? Does it “feel” right?
- Do you have enough space behind the desk where you will be sitting or standing? Make sure there’s enough room to back up and move as needed.
Step 3 – Ergonomics and You
If you haven’t done so yet, check out the adjustable desk options when looking for your office furniture. There are now many great sit stand desks that give you the option of standing or sitting and can quickly be adjusted as needed.
There are many health benefits from standing and even just a few periods of standing per day can make a big difference in how you feel at the end of a long day.
You also have options beyond just adjusting the height. You can also a keyboard tray so that your arms don’t go numb while banging out that impressive new article.
Will you be able to easily reach everything you need on or near your desk without straining or reaching awardly? If you can’t, you may want a smaller desk or make sure that you stand up instead of reaching.
Is the desk high enough to allow room for your legs and knees to comfortably fit? It may sound crazy, but if you’re taller than 6 feet you’ve probably experienced some desks that seemed more like torture devices than productivity tools – make sure you know what height works best for you. Of course, your office chair should also fit comfortable around your desk choice.
Looking into these options before you buy will save you time and money down the road.
If you skipped down to the summary, we won’t disappoint. Here’s what you should do before getting your desk:
- Figure out how you’ll be using your desk: long periods of time, sitting and standing, computer only, lots of paperwork, etc. This will give you the size and type of desk you should probably buy.
- Measure your home office space and make sure the desk will comfortably fit.
- Choose a desk option that has the right ergonomics and fit for you
Taking a little bit of time up front to do some measurements and think about how you’ll use your desk day to day means you’ll get the desk you want (and need) and don’t end up regretting your purchase or having to go back and find something else in a month or two.