Once you’ve picked out your perfect desk you need to make sure it will fit seamlessly into your home office.
It’s not as straightforward as pushing up against the nearest wall.
Or that corner of the room that seems ideal for it.
Remember, you’re probably going to spend a lot of your working day at your desk, so you can’t afford for it to be an uncomfortable experience.
Total space required
The physical dimensions of your desk are not the final measurement you need to take in terms of fitting it.
You will need an adequate amount of free space at the rear and sides of your desk, as well as behind your sitting position.
Allow for at least 1-inch (25mm) of free space to the left and right of the desk, especially if you need to wiggle it into place. It’s all too easy for your desk to end up jammed into place if you don’t.
The rear of the desk should have at least 2-inches (50mm) of space between it and the wall behind it – if you’re placing it against a wall.
And then finally, you’ll need at least 6-square feet (but ideally 9ft) of free space surrounding where you plan on sitting.
Any less than that can leave you feeling like you’re sitting on your desk instead of in front of it.
Why the placement of your desk matters
When you are setting up your desk, its placement matters because it can impact both your productivity and focus.
Let’s say it’s situated at a funny angle to a window, so you end up with a ton of glare on your computer screen.
Another example is that some people can feel isolated when they sit facing a wall all day.
You also need to be aware of background noise from both inside and outside your home – your desk should be as far away from both as possible.
It’s also a good idea to not place your desk near sources of excessive amounts of heat or cold e.g. right beside your HVAC.
Are you near natural light?
No matter what size or shape your desk is, it is important to place it as close to a source of natural light as you can.
Some people like to face a window, while others get distracted and prefer to place the desk perpendicular to the window.
You shouldn’t face your desk away from the window unless you have window treatments that can block glare from the sun otherwise you’re not going to be able to see your screen.
Another option for reducing glare is an adjustable blackout blind.
How big does your desk need to be?
The size of your desk and how it compares to the size of the room is another consideration.
If you place a large desk in a smaller room, you should consider placing the desk away from the wall and closer to the center of the room.
Many people choose to have their desk face the entrance of the room so that they see people as they come through the door.
If you have a small desk in a large room, you can put it wherever you want.
That’s the benefit of measuring both your office space and your desk before you go shopping.
The right view for you
There is no right answer when it comes to choosing the best view for when you’re working at your desk.
But whatever you choose it should allow you to feel relaxed, engaged, and focused on your work.
Some people enjoy looking out the window, while others find the activities happening outside to be distracting and prefer to just face a wall.
My own compromise is that I sit facing a wall all day, but there’s a window to my left, so if I can look out that if I need a few minutes break from the screens.
Just make sure that the view from your window will inspire you instead of depress you i.e. you’re not looking at your neighbors wall.
Your room layout
The layout of the room may leave you with very few choices for where to place your desk.
You need to look at the location of the windows, the light fixtures, and power outlets, for example.
After all, there’s no point in setting up your computer on the opposite side of the room to where your power sockets are.
You also need to consider how far your office is from your Wi-Fi router- you could accidentally set up your home office in the only “dead spot” in your house.
You can always get around that problem with a something like a Powerline port, or a Wi-Fi extender.
Some people design their home office from scratch, in which case you can make sure that power outlets are where you need them. You could even have an Ethernet port wired into the wall for good measure.
You need to consider the placement of your desk to maximize your productivity and eliminate distractions.
Make sure that you have a natural source of light close to the desk, and think about how you work best.
If you aren’t distracted by facing a window, this is a great option because it is a nice view when you take a break.
The bottom line is that your desk should be placed in the best location for you to stay focused and feel relaxed when you’re working.