Almost a third of Australians were working from home when the pandemic hit its peak. So even as vaccines are starting to be available to some citizens, it’s looking like working from home may become a permanent fixture in many households.
Unfortunately, many don’t have home offices that are set up for this kind of permanency!
Here are four tips to help you pick the perfect home office desk to ensure that you can get your work done as quickly as possible while also allowing you the freedom of comfort and storage. Of course, these can work as multi-purpose spaces since, for many of us, the line between home and office isn’t that stark.
1. Consider How Much Space You Have
How big is the space that you call your home office? Do you have a full room, or is it sharing space with a bed in a guest room? For some, their ‘home office’ is a corner in the living room, and that’s okay too!
Unfortunately, the amount of space you use affects how large your desk can be. For many rooms, a small student desk may be all they can fit. These office desks allow for a smaller footprint while still offering a good workspace and a clear surface for you to complete your job on.
For rooms where you have around half of a room available, you should consider an L-shaped, or corner, desk! These desks are especially suited to tuck into a corner while giving you the workspace of two desks. For workers who were used to cubicles in the office, this can be an excellent fit.
If you have a full room available, you have a lot of freedom! A corner desk can be great here, but so can a large desk with a nice hutch built onto it.
Another fantastic idea that implements this is to have a desk with storage for your main workspace, and then another simple desk that you can use for printing material, organizing documents that you need quick access to, and to use as a second space for other projects. Some do this with one desk that’s a drafting table and another that’s a more classic desk, but you can pick any combination that fits what you need for it.
2. How Much Storage Do You Need?
Do you have cabinets and bookshelves in your office, or do you need more storage space? Desks that have hutches and drawers attached come prepared to help you stash away any work that isn’t immediately necessary. Although you could buy more bookshelves, it can be nice to have this storage available and on-hand.
If you prefer to work as minimally as possible, a surface-only desk will make it so that your distractions are kept away from your workspace. This also ensures that it will weigh less if you have to move your desk around and take up less space.
The nice thing is, if your needs do change, many desks can have storage added on, and most hutches are removable if you need them to be, so there’s nothing that can’t be corrected.
3. Would You Benefit from a Standing Desk?
Standing desks are becoming increasingly popular with office workers who are tired of the stagnant lifestyle. Standing while you’re working can help your posture, give you the chance to move around a little, and can keep you from being hit with that sleepy feeling that can knock us all down a little in the afternoon. Most standing desks are full-sized, but many in a podium style can be kept in even smaller spaces and are best for those who work on a laptop.
Options are fantastic to have on hand, though, so a sit-stand desk could allow you to enjoy standing and keeping upright or change it down to a sitting desk for days when you need that. This is also fantastic if the desk is multi-purpose because it means anyone in your household could use it if they wanted to.
If you’ve already picked a desk, and it’s sitting-only, it’s not too late! Many devices can be set on top of a sitting desk so that you can still stand to work. These stands allow you to have your monitor, keyboard, and mouse at a standing level and are often adjustable so you can ensure it’s perfectly fit for you.
4. Do You Share Your Home Office Furniture?
Although any desk can be multi-purpose if you’re using it at different times, if you and your partner are both working from home at the same hours: one desk isn’t going to cut it. Instead, consider desks that are made for those who share workspaces. Like the Zen Desks, this type of desk layout allows you to work together in the same office, enjoy some amount of noise cancellation, and still will let you focus on your work.
Another great option would be two L-shaped desks or modular desks so that you can each create your own space. These don’t come with a visual barrier, but you do have the option to either push them together and make a shared room (which is useful if you two both need access to the printer easily) or to each set a desk in a different corner. The best part is, the layout of these can be changed at any time, so if you notice something isn’t working for you: you can correct it.
Your Home Office Has To Allow For Focus
Above all else, before style, shape, or storage: your desk has to be a space where you can complete your work. Most people who start working from home admit that they have trouble focusing and cannot get to work and complete projects on time. This can be a major issue, especially if you work on a lot of time-sensitive projects.
Pick the desk that you think will inspire you to settle in for work and stay there: if you get one and it doesn’t work, it’s okay to keep looking. The most important thing a desk should do is encourage you to do your job.