Even as society slowly starts to return to some sense of normalcy after a strange 18 months or so, work-from-home situations remain more common than they would have been just a couple years ago. Whether due to COVID reasons or others, more and more people and companies are realizing the value of working from home, and a greater share of employees are beginning to do this either full-time or most of the time.
At Urban 9-5, we're here to help anyone making the switch to a home office setup with a huge range of industrial and vintage office furniture, from seating and storage to the all-important office desk that will define much of your space. Let's focus in on the desk itself here: What are some of the top variables and themes you should be considering when purchasing a desk for a home office setup? Here are several.
First and foremost, any home office desk purchase should involve careful consideration of the space you have available in your office area. Adjustable height desks, for example, are going to be wasted resources in a small room. An L-shaped executive desk with three separate work areas is an absolute waste in a one-room studio apartment.
In fact, it's probably worth your while to determine how much space you have available before even starting the search for office furniture pieces or a desk in particular. You also need to consider how much space you need the desk itself to have, which is largely defined by the items you'll be placing on it: A computer, keyboard, and monitor, some books and binders for research purposes, and a few filing cabinets in one room may call for a more compact desk than an office with lots of shelving space.
Be honest with yourself about the items you'll place on the desk –- if you have a very large monitor, will there be room for anything else? If you're going to pile papers up high on one corner of your desk, do you need that corner of the desk to be elevated off the ground like a drafting table?
General Desk Comfort
As a place where you'll be spending eight or more hours a day during the work week, it's vital that your desk be comfortable and built for your needs.
For starters, the desk should feature a comfortable work surface. While most people will probably be content to use whatever comes with their desk, you do have some options here: Laminate desks can make for hard surfaces that aren't very pleasant to sit at all day. Hardwood desks are better, but you may want to consider using an ergonomic desk pad or mat to increase comfort levels. Another solution is purchasing a separate keyboard and mouse, which will let you move away from the desk itself when using those items.
Also important will be the height factor, and the type of work surface that works best for you. A higher desk will be useful if you're doing a lot of standing around, but it can also be more difficult to get in and out of your chair while sitting at a high desk. Lower desks provide better arm support, both while typing and when using other office items such as a stapler.
Much of the benefit of working from home involves being able to streamline your workflow at your convenience, and the desk you choose plays a major role here.
Let's start with the basics on this one: Is the desk you're considering purchasing going to be able to facilitate any specific workflow processes? For example, if you have a lot of scanning or filing to do, does your new desk feature an open area where items can be placed immediately upon exiting the scanner or copier machine for fast work speed? This sort of theme can be present in several different areas, so take the time to consider your daily movements and workflow while you're choosing your desk.
Desk Storage and Organization
Another major consideration will be how much storage space it provides, if any at all. Some desks have a lot of built-in shelves or cabinets, potentially making them hard to customize. Others provide more flexibility for personalizing your storage needs as you see fit.
If you have a large amount of paperwork to keep on hand for different projects and tasks, look into a filing cabinet or two that can be placed under or next to your desk. This way, all of the items related to a specific project will always be easy to find when necessary.
Finally, while factors like comfort and convenience should likely be considered first, there's nothing wrong with prioritizing your style preference as well. Are you the type of person who wants to avoid any potentially messy situations, or would you prefer a more casual style? A minimalist look with an open design can make for a great workspace, but it also means that things like crumbs and pet hair are going to be visible.
Do you want your desk in a traditional office setting within your home, or do you want to keep it more separate from the rest of your house? Your choice can affect the overall style of your home-based workspace.For more on how to choose a home office desk for a new work-from-home setup, or to learn about any of our rustic office furniture, speak to the staff at Urban 9-5 today.