When you work from home, having a dedicated office space is incredibly important. Even if you don’t work from home, it can be nice to have a home office where you can hunker down and study, engage in your hobbies, or simply sit in peace and quiet. And what is the most important part of the home office if not the desk?
The focal point of your office, your desk is not just a place to put your paperwork. Having the right desk is important since it’s where you’ll spend about 80 per cent of your workday. You need a desk that is able to hold all your equipment, keep important tools within reach, and is designed for your exact working needs.
Our step-by-step buying guide will help you choose the perfect home office desk for your space, from style to materials, so you can make the most of working from home.
The benefits of a home office space
In our always-on world, it can be difficult to create boundaries between your personal and professional life when you’re working from home. Whether it’s something new on Netflix, something that’s popped up on your newsfeed, or children and pets demanding our undivided attention, there are just so many distractions. When working from home, it can be tough to stay focused and productive.
Having a well-equipped and dedicated home office space helps to eliminate distractions, and in doing so, can help reduce stress. Here are three key reasons why:
A home office means a dedicated ‘zone’ where you can sit and get in the right headspace, then mentally and physically ‘turn off’ from work as you leave.
You can tailor your home office to your exact comfort specifications based on your body and working style.
A clutter-free home office reduces distractions and keeps you focused on the task at hand.
All in all, there are very few downsides to having a dedicated home office.
The importance of a perfect desk
A desk is more than just a fancy table. Where a dining table is designed with space and style in mind, desks are built for highly targeted, more practical purposes.
A desk built for gaming compared to a desk built for graphic design is going to be different, from shape down to materials. In all likelihood, you won’t use a desk just for storing or displaying your personal items, but for various tasks that may benefit from certain unique features.
Choosing the right desk is also important for your health. When you’re spending most of your work day at a desk, you put yourself at risk for muscle pain, poor posture and health problems associated with sedentary work. Getting a desk that is suited to your health needs, whether that means being height adjustable or a standing desk, will greatly improve your working life.
Before getting into style matters, there are three important factors to consider when buying a new desk: budget, purpose and layout.
Of course, you shouldn’t just buy any kind of desk without first considering your budget and value for money. Think about how much you want to spend: are you willing to fork out more in the beginning for long-lasting benefits, or are you happy to spend less on a desk that you may have to replace further down the line? If you use your desk a lot or you expect it to carry a heavy load, then quality may come first. If you don’t use the desk every day and you just want somewhere to place a laptop and a notepad, a more affordable option may suit just fine.
What is your purpose for buying a desk? Do you need a desk for a fully functional home office, complete with a printer and fax machine? Do you need to spread your workload across the desk, or do you just need room for a single laptop? This will help determine the type of desk that you’ll benefit the most from.
Before heading out to the nearest store, get a good idea of the layout of your home office space. Measure the space where you plan on putting the desk. Make sure there is plenty of room for you to walk around your home office and access bookshelves or storage. Also, make sure you leave enough room to move in and out of an office chair – they tend to measure larger than they look!
Types of home office desks
There are many different types of office desks that you might like to consider to increase your productivity. Each desk type has its own unique benefits, namely the amount of space accommodating for storage and your desktop.
Why is a raven like a writing desk? Because Poe wrote on both! Jokes aside, the writing desk is a traditional style desk designed for conjuring up creativity. With minimal storage, but space for a wide desktop, you can let your imagination run when setting down a laptop or writing (in) a book. A writing desk obviously suits writers, but it may also be good for researchers, students and academics who don’t need to recreate a full-scale office experience.
Big, bulky, and most importantly sturdy, the home computer desk sports the same minimalism as a writing desk with added space for hardware. Computer desks not only have room for your computer, monitors and other accessories, but are built from strong materials to handle the weight of all your technology. Computer desks are perfect if your job involves a lot of tech support, customer service, or running a small business.
The next step up from the basic computer desk, gaming desks come in all sorts of shapes and styles but have one common purpose: to support long hours of streaming, competing, and grinding in video games. Gaming desks ha
ve large, sturdy surfaces designed to support a CPU and multiple monitors, but they may also have ergonomic features such as a cutaway desktop, adjustable heights and easily movable components. Some gaming desks will also come with ‘quality of life’ features such as cup holders, extensive cable management, headset holders, and integrated LED lighting.
Executive corner desk
Catering to professionals in sedentary jobs, executive desks are built for handling bigger items, technology and tasks. Traditionally the corner desk, in the corner office, most importantly is the way they impart a sense of grandeur. Designed with the high-powered executive in mind, executive desks come with ample surface space and storage drawers for important documents and items for day-to-day business.
Combining storage and desk space, a credenza desk has sufficient space to set up a desktop with internal storage shelves. If you don’t have a spare room for an office, a credenza is perfect for living and dining rooms.
Wall mounted desk
Also known as floating desks, the wall-mounted desk is perfect for someone low on space. These desks are characterised by small desktops, sometimes surrounded by cubbies or shelves. Some models will even allow you to pack the desk away when you’re done.
One of the more modern desk styles, commonly seen in apartment hallways, ladder desks are compact and stylish with plenty of storage options. They start with a wide base that gets narrower towards the top, giving you the look of an open two-sided ladder with various shelving sizes. They may be wall mounted, or they may stand independently.
Standing desks are designed with your health in mind. These desks allow you to adjust the height of the desk either manually or electrically to the perfect position for your body. A standing desk will often provide optionality, so that you can stand while working or alternate between standing and sitting. Whether you prefer to sit or stand for the majority of the time, these desks are great for everyone, but especially beneficial if you lead a sedentary lifestyle or have back pain that flares up when sitting for extended periods. In fact, studies have shown that standing desks may make you more productive and help you focus.
A shaped desk is perfect if your home has a challenging layout, or you need a lot of space to work. Abundant with storage options and desktop space, these desks are perfect for the busy worker bee who likes to have everything within arm’s reach. You can find U-shaped, L-shaped or corner desks to suit any office configuration.
Drawing or drafting desks are made specifically for designers, architects, and artists. These desks can tilt forward, allowing you to work on a project from different angles. They can also be used as a regular desk, so you can tailor your space to your current project.
Choosing the right material for your home office desk is about more than just monetary value. Your desk needs to be comfortable, durable, and have a suitable surface for the particular work you’re doing. It also needs to be easy to maintain and able to withstand the bumps of everyday life. Finally, your desk should be aesthetically appealing and fit your space. So, what kind of material is best for your workstation? Let's dive a little deeper.
Wood office desks
The most common desk material, wood is known for its durability and flexibility and comes in so many varieties, finishes and styles, that it’s nearly impossible to choose the best. Here are some of the most common wood choices in furniture:
Bamboo: A light, water resistant and sustainable choice.
Elm: A flexible yet durable solution that is not too hard, not too soft.
Teak: A more expensive wood that is insect and water-resistant.
Maple: A cost-effective solution that is also water resistant.
Walnut: A classic wood that is water and mould-resistant.
Veneer: Wood veneer is made by gluing thin sheets of wood to cheaper core material. Eco-friendly and recyclable.
Ply: Piled wood layers that are covered by veneers, this option is cheaper than solid wood and is chemical-resistant but may not stand up to high traffic areas.
Laminate: Laminate and plywood are both made from gluing layers of wood together, but laminate glues the grain together in parallel, where plywood is crossed.
Reclaimed: Made from old wooden planks, this upcycled option is great for the eco-conscious, but the quality will only be as good as the original wood.
You can also find desks made of chipboard or fibreboard. These are composite wood materials that are more affordable and moisture resistant, but not always as durable.
Plastic office desks
There are several reasons to purchase a plastic desk: they are lightweight, resistant to all kinds of damage from water, insects or mould, and require little maintenance. They are also very cost-effective, but not always aesthetically pleasing. These desks are perfect for artists using paint and raw materials, and people with children.
Metal office desks
Trendy, versatile and strong, metal desks are perfect for hard workers. If you use a lot of equipment or need a desk that will withstand scratching, this is the perfect material for you. Be careful though; metal is heavy, can be rough around the edges, and can scratch delicate floors.
You can get office desks made from different types of metal:
Aluminium: A lighter metal choice, this material is also recyclable and resistant to corrosion, but it is a soft metal that can easily dent and scratch.
Steel: Super durable, steel can also be used to make foldable, compact pieces.
Iron: The heaviest option, but also the most durable and aesthetically pleasing.
Glass office desks
An aesthetically appealing choice, glass is perfect for anyone wanting to create a stylish workstation. The smooth, super durable surface is awesome for those long hours drawing, writing emails or crafting. The drawbacks? Glass tends to be more expensive, will show any dirt, and smear very easily.
Ergonomics of modern home office desks
At the end of the day, any desk feature will be useless if you haven’t set up your home office space for peak performance. Here are some tips from the experts at Artiss:
Choose an office desk that has enough room to keep all your office essentials (e.g. mouse, keyboard and books) as close as possible to prevent strain from overreaching.
Keep your keyboard and mouse on the same surface.
Make sure there’s enough room under the desk to keep you comfortable, and for your knees, thighs and feet.
Keep your monitor directly in front of you at arm’s length, with the top of the screen at or just below eye level.
If using a standing desk, the best height is where you can operate your keyboard and mouse with your elbows close to your body, arms at the same height as your elbows, and the keyboard at about hip level.
So you’ve made a decision…
Now it’s time to buy! Where better to start looking than Artiss? We have a wide range of desks and home office accessories to make the most of your workspace, perfectly designed for ultimate productivity. Not only that, but you can make the most of our prompt delivery and friendly Australia-based customer service team. Shop online with Artiss today!