One of the first things to come to mind when you think about furnishing your home office is a desk. A word of advice, take your time choosing one. It should be functional, aesthetically pleasing, and suited to the space it will occupy. Prices will vary depending on what you need/want. But remember, this is a long term investment in your business and it will have a direct effect on your ability to work efficiently.
Let’s go over some of the things you’ll want to consider to make the best decision for you and your office space.
All though function and price are important, you’ll be spending a good bit of your time at this desk. Studies show that you will be more efficient working in an environment that you find comfortable in. Your desk should coordinate with the décor of the room it lives in.
There’s no one right answer for everyone here. What is the vibe you want your office to put off? If you have a modern more elegant style, a desk with a tempered glass top would fit in nicely, maybe even with shiny metal finishings. But if you’re more drawn to a classic sophisticated atmosphere go for a wooden executive style desk.
Will you be meeting with clients in your office? Just imagine their reaction when they walk in your office and see that rich mahogany desk front and center in the room. They’ll see you as the successful professional you are (who happens to be fortunate enough to work from the comfort of your own home).
I know there are a lot of expenses involved in setting up your home office space, and furniture can be a whopper. Just keep in mind that your desk is a long term investment in your business (not to mention deductible). It is something you won’t have to replace often (if ever) especially if you go with a quality one in the first place.
Whether you decide on a built in unit, an L-shaped desk, or an executive style stand-alone desk, consider the quality of the materials it is made with. If you choose a sturdy piece of furniture, it will last a very long time.
Oh and don’t be afraid to check out some second hand options. A good desk can last for many many years. Look into auctions, second hand stores, or classified ads. You just may find a gem at a very reasonable price. Lucky you!
The type of work you will be doing and the tools you need to do it with will be a key consideration when choosing a desk. Consider these areas when picking out your desk.
Like I said earlier, you’ll spend a lot of your time at this desk. So make sure it’s comfortable to sit at. You’ll want a quality chair too but that’s a whole other post (coming soon). A good ergonomic desk will keep your joints at right angles. Some desks come with adjustable legs, if yours doesn’t you can get them separate if needed.
Desktop space –
Make sure the top of your desk is long enough and deep enough to suit your needs. I know a lot of people have gone digital with everything and that’s great if that works for you. I’m not quite there yet, not sure if I ever will be. I like working with physical documents. It makes things seem more real to me if that makes any sense. There’s something about the tactical experience with paper and pencil that tends to keep me more focused and productive. Anybody else feel this way? Also, I find that I retain information better when I write them down on paper vs type them on a computer.
Cord Management –
Inevitably you will have things on your desk that need plugged in. Monitor, light, printer, etc. Cord ports are awesome! You can just feed the cords through that little whole in your desk and keep them out of your way.
If you don’t have cord ports, I saw a little trick that works out great to control the cord monsters. I ran across a YouTube video that showed several uses for binder clips and one of them was cord management. You feed the cords through the handles on a binder clip and attach it to the back of your desk. Boom! Make shift cord port! I love little tips like this.
Keyboard/Mouse Tray –
You might want a keyboard tray. Having a space to tuck away the keyboard when it’s not in use is so handy. Besides, it’s more comfortable to type with the keyboard at a slightly lower level than the desktop. Make sure it’s big enough to hold the mouse too.
Monitor Mount –
Some desks are designed with a little shelf for the monitor to sit on. My advice, get an articulating monitor arm or wall mount. Your monitor doesn’t have to take up precious desktop surface area. Have dual monitors? Get one that is designed to hold two monitors, yep they make them.
If you keep physical files at all you’ll want a drawer for them in or at least near your desk. I know some people like the sleek look of a tabletop style desk with no drawers and that’s fine if that’s what you prefer. Just remember that you need a place to keep all of your office supplies. I like to have my supplies within arm’s reach but out of site when not in use. So a desk with at least a couple drawers would be my first choice. I love it when everything has a place it belongs, don’t you?
And while we’re talking about drawers, a quality desk will usually have deep drawers mounted on rails that slide in and out on ball bearings. If yours doesn’t, you can rub a little paraffin wax on the bottom of the drawer and in the slot where the drawer goes to make it slide in and out smoother. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your wooden desk.
I hope this helps guide you to find the perfect desk for your home office. Look around a little before picking one out, it will be the hub of your home office and should suit you to a tee.
Have a picture in your mind of the perfect home office desk? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
To Your Continued Success,