How To Choose an Office Desk

A simple grey desk .

Whether you work in an office or from home, having a desk that fits your needs is necessary. A well-designed office desk maximizes your comfort while improving your productivity and efficiency. It can be the difference between having a smooth day or a chaotic one.

You might use the office desk for years. Therefore, you may want to take some time to consider a few key points before purchasing.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Office Desk

a man sitting on his desk.With the endless options available, how do you choose an office desk that’s suitable for your work needs? This post will offer tips and insights to help you pick an office desk. We will cover the shapes, features, materials, and most popular types of office desks.

Identify Your Work Needs

The first thing you need to do before choosing your office desk is identify your work needs. Why do you need the desk, and how do you plan to use it? Here are a few factors to consider when assessing your needs:

Your storage needs

Maybe your job requires you to handle a ton of paperwork. If this is the case, you may want to choose an office desk with a large workspace for you to spread out and organize your documents. You might also want to go for a desk that comes with a shelf or drawer or allows for cabinet extension.

Meetings needs

If you plan to use your workstation to host physical meetings with clients and partners, then you may want to focus more on the style and design of your desk. Choose a desk that not only makes an imposing presentation but is also large enough for you and your visitors.

Computer needs

Another factor worth considering is your tech needs. If you want an office desk for mainly computer work, it’s best to choose one designed ergonomically for comfort. Go for a height-adjustable desk with wiring holes to channel electrical cords and cables. You may also want to factor in a compartment for case placement if you use a desktop PC.

Office plan and size

For an open-plan office, you may want to select a desk that comes with a modesty panel. A modesty panel covers the front of your desk, either halfway or entirely. Its purpose is to shield things that you don’t want anyone to see, for example, your legs. This panel provides privacy for anyone working in an open office layout.

a desk with a phone, laptop and a cup of espresso.As for size, pick a desk that complements the space in your office. For example, if you have a small office space, you may want to consider a small-sized or compact desk.

Which is the Best Shape to Choose?

There are numerous desk shapes and configurations in the market. The one you opt for should depend on your work needs, ergonomic styles, and the position you plan to place it in. Here are a few shapes perfect for an office desk:

L-shaped desk

This office desk has an L-shape with two connected sections. An L-shaped desk is perfect for someone who needs a large work surface or handles a lot of paperwork. L-shaped desks are ideal for a corner and wall office position. However, they might not look appealing in the middle, especially in an open office layout.

U-shaped desk

As the name suggests, this desk has a U-shape with three working stations. Its workspace is typically larger than an L-shaped desk, and it usually comes equipped with cabinets and a credenza. U-shaped desks are suitable for someone working in a private office who needs plenty of filing and storage space. You can also go for this desk if you want a professional and sophisticated look.

Rectangular desk

The great thing about rectangular desks is they can fit well in any position of your office, whether the middle, corner, or close to the wall. This desk is perfect for someone who wants a modest office look with fewer items and paperwork.

Curved desk

Curved desks have a slightly smaller workspace than rectangular ones, and they are ideal for a minimalistic and aesthetic look. They also have a better ergonomic design that’s good for your posture and movement around the desk.

Which Directions are best for an Office Desk?

a desk with lamp and laptop.There is no right or wrong way to position your office desk. It all depends on your preferences. The direction suitable for you may not be ideal for someone else. Check out these ideas on ways to position your office desk:

Face the wall

Positioning your office desk in the direction of the wall is a great way to eliminate distractions while maximizing your focus. This method may, however, work better for a home office. It can also get boring quickly since you have nothing much to stare at but the wall.

Face the door

If you have a private office and expect in-person visitors, it’s best to work while facing the door. This method shows your clients and colleagues that you are open to communication. It can also be an effective way to watch over your surroundings, for example, observing your employees or keeping an eye on your kids if you work from home.

Looking out at the window

Facing a window can be beneficial for someone who often needs a boost of creativity when performing tasks. All they have to do is take a break and enjoy the pleasant view before proceeding with work. The window also lets in natural light, so you won’t struggle to write, read or type.

There are other ways to position your office desk. For example, you can go for the Feng Shui method for maximum productivity or the Vastu shastra system, where you place your desk according to cardinal directions (east, north, and so on). The best way to find your ideal position is by experimenting and assessing which one works best for you.

Features to Consider in an Office Desk

Let’s explore a few essential features to consider when purchasing an office desk.

Desk Material

When choosing an office desk, you may want to consider its make or surface material. The three materials that work best for an office desk include laminate, wood veneer, and metal or steel.


a modern desk.Laminate is durable and more cost-effective than wood veneer. This material can withstand scratches and damage from sharp objects. It also has a broad range of colors and patterns that you can select. Go for laminate if you want an office desk you can use for many years.


Steel desks may not have the best professional appearance, but they are the most durable. Therefore, you can select this material if you are focused more on practicality and longevity than on aesthetics.

Steel desks are, however, heavy. In addition, you may have a challenging time moving them from one position to another. Lastly, they might have a poor finish around the edges, which might chafe your skin or tear your garments.

Wood Veneer

Wood veneer desks may look elegant and aesthetically appealing, but they are delicate and more costly than steel or laminate. These desks are perfect for an executive or private office due to their rich and refined appearance. However, they scratch easily, thus are not suitable for rough use.

Height Adjustability

Height adjustability is another factor you should consider when buying an office desk. This feature is necessary if you are susceptible to back pains and aches. Research suggests that sitting for more than eight hours per day isn’t good for your back, neck, and spine. You can purchase a sit-stand desk that allows you to alternate between standing and sitting.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of a sit-stand desk:


  • This type of desk helps relieve your back and neck muscles and allows you to stretch.
  • Switching between standing and sitting improves your focus and alertness.
  • It’s great for weight management since you get to burn more calories while standing.


  • It limits your choice of footwear. For example, you may feel uncomfortable wearing heels on a sit-stand desk.
  • Standing for hours at a time can make your legs and feet sore.
  • It’s not a suitable option for someone who wants privacy because everyone in the office can see you standing.

Size Consideration

The desk size you select should be sufficiently wide to accommodate your work needs and high enough for appropriate leg space. A height of approximately 30 inches is enough for many users. As for the surface area, it depends on the needs and size of your office or workspace.

If you have a large private office, you may want to select a desk that fills up a significant portion of your workspace. Conversely, small-sized desks are for users with a small workstation who don’t handle any paperwork.

Color Consideration

Like the direction of your office desk, the color you pick depends on your preferences. You may, however, consider the following factors:

Room or office color

Go for a color that complements the ones in your room or office. For example, if your office is grey, a grey desk would be an excellent choice. Alternatively, you can select colors that contrast each other. For instance, if your office is white, you can choose a desk with a darker shade.

Mood and Productivity

a modern office.Research in color psychology suggests that different colors have a varying impact on your mood and productivity. For example, green and blue have a calming effect. Yellow makes you feel positive, energetic, and cheerful. Red stimulates your pulse rate and thus may make you more productive. You can select colors based on the guidelines of color psychology.

Hutch vs. No Hutch

If your line of work requires you to handle and store multiple files and documents, you may want to consider buying a desk mounted with a hutch. This feature offers additional space to ensure your desk’s surface area remains organized and tidy. You can also decorate the desk hutch with plants, pictures frames, or other items that boost your mood and creativity.

Drawer Considerations

Drawers also offer extra space for storing documents and desk supplies. In addition, they help ensure your desk is clean and organized. Without a drawer, your office may look messy and cluttered with office supplies and paperwork.

You can use the drawer to stash away office supplies like:

  • Staplers and paper clips
  • Medication
  • Safety pins
  • Spare keys
  • Any other office essentials you need

Under-Desk Power Management

If your job requires the use of desktops, laptops, printers, scanners, and other devices, you may want to select an office desk with an under-desk power management system. This feature is essential because it prevents wire trips and ensures your electric cables and cords remain well organized. It also protects your wires from damage during leg and chair movement while ensuring your workstation remains tidy.a desk with a printer and Mac computer.

Buying a New Desk vs. a Used One

We’ve now covered the needs and features to consider when purchasing an office desk. However, there might be one question still lingering on your mind – should you buy a new desk or a used one?

New desks have better longevity since they haven’t undergone any wear and tear. They may also come with a warranty and free transportation. The chances of you incurring repair costs are lower when you buy a new desk.

Used office desks, on the other hand, are more cost-effective. Since they are cheap, you can get larger sizes and better configurations for your needs. For example, you can buy a used U-shaped office desk with cabinet filing for the price of a brand new L-shaped desk.

The two main drawbacks of purchasing used desks are lower quality and limited quantity. In addition, the desk may have a few scratches, dents, and color fades that may require repair. You also won’t have a broad array of colors and configurations to pick from.


When buying an office desk, the first thing you need to do is evaluate your work needs. Think about the type of office you have, the amount of storage you require, and how you plan to use the desk. Identifying your needs will help ease your search for the desk best suited for you.

The factors to consider when choosing an office desk are the surface material, size, height adjustability, and the presence of a drawer or hutch. You may also want to assess whether you need an under-desk power management system to protect your wires and cables.

Depending on your budget, you can go for a new desk or a used one. New desks are more costly, but they have better quality and longevity. You might also get a warranty and free transportation to your office location. While cost-effective, used desks may show signs of wear and tear. If you decide to go for a used desk, make sure you inspect it thoroughly.

Buying Guides

Another way to choose an office desk is to look at buyer guides. In addition to an office desk, buyer guides can offer tips and insights to organize your office and tips for additional accessories such as power options, lighting, keyboard sliders, chairs, and desk functions, and styles to consider.

Check out the latest search results for office desk buyer guides.

Market Place

a wooden office desk.You can determine which products are popular by performing a Google Shopping search.

You can narrow your search results by price, color, design, and material.

You can even combine options; for instance, if I’m looking for a black or brown desk that is l-shaped and manufactured by Bestar or Walker Edison, I can check all of these boxes, and Google will filter the results.

Check out the latest search results for office desks.


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