Following what will become known as the great pandemic of 2020 the move from 100% office based work to a hybrid of office and working from home has accelerated. As more and more people are now looking to change out their temporary equipment for a more permanent set up as they settle in to working from home I’m taking a look at some of the choices when it comes to home office desks and chairs.
So, What should I be Looking For?
It depends, is the unfortunate answer. I’m sorry if you were looking for a straightforward answer with a “just buy this one” recommendation but rather than point you towards the desk or chair which earns me the highest commission I’d rather make sure you get the best desk and chair appropriate for what you’re going to be using it for! So I’ll split it into a few different categories so you can get a better idea!
Budget Options – as many of us transition from office based to a hybrid some companies will be fully supportive of the move (and will have budgeted for this) and so may have money to make sure that their employees get the right type of equipment –
I cannot stress this enough but if nothing else please ENSURE that you get a fully ergonomic, supportive and comfortable chair if you are being expected to be sat at a computer desk all day.
In this case it’s unlikely that you will be given a choice, however how much space you have available in your home may determine if you get a bigger high backed chair with the built in head rest or if you have to get a smaller model to fit your space.
As long as it’s ergonomic and is fully adjustable to ensure that it is 100% comfortable then it’s fine.
Ensure that you can adjust both the height and the angle so that you are at the appropriate height for the desk and that your legs are able to reach the floor with your feet flat (you may of course choose to have a foot rest if you find these useful). Make sure that when you sit at your desk your arms are at a comfortable angle on the desk and that you can reach your keyboard / mouse.
The picture opposite shows a suitable chair which is fully adjustable, supports your back and is free to move about with the castors.
The desk is less important to be honest, as long as it’s flat and there’s room enough for your computer monitor and the keyboard and your arms are comfortable resting on it then it should be fine. A bit of space is good to spread out papers (and for the cat to lie on) but if there’s no room for that then it’s not a big deal.
The important thing is for there to be room for the equipment you will need to use most of the time.
(Remember to include a desk tidy to keep the area clear and so that you’re not getting overwhelmed with papers in front of you). Prioritising what to work on next, putting it into separate folders and then having it in a tray will both keep it there and available but not be catching your eye every two minutes.
Staying focused on the job in hand is an important part of working from home as getting distracted and then being unsure of what to work on next is a big time waster and just gets you concerned so try to stay organised.
People have a multitude of reasons why they may want not to remain working from home and others may be loathing the thought of going back into an open-plan office and then there will be people who have become accustomed to working from home but would like the option of being able to pop into the office for meetings or for some collaboration time.
One of the other reasons may be just a lack of space in the home. Not everyone has the option of setting aside some space or even a spare room so that they can set it up for working.
There are some really good ideas I have seen for office desks that take up less space, from swing out desks that convert into cupboards after work to wall mounted desks that double as a notice board (see pic opposite) – although I’m not keen on the chair the desk is such a good idea for those who don’t work full time from home and just need a desk to use now and again or are really short of space.
I have found that I quite enjoy working on my own and although I do need to speak to colleagues now and again I find that a Teams meeting every other day seems to keep everyone on the same track. Meetings with four or five people work a lot better than bigger meetings unless they are strictly mediated otherwise people end up speaking over each other and the meeting loses focus.
Other Considerations – As I said at the beginning a lot of the choices will depend on what you are going to be working on. People who take part in a lot of zoom meetings may find that a sitting / standing desk would be better for them giving them the choice of standing to take part in a meeting.
I know I find sitting during meetings (especially the longer ones) I end up getting sore legs and having the option to stand up during a meeting would be good.
They come in various models now, whether it’s for one or two monitors as well as monitor and laptop combinations – take a look at some options HERE or click on the photo which takes you to Amazon (as an Amazon associate I earn from any purchases made – although this in no way changes the price that you would pay).
As the mount usually fixes to one pole at the back of the desk it raises both monitors and / or laptop off the surface of the desk freeing up valuable space for mouse and keyboard.
I’ve already written a number of other articles regarding getting a good style of desk and chair depending on your circumstances. For more details on “The best computer desks for the home office” is available HERE. My article on “So, what is the Best Home Office Chair?” can be found HERE and a follow up article for 2021 can be found HERE. Please take a look through these articles to get great deals on what I consider to be practical choices for desks and chairs for the home office.
So, how are you set up at the moment? Are you going to be getting the option of working from home or is your company asking everyone to return to the office? I’d love to hear from you regarding your thoughts on returning to the office or if you are quite happy working from home. Please take part in the conversation and add your thoughts in the comments below – I would, as always, love to hear from you.
If you have any questions or any ideas on articles you’d like to see me discussing in the future please get in touch. I am here to help you.
Meantime, take care,