Working from home has become quite popular over the years. You might set up shop at your kitchen table, your couch, or maybe even your bed. While working from home can sound appealing, if you don’t have the proper workstation, it can prove to be difficult.
A big part of any home office is desk space. The standard desk is 29 to 30 inches tall. Desk sizes vary, but common dimensions are 48, 60, and 72 inches wide and 24, 30, and 36 inches deep.
Table of Contents
- Choosing a Desk
- Types of Desks
- Workstations and Office Layouts
- Desk Chair Options
- Related Questions
Choosing a Desk
Whether you’re working from home, downsizing your current office, or just want to pay household bills, you need a place to do it. All of these are great reasons to create your perfect home office space.
Before you purchase your desk, identify the ideal desk size for your office space. There are some minimum measurements to keep in mind when searching for a desk. Always think of the minimum width, depth, and height.
For a sitting desk:
- The minimum width is 24 inches per person.
- Minimum depth clearance at knee level is 18 inches. You don’t want your knees to hit your desk when sitting.
- The minimum depth clearance at foot level is 24 inches.
- Minimum height clearance at foot level is 4 inches.
For a standing desk:
- Minimum width is 20 inches per person.
- Minimum depth depends on what you want to plan to put on the desk. However, most people usually just have a laptop on it due to the mobility of the desk.
Now that you know the minimum dimensions, it is time to pick out your desk.
Types of Desks
When you choose your desk, it is going to depend on the space that you have for that desk. As mentioned earlier, you always want to keep in mind clearance levels. You should be able to comfortably move in and out of your desk and around it.
Here are eight popular desk styles to consider. You might choose one of these exact designs or use them as inspiration for your future desk.
The Hemnes desk from Ikea features two drawers perfect for storing office or school supplies. Since the back of the desk is covered, it’s ideal for hiding computer chargers or lamp cords. This desk is a low-lying height, and the desktop is wide enough to use as a workstation.
The Hemnes desk has a height of 29.5 inches, a width of 47.25 inches, and a depth of 18.5 inches.
This type of desk is ideal for a bedroom, home office, or small spaces. With work supplies tucked away in the drawers, it can also be transformed into a sideboard when guests are visiting. Add a collection of books, vase, or lamp, and your guests will never know it’s your workspace!
The Celine desk is a mid-century inspired wood desk. Nazanin Kamali designed it with a single-drawer, an open cubby, and tapered legs.
The Celine Desk measures 43.5 inches wide, 21.75 inches deep, and has a height of 29.75 inches.
This type of desk is another great option for a home office space. You can use the drawer to store supplies, while the open cubby can display office decor. This desk also works well in a guest bedroom that doubles as an office.
Eames Desk Unit
Charles and Ray Eames designed the Eames Desk Unit in 1952. The purpose of this desk was a solution for both residential and office use.
The Eames Desk Unit has a width of 60 inches, depth of 28 inches, and an overall height of 29 inches.
This desk is made of plywood, steel, and wire and includes a drawer and brightly colored side and back panels. This desk is a flexible option for both a traditional office as well as a home office.
Standing Work Desk
The standing work desk or table is a relatively new design of the desk. While previously used for casual work in coffee shops, you can now find them in modern work environments. They are also creeping into home offices as people learn just how unhealthy sitting for long periods can be.
When you sit at your desk for too long, you can start to get uncomfortable. This can cause you to become unproductive at work, creates tension in muscles, and worse. A standing work table is an excellent solution for these issues.
These types of desks are ideal when you need a pick-me-up, like the after-lunch slump.
Standing work tables range from 38 to 42 inches in height and average 36 inches wide. They can accommodate multiple laptop or tablet users on a single table.
Workstations and Office Layouts
Many companies are downsizing their office space because technology has made it possible for more people to work from home. You might be the only person in your home that needs a home office, or there could be multiple users.
Depending on your specific situation, you need to choose the layout for your space that works best for everyone. Once you know how many people plan to use your home office space, you’ll be better equipped to select the perfect desk (or desks).
Single Office Workstation
The single office workstation is a great desk layout for a home office designed for one person. Or, it can work well if only one person will use the space at a time.
This layout allows room for an average size desk with enough space to maneuver around and have some storage. In this setup, the desk can be styled in a variety of ways. Depending on where it is located, you can place it against a wall or position it freestanding.
A single office desk is typically 63 inches wide by 31.5 inches deep. If you are doing a freestanding style, a larger space is necessary.
Ensure that the room is large enough not to feel overwhelmed by the desk. When a freestanding desk is styled correctly, it makes a great statement!
If you have multiple members of the household using an office space, there are a few options. If you want to have a feel of separate workspaces, a multi-person desk setup may be for you.
Here are three options based on office-style cubicles, varying in size:
Utility workstations are the most space-efficient type of multi-use office area. You can set up cubbies or shelves as dividers between multiple desks to offer privacy.
These furniture pieces can be arranged in rows so that you can still comfortably walk around the room. You also want to allow enough space to get in and out of your desk without bumping into anyone else. Therefore, allow a clearance of about 2 to 2.5 feet behind your desk, where you sit.
A good size for this type of workstation is a width of 24 inches and a length of 48 inches. For each station in your office area, allow roughly 16 square feet.
At home, these workstations are great for homework and study time. Therefore, if your two kids use the room simultaneously for homework, allow at least 32 square feet for the workstations.
Utility Task Workstation
These corner desk workstations offer more workspace and allow for multiple users depending on how you set other furniture. For example, you can line the desk’s back and side with tall shelves to offer a separate space.
You can also leave the perimeter of the corner desk open and place a chair on either side. Now, one desk becomes usable by 2 to 3 people. This type of desk and layout offers flexibility in your office area.
This corner desk has a width of 48 inches on one side and 24 inches on the other. The length is 72 inches. When you account for the necessary clearance, this setup requires a total area of 24 square feet.
Task Workstation with Large Corner Desk
If you want the ultimate workspace with a true office feel, a large corner desk does the trick. This setup is one of the most popular workstations because it offers extra desk space.
This large desk is 72 inches wide, 72 inches long, and requires 36 square feet. This is an easy desk to incorporate into a home office space because of its square modular dimensions.
Desk Chair Options
Once you choose your desk for your home or work office, it’s time to pick an appropriate chair.
24-hour chairs are ideal for someone who is constantly at their desk. Most of the time, these chairs can withstand long periods of use because of their durable frames. As a bonus, they typically have padded seats and adjustable backs.
The 24-hour chair has a length of 28.5 inches and a width of 28.5 inches.
Computer chairs, or task chairs, are meant to be used with computer desks. They also have some adjustments to ensure a more comfortable seat. A computer chair will range from 14 to 21 inches in height.
An upholstered chair is perfect for the home office. It allows you to add style to the room while still enjoying the comfort of an office chair.
Upholstered chairs are especially nice to use when your office space doubles as a bedroom. Use this chair type with a Hemnes desk. When you’re done working, put the chair in the corner of the room as an accent chair.
There are no standard dimensions for this chair; however, some choose to go with a dining room type model. The traditional dining room chair is 18 to 20 inches in height and 15.5 to 18 inches in width.
An executive chair pairs perfectly in an open-concept office. When you have a freestanding desk, this type of chair not only looks impressive but also has back cushions.
An executive chair’s dimensions are typically 28.5 inches in height, 26.5 inches in width, and 19.5 inches in depth.
Here are two tips to remember before you purchase your office chair:
- If the space around your desk is tight, a swivel chair is your best option. This will make it easier to get in and out of your desk.
- If your office chair has arms, make sure that they fit under the top of your desk. If they don’t, you could be too far away from your desk to feel comfortable.
If you and a spouse or roommate have to share a desk, you should at least be comfortable. To make the office space most appealing, you will want to use a single office workstation. The single office workstation will allow collaboration while also giving each other the necessary space.
Start by placing chairs on opposite sides of the desk. There should be at least two feet of space between the desk and the wall. While placing the chairs next to each other could work, the chairs on opposite sides will be more conducive.
What size chair will I need if I want to sit at my standing work table desk?
To sit down at a standing desk, you could purchase a stool to accommodate you. However, you can now find desk chairs in a variety of heights that can fit any desk. The chair you will want should be adjustable and range from 27 to 37 inches in height.