Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent’s former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
Office Desk Dimensions (with Drawings)
The shift to working from home has created a new work lifestyle that may require a home office. At a minimum, your home office should have a computer, printer, and some file storage. Use this as a guide to determine the best office desk for your space.
Office desks vary in size depending on the desk type. Standard office desks are 30 inches tall, range from 48 to 72 inches wide, and 24 to 36 inches in depth. You may even consider a custom-built desk if your office space cannot accommodate a standard-size desk.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Standard Size of an Office Desk?
- Types of Office Desks and Dimensions
- Minimum Clearance Dimensions to Keep in Mind
- Other Key Office Space Dimensions
- Related Questions
What Is the Standard Size of an Office Desk?
Your average standard office desk is roughly 30 inches tall. Additionally, it ranges from 48 to 72 inches wide and 24 to 36 inches in depth. However, desk sizes will vary depending on the desk type, number of people using the desk, and space needed.
A desk for two should have a length of 60 to 72 inches and a depth of 90 to 126 inches. A primary desk should be at least 60 to 72 inches long and 60 to 84 inches in depth. A basic workstation without additional space should be roughly 42 to 52 inches long and 60 to 72 inches deep.
If you have an executive office where multiple people meet together, you will need a larger desk. An executive desk for three to four people should be 105 to 130 inches long by 96 to 123 inches deep.
Types of Office Desks and Dimensions
The standard desk height is 30 inches. Freestanding desks range in size. However, common dimensions are 48, 60, and 72 inches wide and 24, 30, and 36 inches deep. A good rule of thumb for freestanding desks is to use the largest size that comfortably fits in the space.
Built-in desks have the same dimensions as other desks but often have more usable surface area since they’re customized. For example, a built-in desk should be 60 inches wide and 30 inches deep.
Also, keep in mind the space underneath the desk. It should be 20 to 26 inches high, 20 to 24 inches wide, and 12 to 15 inches deep. If you want to install drawers below the work surface, they are typically larger than those above.
Desk Against the Wall
Two desks placed against opposite walls can create a good working area. Make sure to keep 54 to 66 inches of space between the desks. This should leave enough room to get up from the chair and walk around without disturbing the other desk setup.
Drafting Board Desk
Drafting board desks aren’t as common as they once were due to new technology, but some professionals still use them. The height of a drafting board is most important, as most are adjustable and can tilt. A standard drafting board is 36 inches above the floor and rises toward the back.
Drafting boards come in various sizes, the smallest being 48 inches wide and 32 inches deep. Most drafting boards are 60 to 72 inches wide and 36 to 42 inches deep. You need a stool with a coordinating height for this type of desk.
L-shaped, or corner desks, also vary in size. Sometimes they have one side that is shorter and one side that is longer. Other times, the sides are even; it just depends on the specific model.
The length of an L-shaped desk ranges in size. Typically the longer side is 60 to 72 inches, and the shorter side is 48 to 58 inches. If the two sides are of equal length, they are usually 60 inches.
Some companies offer compact L-shaped desks that are below 55 inches in length.
The dimensions of a standing desk will depend on the height of the person using it. A standing desk should be at the elbow height of the user. On average, a person who is 5’11” would have a desk that is 44 inches high.
A U-shaped desk or cubicle often offers a more private workstation that has increased work area and storage. A U-shaped desk has a width of 96 inches, length of 96 inches, and requires 64 square feet of space.
You typically use a credenza as a companion piece to a desk for files or other storage. A credenza comes in a variety of lengths, so there is no standard length. However, it typically has a height of 30 to 32 inches and a depth of 18 to 22 inches.
Secretary desks take up little room and can store an abundance of items. This is a good option when you don’t have much office space. These desks come in a variety of sizes.
Secretary desks can span from 29 to 42 inches wide, 14 to 20 inches deep, and 37 to 72 inches high.
A wall-mounted desk is another space-saving design for those who don’t have ample office area. You can set a wall-mounted desk at any height that fits your individual needs. Most desks sit at 28 to 30 inches above the floor, so this is a good height for wall-mounted desks.
A wall-mounted desk is typically 8 inches high, 23.75 inches wide, and 11.5 inches deep.
Minimum Clearance Dimensions to Keep in Mind
There are minimum dimensions to keep in mind for clearance around a desk when designing an office space.
Sitting at a Desk
When sitting at a desk, the minimum desk width should be 24 inches. The minimum depth clearance at knee level should be 18 inches and 24 inches at foot level. In addition, there should be minimum height clearance of 24 inches at foot level.
Standing at a Desk
When standing at a desk, the minimum width should be 20 inches per person. The minimum depth will depend on what you want to put on the desk.
Space Behind the Office Chair
As you plan your office area, keep in mind that a desk chair usually requires about 42 square inches. Therefore, there should be a minimum of 23 inches of space behind a desk to fit a modest-sized desk chair. For more comfortable, oversized desk chairs, increase the area to 30 inches.
Other Key Office Space Dimensions
Keep in mind the necessary space for other essential office tools.
Necessary Computer Space
The size of computers varies and continues to change, so the computer area should be as flexible as possible. For example, if you use a laptop, you won’t need much work area. If you use a keyboard, you should set it 24 to 26 inches high to be more ergonomic.
Most people need a printer, whether at the office or in their home office. They vary in size, but you can plan on a depth of 18 to 24 inches. The height will depend on the machine’s operations – whether the doors open at the top, sides, or back.
Paper shredders are another common piece of office equipment. They are typically 14 to 16 inches wide, 8 to 10 inches deep, and 14 to 18 inches tall. You can usually tuck these under the desk, but make sure not to block your knee space.
Filing cabinets can take up a lot of storage in an office. A standard two-drawer file cabinet is 15 inches wide, 30 inches high, and 29 inches deep. For legal-size two-drawer file cabinets, the width increases to 18 inches.
Lateral file cabinets start at 30 inches wide, 18 inches deep, and 32 inches high. Before purchasing a file cabinet, make sure to determine the amount of space you have in your office.
Shelving in a unit is typically 12 inches deep and 14 to 16 inches high. Built-in shelving is popular and can make the office feel more organized. Credenza shelving is also an option.
Freestanding bookshelves are a better option if your office space isn’t permanent as there are multiple sizes available. For best use, you should have two bookshelves that are 36 inches wide by 48 inches high.
Overall, shelving reduces floor space, so keep that in mind. For example, if you have a 10’0 x 10’0-room, shelving will reduce the floor space to 8 by 9 feet.
How do you determine how much office space you need?
To determine the amount of office space needed, consider the number of employees and the industry you’re working in. Office space typically ranges from 150 to 350 square feet per person employed. Again, the industry will determine the amount of space needed to accommodate your business.
The same space applies to your home office. If you live with someone, consider their office space needs, as well. If you both have the same work schedule, you will need more office space to accommodate each person.
During the initial planning process of choosing an office space, assume that you’ll need about 250 square feet per person. You can refine this number once you start narrowing down the layout of the office space. Floor size, loss factor, and amenities will also determine the amount of space you need.
What is the standard size for an office cubicle?
Standard office cubicles are typically for one employee, but sometimes they require extra space when necessary. This extra space can be for additional computers or file cabinets.
Standard cubicles come in three sizes. You can find them 6 feet wide by 6 feet deep or 6 feet wide by 8 feet deep. They also come 8 feet wide by 8 feet deep.
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