by Holly Sanders
(Boston, Mass, USA)
1. Consider your computer type
If you have a laptop, consider utilizing an additional monitor on your desk for dual screens. This will allow you to have multiple applications in view simultaneously, and can increase productivity tenfold depending upon the task at hand.
If you utilize a desktop computer, it is likely you will not want to store it on top of the desk due to the amount of space that it will take up. Avoid putting it on the floor, particularly if your office has a carpet floor, as your computer’s fans will suck up loose dust and degrade over time. Rather, either purchase a desk with in-built computer tower storage, or an additional small table to sit beside the desk and elevate your computer tower above carpet level.
2. Consider the “home” aspect of a home office
Your desk will be a reminder that you have not left your work behind at your true office -your desk should, on the other hand, remind you that not every part of you wants to leave it. At work you might have a photo of a loved one, or of home; at home, your desk should be large enough to accommodate reminders of those good things you draw from work – a photo of an office party, an award for employee of the month, or a framed cover of a report to which you contributed.
And if you do not have these things, your desk should encourage you to get them. For that purpose, choose a desk with large enough space to accommodate both your computer screen and these items Furthermore, consider its potential use as a desk that other family members or friends might occasionally use, and how this might affect your plans for it.
3. Consider where to put the desk
Consider spaces which might fit potential desks and how each choice would affect your home – a separate and unused room would produce the benefit of solitude and calm for clear-minded working, but could serve to separate you from family life. The corner of a bedroom would provide an efficient use of existing space, but noise levels from typing and your computer could serve to annoy those that live with you or disrupt sleeping, thereby limiting the times at which you can use this desk.
When you have weighed the pros and cons of each choice, consider the above factors of size and function, and measure the dimensions of space available in each location. Consider not only the presence of a person sitting in an office chair in front of the desk, but the possibility of other individuals joining you in front of the desk, and ensure that there is adequate room for this Narrow down a list of choices to a few of varying size.