Five things to consider when buying a home office desk

A beautiful, modern workspace where you feel productive and inspired starts with the right desk. A home office desk often wears many hats in the home – as a setup for your 9-to-5, as well as a hub to organise your personal life and complete your to-do list. It’s important to choose a desk that you’ll enjoy sitting down to each day, one that combines function with beautiful modern design – and the best work from home desks do just that.

What should I look for in a desk?

When selecting a home office desk, think about the type of work you do, the equipment and supplies you use daily and how much space you have at your disposal. If you have one or more monitors, you’ll likely need a desk with an ample desktop. Alternatively, if you work from a laptop, a compact desk can suffice – and works well in small spaces.

Consider where your home office is located and the layout of the space. Do you have a dedicated office space? Have you siphoned off a corner of your living room for your setup? Does your workstation consist of a tucked away corner or the space under the stairs? Ultimately, choose a desk that will best suit the size and style of your space.

Types of desks

Executive desks

Ideal for a dedicated home office space, executive desks offer a spacious surface with plenty of room for multiple monitors, files, books, and more.

Top pick: HAY Copenhague 190
The Copenhague (CPH)190 Desk features a split at the back of the table, creating a useful upright backrest for supporting notes and open books, while the remainder serves as a workspace. The CPH 190 Desk is crafted in oak with a clear lacquer, ideal for use in a home office or a work.

Storage desks

This desk type is ideal for those who work with an abundance of office supplies. Keep your workstation clear of clutter with built-in storage compartments.

Top pick: Mode Desk
With its clean lines and mid-century modern inspired design, Mode Desk offers ample surface space and optional storage drawers in six colours. The drawers can be installed on the left or right side of the desk to best suit your needs.

Compact/Mobile desks

Tight on space? A compact desk is perfect for small office spaces or areas that do double duty at home. This type of desk can easily be incorporated into any room of the house.

Top pick: Passport Work Table
Passport is intentionally compact in design, large enough for the essentials and small enough for tight spaces. The surface provides enough space for a laptop, notebook, and your favourite mug without increasing the footprint.

Writing desks

Traditionally, writing desks once served as a place for penning letters. Now, they’re equipped for modern work with space for all your essentials.

Top pick: HAY Copenhague 90
Functional, compact, and built to last, this slim office desk brings elegantly pragmatic Danish design to your personal workspace. The Copenhague 90 Desk couples graceful, asymmetrical legs with a streamlined tabletop in a matte finish that's resistant to fingerprints and easy to clean. This modern wood office desk is made in Denmark.

Height adjustable sit-stand desks

Sit-stand desks allow you to move from sitting to standing – and back again – throughout your workday at the touch of a button. Moving between sitting and standing helps increase blood flow, which can improve your comfort and focus.

Top pick: Nevi Sit-Stand Desk
If you’re looking for an executive standing desk, try Nevi. Its simple motorised switch provides a quiet, smooth lift. With cable management included, and a spacious, durable worktop (available in six finishes), Nevi has plenty of space for all your requirements.

Benefits of adjustable standing desks

When trying to decide if a height adjustable, sit-stand desk is worth the investment, consider the health benefits. Research shows that changing your posture from sitting to standing regularly throughout the day can help improve your focus, productivity, and overall well-being. Standing can also help alleviate back and neck pain associated with extended periods of sitting.

The ideal adjustment for a sit-to-stand desk will vary from person to person, based on an individual’s height. Many of the designs Herman Miller offers a range in height from 68cm to 146cm. While there are two different types from which to choose - electric standing desks and manual standing desks - electric versions, which can be raised and lowered at the press of a button, are the easiest to operate. As you adjust the height of your desk, make sure you can comfortably reach your keyboard – and keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle as you type.

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Desk materials and shapes

Choose a desk in a material and shape that works well with your office surroundings and existing furniture.

Solid wood adds warmth to a room and is durable and easy to clean. While hardwood and bamboo options are durable, you can maintain the beauty of these surfaces by using coasters for glasses and mugs. To clean: Dust regularly with a slightly damp, soft, lint-free cloth; then wipe dry with a soft cloth in the direction of the wood grain.

Laminate is a durable, hardwearing surface that resists stains and is virtually maintenance-free. To clean: Wash with a soft cloth and solution of mild detergent and warm water; rinse thoroughly; and dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Top picks: Nevi Sit-Stand Desk and HAY Copenhague Desks
The Nevi Desk features a zinc-coated steel frame with a durable, modern laminate desktop. Both variations of the HAY Copenhague desks offer a material contrast in solid wood legs with a streamlined matte nanotech linoleum surface.

Tips on how to arrange your home office desk

Measure your space. Allow one meter in front of the desk for an office chair, as well as a meter around the desk for other office furniture. Remember to account for doors – all entry doors and cupboard doors should be able to open fully. Position your desk near a plug socket so that it’s easy to power your devices. Finally, arrange your desk near a window for natural light – but avoid glare on your computer screen.

Complete the room

From storage accessories to desk attachments, complete your setup with versatile office furniture. Whether you have a spacious home office or work from a portable desk and laptop in your living room, it’s important to design a space where you can be efficient and productive. Enhance your productivity with classic organisational accessories such as paper trays, pen pots, and pretty but functional wastepaper bins. Streamline your desktop with a monitor arm that will not only free-up desk space but also improve your posture. Finally, add plants, decorative objects, and elements that spark inspiration throughout the day.