Should My Desk Face the Wall?
Is it better to have your desk face the wall or face outwards? While there are pros and cons to both, it's really about knowing what works best for you and your work style.
There are different aspects to consider; distraction, productivity, and loneliness are things you should think about. Some say otherwise; there is no unilateral right answer when figuring out where to place your desk in an office. If it feels right to you, it likely is.
Of course, you need to consider the shape of your office and space restraints, but other than that, it's up to what works best for you.
Think about your work habits, the level of distraction, and just simply how you'd like to be positioned in the room. Look at each desk direction's cost and benefits, and then choose the best fit for your productivity.
Reasons For Your Desk Facing the Wall:
If you have more of a distracted personality and work better focused on what you're doing, then facing the wall might limit distractions and help you avoid looking out the window or seeing people pass by your door.
It's great if you're a visual person and have a calendar or a whiteboard or post-it notes up on your wall; these are readily available for you to look at at any time.
It's also a good idea to take this approach if you have a hectic office environment, whether that be at your house or an office.
Suppose you already know that you do better focused in periods, not interrupted by a passerby or someone with a question and wants to visit. In that case, you may thrive looking slightly unavailable.
It is worth mentioning that making the decision to appear a little bit inaccessible is not bad. It can both minimize distraction and assert power for someone to determine if something they're coming to talk to you about is worth interrupting you and your work for.
See also our article HOW DO I KEEP MY FOCUS WHILE WORKING FROM HOME?
Just keep in mind that you might not want to sit back to the door, as this begins to venture into the realm of entirely unavailable, and you might not be interrupted by communication you should be interrupted for. Sitting perpendicular to the door might be your best bet in this scenario.
Reasons For Your Desk Facing Away from the Wall:
Some experts do suggest that facing your desk towards a wall can make you feel boxed in. This would mean that if you are more social, it's a better idea to face your desk away from a wall so that you can see what's going on.
Having your back to the door is also to be avoided, and you might not get communication or interaction that can occasionally be vital to your work.
Sometimes you can fatigue quicker if you face a wall in your own space, and you can feel more involved in what's going on around you and have less fatigue if you are facing away from the wall.
For more tips on how to avoid fatigues also see our article WHY IS WORKING FROM HOME SO EXHAUSTING?
Professional office organizers and designers sometimes consider things like the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui. Feng Shui is the principle of arranging your living space to create balance in the natural world.
This practice would suggest that facing away from the door can make you feel less relaxed and focused. Even if you're facing a window or something relaxing or positive, the principles of Feng Shui suggest that when your desk faces a window, your energy and dedicated attention flow outside instead of into your work.
It also indicates a perspective that a desk facing the window allows you to miss out on essential opportunities. The idea is that you're turning your back to the door, you never know when profitable business might want to come in.
They call this the command position, when you are facing the door away from a wall. It helps you welcome the opportunities coming through your door rather than turning your back on them. Plus, the natural light coming in from behind you can light up your work and make it easier to see what you're doing.
Another point is to make a compromise. Some experts argue that having your desk perpendicular to the door or entrance, whether that be away from a wall or away from the back wall, you can see the door and aren't walled up, but you also aren't facing the door entrance to be distracted when someone walks by.
This isn't always possible with the shape and structure of your office or room; however, it can sometimes be the ideal compromise.
So, How Do I Set Up My Desk?
First, you need to decide which concept works best for you. If you have room for the compromise, then that's great too!
If you have an L-shaped or U-shaped desk, part of the desk will be against the wall, the idea is that you are sitting at a place that does not face the wall if that's what you want to avoid.
This is also an excellent way to make a compromise if you're lower on space. Think about your personality and truly what works best for you if you're prone to distraction, facing the wall is going to be best. Suppose you prefer the Feng Shui appropriate concept of the command principle, then position yourself towards your door, ready for business to walk in.
One thing for making the best decision about your desk positioning is to start your office design with your desk choice. Starting with the desk you want rather than trying to adjust your desk to other furniture decisions Is the best way to achieve your office's desired feeling.
This allows you to decide if you want to sit perpendicular to the door, look out a window, or use any other principles that we've discussed in this post. Once you decide on desk placement, then filing cabinets, monitors, side tables, and more are more comfortable to select.
You can then even make determinations such as if you want to get a moving filing cabinet, you can reposition yourself if you get tired looking at the view you initially chose. Of course, your chair moves, and you can decide to look at a different side of your desk, but it's all contingent upon which desk you select and the accessories that you choose to go with it.
Your Desk Facing The Wall, Or Not - The Final Decision
Ultimately, it is entirely up to you where you'd like to face.
Experts' suggestions for both facing away from the wall to be in the command position and facing the wall to have greater focus, but only you can decide what will actually work out best for you in the long run.
Before you worry about if you're making the right decision or not, an important thing to remember is that you can reconfigure your office at any time. You can turn your desk around, you can decide to sit somewhere else, you can choose to repurpose something as a desk or a chair.
This is your office, and you are not bound to any decision about your space that you make at any time. So, try out sitting in one place for a week, try out sitting in another place the next week; through trial and error, you will be able to determine what feels best to you.