Should My Desk Face the Wall Or Be Against the Window?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Sep 30, 2022

You spend a lot of time there so your home office layout in your home office needs to be optimized because we want to promote as much positive energy as possible!

When choosing where your desk placement in your home office there are two main options: against the wall or facing the window.

The first option of facing the wall can be better for productivity because it keeps your eyes away from distractions and potentially glaring sunlight. However, the second option for facing a window is better for natural light because it allows you to look out on scenic views that can inspire productivity and creativity.

So, which should you choose?

Should My Desk Face the Wall?

The answer is yes. The reason for this is simple: you can see everything that’s going on in your work area, and it makes it easier to stay focused and keep track of what needs doing next. If you have a large space with lots of clutter, then having your desk facing away from the room will help you focus more clearly on one task at a time.

Desk Facing a Wall: Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Reduces visual distractions
  • Helps you visually focus on what’s in front of you
  • Makes room for other furniture

Drawbacks

  • May cause feelings of confinement
  • Not ideal for those who need visual stimulation for maximum productivity

Is it bad to have your desk face a window?

No! In fact, many people prefer their desks to be positioned so they get natural light throughout the day.

However, if you do want some privacy when working or need to block out distractions such as noise coming through windows, there are ways around this problem too.

For example, you could put up curtains or blinds which would allow you to control how much sunlight gets into your workspace.

Desk face a window benefits & drawbacks

Benefits

  • Eliminates feeling closed in
  • Promotes creative thinking
  • Can inspire positive emotions
  • Provides natural light

Drawbacks

  • May create glare
  • May distract from concentration
  • Can cause eye strain from too much light

Home Office Desk Facing A Wall Ideas

What are some arrangement ideas for when my desk is facing a wall? Here are some great tips for your desk positioning so that it faces a wall but still provides enough space for all your equipment.

Use an L-shaped or u-shaped desk instead of a standard straight desk. This way, you don’t feel confined by the walls. You also won’t have any problems finding storage solutions since most tables come equipped with drawers.

Pinterest user Pink Little Notebook created a great spacious workspace using an L-shaped desk and bookshelf combo:

If possible, use a tabletop that has wheels so you can move it easily. It’ll make moving things around easy and convenient.

Arrange your computer monitor vertically rather than horizontally. This helps reduce eye strain while typing.

Check out Pinterest user Techbullish’s great vertical monitor setup tutorial:

Keep your printer close to your desk so you’re not constantly reaching over to print something off.

Place your phone near your keyboard so you can access it quickly without getting up.

Create a small shelf above your desk using bookshelves or file cabinets. Use them to store items like pens, pencils, paper clips, etc.

This over-the-desk shelving by Pinterest user Room and Board saves desk space while creating a great way to store easy-to-reach necessities:

Create a mini office nook behind your desk where you can hide important documents and files.

With a desk facing the wall in the center of the room, Pinterest user Kelley Nan has plenty of room to store items behind her desk:

Make sure your chair fits comfortably under your desk. Make sure its height matches yours.

Add shelves to your closet to hold extra supplies.

Pinterest user Hydrangea Tree House converted this guestroom closet into a super organized space to hold extra supplies:

You may even consider adding a mirror to your home office so you can check yourself before leaving the house.

Home Office Desk Facing A Window Ideas

What are some arrangement ideas for when my desk is facing the window? Here are some great ideas for your desk positioning so it doesn’t look cramped.

Have a smaller desk. Smaller desks tend to give less sense of being trapped within the confines of the desk itself. They also provide better visibility because they aren’t as tall.

Pinterest user Elm & Iron’s desk is set up in front of the window without taking up too much space and feeling cramped:

Position your desk against a wall. This gives you plenty of room to walk around and allows you to place objects along the backside of the desk.

Put your laptop on a stand. If you position your laptop on a stand, you’ll no longer have to worry about whether or not you’ve left it open.

Put your printer next to your computer but out of the way so it’s not a distraction. This will help save time and energy.

Consider purchasing a portable printer. These printers are designed specifically for laptops and other mobile devices.

If you need to use a conventional printer, you can put it on a rolling cart to keep it out of your way as Pinterest user Lumber Jocks has done:

Take advantage of natural lighting whenever possible. Natural light tends to stimulate creativity and productivity.

Pinterest user Dwellings by DeVore has a desk set up with plenty of natural light spilling in to boost mood and productivity:

Use curtains and drapes to control the amount of light coming in. Curtains block direct sunlight which makes reading difficult at times. Drapes allow more light into your work area.

See how simple sheer curtains make all the difference in Pinterest user Studio Hazeldean’s small, window-facing workspace:

Install blinds if necessary. Blinds let in just enough light to keep you comfortable yet prevent distracting outside noise from entering.

Try placing green plants inside your workspace. Plants absorb negative ions which boost mood and increase focus.

Pinterest user MyDomaine shows us a beautiful desk set up that includes natural light and plenty of greenery.

Face Your Desk In Your Home Office Away From Visual Distractions

If you’re someone who’s easily distracted by elements popping up in your peripheral vision, then having your desk face the wall is probably best.

Working at home can be distracting enough sometimes on its own, so it makes sense to reduce opportunities for distraction as much as possible.

When you place your desk and workstation toward a wall you eliminate visual distractions so you can focus on what you need to focus on and maximize your productive time.

That’s not without its own challenges though.

Facing the wall can lead to feelings of being cut off and make your space feel confined.

Facing your desk in your home office space away from the wall can promote feelings of openness and spaciousness which can be great for creativity – I know that’s the case for me. I like wide-open space but can also open you up to distractions.

Having your desk facing the wall helps keep everything else out of sight except for whatever is right in front of you.

While there are many benefits to sitting near a window or looking out onto an open area, some people prefer to face the wall to maximize their ability to focus on the task at hand.

Enjoy The View And Embrace Open Spaces

Having your desk facing a window and be able to look into open spaces gives can help promote feelings of connection to the rest of the world and even be inspirational if you’ve got a window that looks out onto a beautiful scene.

Having a window in your office looking out on a scenic vista can provide inspiration and motivation when working hard on projects. It can also give you something to look forward to after hours spent staring at a computer screen.

How Does My Home Office Desk Facing The Wall Affect My Eyes?

The benefits of having your desk in your home office facing the wall is that it could reduce the strain on your eyes that could result from bright sunlight which can cause headaches and eyestrain. If you work at a computer for long periods of time, you may want to consider getting special glasses that are designed for spending long periods of time in front of a computer.

How Does My Home Office Desk Facing A Window Affect My Eyes?

If have a window in your home office then setting things up facing that window isn’t a bad idea either. Not only will you get some natural light into your workspace, which helps you stay productive, the exterior view could have a positive effect on your mood and productivity. Just be aware of the amount of light coming through and the possibilities of eyestrain from too much light.

However, this could easily be addressed by adding translucent curtains that allow you to see out and allow light in but buffering it so it’s not so intense.

How Does My Desk Placement Affect My Health?

Your desk placement should serve you, not hinder you.

What do I mean by that?

The desk positioning you use should facilitate you being at your very best, put you in a positive mood, and be in a command position for you to do your best work.

Your desk placement also affects your health because just working at a desk by itself and sitting for prolonged periods of time causes back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

The best way to avoid these problems is to get up and get moving around, sit up straight, and use a chair that has lumbar support.

Even better is to use an adjustable height desk because they allow you to alternatively stand or sit, unlike standard desks.

Getting an adjustable desk is the best thing I ever did – I’m even standing at my adjustable desk now as I write this post!

Place Your Desk To Work Best For You

There are several factors to think about before deciding where to place your desk:

Do you need privacy? Do you want to feel connected with other areas of your house? Are you concerned about noise levels? Is your room big enough? How do you plan to use your desk? What kind of lighting does your room receive? Will you be using a laptop or desktop computer?

When choosing how to set up your home office, make sure you choose one that works best for you!

You are the one who has to live with it and work in your home office, so make it the best it can be for you!

Next Steps

Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks, and hacks on how to make your home office the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

Robert David Orr

I'm a remote working from home veteran of more than 10 years. When it comes to working life from a home office, you can bet that I've been there and done that.I've spent years figuring out what works and what doesn't when it comes to working from home - from the types of desks and chairs that are the best and most comfortable, to the types of technology, and even getting the atmosphere right with the best decorations you need to be your best when it comes to working from home. I've experimented with just about everything you can think of when it comes to getting the most out of my home office, how to work from home without going crazy, and found solutions to the numerous challenges that those of us who work from home run into in this life.

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