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In this guide
WFH (working from home). Social distancing. Self-isolating. Quarantine. Pivoting. Global pandemic. Life has really done a number on our vocabulary lately. It’s also done a number on our workplaces, with most of us now making our homes our offices. The biggest thing you need to successfully work from home (other than a top notch coffee machine and supportive chair)? A decent desk. The best home office desk is easy to set up and comfortable to work at. It’s easy to clean and keeps your stuff well organised. Here’s a showcase of Australia’s best desks including plenty of locally made picks so you can #shoplocal.
How we picked
We did some serious online shopping to find the best home office desk. Our priority was finding unique Australian-made desks - those kinds of things you can find online, but not at your local impersonal shopping mall. Choosing Australian-made products, using locally sourced materials as far as possible, is part of our drive to help you buy better - buying decent products that last and won’t end up in landfill in a few months. Plus, it helps you get the warm fuzzies thanks to supporting your fellow Aussies.
We hunted for a variety of desks that are easy to set up (because life’s too short for fighting over complicated instructions). Thankfully, most of the desks for home offices we found are incredibly simple to put together. We also wanted a range of budgets, to suit the temporary home office worker and the more permanent one. Style-wise, we opted for clean, modern styles that suit every home.
What should I look for in a desk?
To help you choose your ideal desk, think about:
- What type of desk you want. Do you want to sit down? Or stand? Or are you after a mix of both? Sit / stand and standing desks are the most expensive option.
- Size. Are you a dual monitor type of worker? Or will a laptop and a keyboard do you? How much space do you have available for your desk?
- Materials. Most WFH desks we found are made of some type of wood. Not surprising as it’s an affordable, sustainable choice that’s easy care and clean.
- Storage. Do you have space for a desk to stay up permanently? Or would a folding desk suit your home better so it can be put away in the evenings and weekends?
- Set up. How easy is it to set up? Does it come ready assembled or do you need to make it yourself? Do you need tools? Apart from the OMNIDESK, all our picks are either ready-made or slot together, no tools needed, in a few minutes.
- Style. We found with WFH desks you’re quite limited with style choices. They tend to be simple, modern wooden options. On the plus side, these suit most homes. But if you’re looking for something a bit more unique, you might need to keep searching.
How do I set up my desk to avoid back pain?
Chiropractors and osteopaths have been busy since lockdown thanks to everyone working from their homemade work stations. Here’s how to avoid your desk becoming a pain in your neck (and back and shoulder):
- Put your computer equipment on a solid surface. Make sure there’s plenty of room around it so you’re not crammed in. Aim for a height that lets your wrists lie flat on the surface and your elbows rest against your body. Your elbows should make a 90 degree angle.
- Use a chair that allows you to sit upright and keep your feet flat on the floor. You can also use a footrest. Resist the temptation to use something like a barstool (too high, you’ll hunch over), your bed, couch or the floor.
- Organise all the stuff you need so it’s nearby. Think phone, documents and coffee mug. Try to avoid stretching across your desk all day.
- If you can, use a keyboard, monitor and mouse with your laptop. This will help reduce the risk of muscle pain as it’ll stop you being hunched over a small screen and keyboard all day.
- Pop your monitor on a level surface directly in front of you, so you don't have to twist your head to see it. Try to ensure your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. Aim for it being about 1 arm’s length away from you.
- No monitor? Raise your laptop to eye level. A big stack of heavy books works well. Connect a keyboard and mouse and put them on your desk.
What do I need for my home office?
First you need your essentials - your desk and chair. And sure, you can craft a makeshift standing desk from an ironing board. But they’re not exactly the stablest of things. It could be an expensive thing to fix if your laptop takes a tumble.
Secondly, you need your computer equipment - a laptop or desktop, plus possibly a monitor, keyboard and mouse and mouse mat. It might include a headset or headphones for your endless virtual meetings and a computer stand. It should include a decent router that allows you to work and your kids to stream stuff.
Optional extras to make your home office feel really luxe, and soften the blow of 24/7 stuck inside with your family / flatties, include:
- Noise-cancelling headphones to allow you to block out the constant talking / TV / whatever.
- A reusable coffee cup so you can pretend you’re in a cafe.
- A water bottle to help you avoid endless trips to the kitchen for stupidly small glasses of water.
- Speakers for blasting out your Spotify WFH playlist #productivity.
Really make things fancy by investing in some scented candles and a houseplant or 6.
- ‘Omnidesk Pro 2020 review,’ CHOICE