The Best WFH Desk for an Insta-worthy Home Office The Best WFH Desk for an Insta-worthy Home Office

The Best Desk for Home Office

Or how to actually be productive when you’re working from home (not guaranteed).
Sarah Idle
Words by 
Sarah Idle
Updated 
Feb 24, 2021
Category -> 
Living
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At a glance

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.

The 6 best desks in Australia

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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.

Best for easy storage -> Koskela Jacinda Folding Desk

Jacinda Folding Desk

With your kitchen / lounge / bedroom / wherever doubling as an office these days, a folding desk makes a lot of sense. Especially when it’s the Jacinda Folding Desk by Koskela. Named for the hardworking Kiwi PM, Jacinda Ardern, the desk is also a hard worker. Because when you’re done with it, you can fold it up and easily store it - like under the bed or in the garage.

This compact, modern desk with clean lines has a white laminate top with a plywood-look edge. The legs are made of durable steel and power coated in your choice of grey or white. It comes flat-pack, with no assembly needed. It measures 120cm (W) x 60cm (D) x 72cm (H). 

What we really love about the Jacinda is that it’s Australian-made - by buying it, you’re supporting 3 Aussie factories and their workers. Koskela is also the first Australian furniture and homewares company to be a Certified B Corporation, which makes them a leader in using their business as a force for good. This includes a percentage of their sales going towards realising projects with Aboriginal- and Torres Strait Islander-owned art centres.

So, not only does the Jacinda Folding Desk look good, it does good too. It costs $490 and is backed by a huge 7-year warranty.

Choose this if...

Space is a premium at home so you want a modern flat-pack folding desk that’s proudly Aussie made. 

Shop now

Best for organisation -> Koala WFH Desk

Koala WHF desk

You’ve probably heard of Koala, the young Aussie start-up originally known for their mattress in a box. Now they’re offering the Koala WFH Desk. What stands out for us about this desk is the smart design and organisation to keep your work stuff neat. It has rear cable management to help cords stay untangled. It has bag hooks for easy storage, indents for your phone and laptop chargers and ‘gutters’ to keep your smartphone and tablet snug. Thanks to its simplicity, it’s a modern, good-looking desk too with some serious Scandi vibes.

Made of tough and durable 18mm ply plus birch veneer (neither locally sourced), it’s Aussie made in Ballarat - and hand-finished too. Koala reckons you can assemble it in around 4 minutes, with no tools needed.  It comes in 2 sizes - adult (120cm (W) x 60cm (D) x 75cm (H)) and kid (90cm (W) x 45cm (D) x 65cm (H)). It costs $300 for the kids version and $400 for the adults.

Not enough to tempt you? Like the Koala mattress it comes with a 120-day trial, plus a 5-year warranty. Koala’s also a member of 1% for the planet - they give at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental charities. 

Choose this if...

You want an easy to put together desk with loads of clever storage that’s Aussie made and that you can try for 120 days.

Shop now

Best for personalisation -> Original IsoKing Desk

Original IsoKing desk

IsoKing products from Stagekings are a perfect example of the 2020 pivot. Originally a custom-design stage business, they’ve since shifted to creating furniture, including their WFH desk - the Original IsoKing.

What’s great about it? Well, it comes in 4 pieces that you slot together in less than 1 minute (apparently). Which means no screws, bolts, tools or DIY savviness needed. It looks beautiful, thanks to the high quality birch ply. You can also choose a black or white laminate top. Or go all out and get your desktop custom printed to whatever you want (extra cost applies).

We also love the range of accessories you can buy separately to custom-make a desk that meets your unique needs. This includes a monitor stand and a laptop stand. It measures 115cm (W) x 60cm (D) x 74cm (H). (Note that the base of the legs span 3cm more than the desktop, making the width 118cm.)

The desk is made in Aussie and $10 from every order goes to Support Act (Australia’s only charity that delivers crisis relief services to Australian music industry members). It starts at $290 for the natural birch version. 

Choose this if...

You want to support a local business that’s shifted to a new furniture focus with an easy to set up desk and the option for a custom-printed desktop.

Shop now

Best luxury standing desk -> OMNIDESK Pro 2020

OMNIDESK Pro 2020

Looking for a high-end standing desk? Consider the OMNIDESK Pro 2020. Where to start? Well, there are the 4 memory presets that support working while sitting, standing and even on a bean bag. It moves from 60cm minimum height to a maximum of 125cm. Compared to older OMNIDESK models, it moves between heights 40% quicker than it did. There’s also an anti-collision mechanism which means it’ll sense if you, the kids, the dog or anything else is in its way when it’s moving - and it’ll stop before hitting anyone (or thing). There’s a child lock too so little fingers can’t mess with it. 

The control panel dims after 10 seconds of no use. As well as saving electricity, it’s great for dark bedrooms or when you need to concentrate with zero distractions. There’s a large cable management tray for hiding cables. Plus, the frame is extendable so it can fit different table top sizes. So, if you decide you need to go bigger, it’s easy to swap to a larger table top. The table tops are made of MDF and cured with a special powder coated surface which means it can act as a giant mouse pad - use your mouse directly on the desk, no mouse mat needed. 

The OMNIDESK Pro 2020 starts from $900, with a huge range of customisation options. This includes desk frame colour (black or white), desktop colour (black, white or bamboo) and desktop type (straight edge or ergonomically curved for happy arms). You can also choose extra accessories, like monitor arms, PC and headphones mount and even a LED lights system.

It comes in 3 sizes:

  • Small: 122cm (W) x 76cm (D) x 60-125cm (H).
  • Large: 153cm (W) x 76cm (D) x 60-125cm (H) .
  • Extra large: 183cm (W) x 76cm (D) x 60-125cm (H).

All desks come with a 100-day trial and with a 3-year warranty, with an option to upgrade to a 5-year. CHOICE has also given one a go. Note that the OMNIDESK Pro 2020 is the only desk we reviewed that isn’t locally made - it’s not made from locally sourced materials either.

Choose this if…

You want a standing desk with all the bells and whistles and you’re ok with it not being locally made.

Shop now

Best sit stand desk -> Zen One Electric Sit Stand Desk

Zen One Electric Sit Stand Desk

Want the best of both worlds when you’re working - the ability to sit at your desk and stand too? Meet the Zen One Electric Sit Stand Desk. It has 3 preset heights that the desk smoothly moves to at 28mm / second. Wondering what that means? Think of it as 10 seconds from sitting to standing. It can go from 73cm to 123cm and support up to 80kg. Zen reckons with a minimum sitting height of 73cm, people who use it should be taller than 170cm. 

Its core material is MDF, with a hard-wearing melamine desktop. It’s available only in white and has a cable management shelf to help hide cables. It comes pre-drilled which means you don’t need any tools to assemble it. 

It’s made in Brisbane and comes in 3 size options, starting from $549:

  • Small: 120cm (W) x 75cm (D) x 73-123cm (H).
  • Medium: 150cm (W) x 75cm (D) x 73-123cm (H) .
  • Large: 180cm (W) x 75cm (D) x 73-123cm (H).

All options come with a 3-year warranty.

Choose this if...

You want to both sit and stand at your desk. 

Best standing desk -> Like Butter Flat Pack Standing Desk

Like Butter standing desk

If you’re committed to standing while you’re working, consider the Like Butter Flat Pack Standing Desk. With a lowest height setting of 103cm and the highest at 153cm, it’s definitely standing only. Its other dimensions are 100cm (W) x 52cm (D).

Made of 18mm birch plywood, it has raw sanded edges for a modern look. We love the 2 shelves for your keyboard plus your screen. It has 2 additional small shelves for pens and stuff, and a peg for your headset. 

Thanks to its smart design, it’s easy to knock together. It even comes with a plywood mallet so you don’t need to hunt out a hammer. It’s available in black or white and is another local pick: it’s made in Castlemaine, Victoria. It costs $360 and Like Butter donate 1% of their yearly gross profit to a tree planting / protection charity.

Choose this if...

You want a locally made compact, height adjustable standing desk with good storage options.

Frequently asked questions

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. 

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