My company is moving to a new building and I'm moving into a 10'x10' office. I'm contemplating furniture arrangement and I'm very tempted to put my desk against the wall. It will be the same wall as the door, so my back will not be facing the door. Everyone else has arranged their desk to divide the room in half allowing a back section for themselves and front section for anyone entering. It seems this is the most common advice given online.

Would it be weird to face the wall? I face two monitors all day so it's not as if I'll be staring at the wall and it definitely maximizes space. What am I missing?

  • 3
    Welcome to The Workplace. Your question might have a better chance of staying open if you can word it in a way that allows folks to answer with more than just their opinions on office layout. If you are asking about what things to consider when thinking about your office layout, you should edit your question to make it clear that's what you're asking. (hint, hint) – Kent A. Jun 3 '15 at 20:10
  • Do you often host several guests/co-workers meeting in your office so that this single large patch of open space would provide advantage? – Myles Jun 3 '15 at 21:07
  • Eye strain angle? there seem to be advantages of staring into the mid distance from time to time. I think there is a chapter in Peopleware that pretty much nails this whole issue. – Nathan Cooper Jun 3 '15 at 23:37
  • @KentAnderson The question is informally phrased, but I'm not sure this is just a matter of opinion. There are well known suboptimal arrangements (being observed from behind, windowless, noisy etc), the OP wants to know if this is one of them and how much. – Nathan Cooper Jun 3 '15 at 23:45
  • An important concern when deciding which way to face in your office is the sun angle. You generally want the sun to shine from the side, not from the back (reflections on monitor) or front (blinding you). – Philipp Jun 4 '15 at 16:56

About 3 months ago we moved into a new space.

I ended up putting my desk against the wall simply because that's where the plugs are. Honestly I hate it and your question just reminded me of that fact ;)

What I don't like about it:

  • I feel cramped with the wall right there
  • When people come in, I often have to close down all of my desktop windows as I am usually working with secure or private info
  • Less space for whiteboards - which I generally use a lot of

Basically, it just doesn't work for me. Your mileage may vary.

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    I like to be able to see out a window, or at least look over my monitors at what is going on. I had my desk against a wall in our last office and I felt really uncomfortable. It also didn't help that you looked straight down the corridor at me and the office was right next to the men's toilets...! I felt like the official greeter! :) – Jane S Jun 3 '15 at 21:10
  • Turning your desk around so you have your back to the wall would solve all your issues. – bpromas Jun 4 '15 at 19:41

If they give you the option, arrange it however will work best for you. There are advantages to having at least one surface where two or more people can work together. On the other hand, I prefer to work into a corner normally to maximize the amount of counter space within easy reach. If there was a single perfect answer, they'd just build it without asking you.

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