This Is The Ideal Desk Position For An Improved Work Experience.

With so many more people working from home recently and wanting to set up productive home workspaces it’s important for this research to be available readily. I want to make sure that you get your desk placement right the first time and know what things to look out for.

It’s important to understand that the perfect desk position is subjective. Not only could you be limited by other furniture or the size of the room, but it also depends on you, how you work, and your individual quirks. Only you will know best if a position will work for you.

So what is the ideal desk position for you? Here is the quick summary of my research.

Facing Window– Increased inspiration and creativity
– Helps take breaks from work
– Increased exposure to sunlight improves mood
– Outlet to the outside dynamic world
– Calming depending on view
– Potential sunlight in face and eyes
– Can be distracting and interfere with productivity
– More daydreaming
– Wonder what is going on behind you
– Desk and equipment block light from rest of room
– Potentially bad for airflow
Facing Window With Monitor– Better airflow to equipment when window is open– Sunlight brighter than monitor makes it harder to see and can cause fatigue and headaches
– Monitor gets hot from sunlight
Facing Away From Window (Your Back To Window)– Light from behind is good for art, drawing, painting, etc.
– View of open room
– Light reflects off monitor making it hard to see screen and can cause fatigue and headaches
Facing Door– See anyone coming and going
– Screen privacy
– Option to close door
– Could be distracting if there is a lot of traffic
Facing Away From Door (Your Back To Door)– Others can gauge how busy you are– Feel like back is exposed
– Lack of screen privacy
Facing Wall– Limited distractions
– Wall mounted accessories and decorum
– Closed off space
– Feel claustrophobic if room is small
– Other can see room in webcam
Facing Away From Wall (Your Back To Wall)– Face room, feeling of openness
– Encourage conversation and collaboration
– Cozy
– Back drop for video calls
– Harder cable management

For me, the ideal desk position is perpendicular to the window with the desk facing away from the wall.

Having your desk perpendicular to the window get the benefits of being able to look out the window, but at your own discretion. So there is reduced distraction compared to directly facing the window and more importantly, the sunlight and glare does not affect your monitor.

With your back to the wall, you enjoy a cozy and private workspace with an open view of the room. Additionally, you have a nice backdrop for video calls that you can decorate to your liking.

I’ve presented a lot of information in the table above that should help you narrow down your options. In the sections below, you will find more in-depth discussions for each of the desk positioning questions as well as insights that I found from other people’s experience.

Should My Desk Face The Window?

My desk faces the window. In fact, it is right against the window and I have to do this because that is the only space I have in my bedroom for my work from home setup. I do not like it at all and here is why.


The biggest problem is sunlight. If it is sunny outside, you cannot have the blinds or curtains open as the light will hit your face and eyes. Apart from not being able to see, this can also overheat your computer. I have to keep my blinds closed while I am working and so I might as well be facing a wall.

Even if you are able to keep your window uncovered during the day, being able to see outside can be distracting and detrimental to productivity. This depends on the individual but some people tend to start daydreaming more and easily get distracted by motion from outside.

Moreover, when I face the window, I tend to get distracted easily by wondering what is going on behind me since I share the room with my wife and newborn daughter. However, if you are living by yourself, this should not be a problem.

Finally, and this is a bit more subtle, but having your desk and computer setup in front of the window can actually block the amount of light your room gets as well as disrupt the airflow of your room when the window is open.


With all the negatives out of the way, there can be a lot of positives as well, especially if you are able to sit a little bit further back from the window itself.

The main reason people opt for facing the window is the creativity and inspiration boost from having an outlet to the outside dynamic world. Let’s face it, looking at the same stuff all day tends to get boring and having a fresh scene to look at while taking a break can be both calming and reinvigorating.

Unless you can distance yourself from the window where the sunlight doesn’t effect you, I think the negatives outweigh the positive and you should avoid having your desk face the window if possible.

Alternative Solution To Your Desk Facing The Window

An amazing alternative is to place your desk perpendicular to the window. You enjoy all the positives because you can choose to look to the side and outside whenever you need a break. You also avoid all the issues from the sunlight at the same time since the window is to your side. This is very important especially if you use a computer monitor or laptop screen as we’ll discuss in the next section.

Should My Monitor Be In Front of The Window?

While having the monitor in front of the window is completely fine if you have drapes or blinds or shutters blocking the sunlight, and this is what I personally do, the trouble happens if you can’t or don’t want to keep your windows covered during the day.

The sunlight coming in from the window will shine in your eyes and is actually brighter than your monitor light. This makes it harder for your eyes to focus on the monitor and after extended durations will cause your eyes to fatigue.

Not only can this cause headaches, but it’s detrimental to your productivity and you’ll find yourself getting tired much more quickly in the day.

Perhaps the most annoying part is that you may be able to angle your seat so that something blocks the sun, but the sun’s position changes from east to west throughout the day. What worked in the last 15 minutes won’t necessarily work for the next.

Another reason you don’t want your monitor in front of the window is that the sunlight will heat up the back of the monitor, especially if it’s black. This can be degrading to your equipment’s health. At the same time, this can be a double edged sword since if your window is open you can get a nice breeze cooling your computer.

However, since a nice breeze is not guaranteed most of the time, you probably don’t want to rely on that.

If you can avoid it, I wouldn’t put the monitor in front of the window unless you plan on keeping the window covered for a significant portion of the day (like I do).

Should My Monitor Face The Window?

This is worst than your monitor being in front of the window because the sunlight shines directly on the screen causing glare where you can’t see the display. The best orientation for the monitor is perpendicular to major light sources such as the window.

Should My Desk Face The Door?

Facing the door is a very viable option. You can see anyone coming and going to your room.

I also like the fact that my computer screens are not directly visible to people. When you are facing away from the door and have headphones on, someone could sneak up on you without you realizing.

Compared to facing the window, the door traffic will often be less distracting. If you are working from home, this can be minimal, and you may be able to simply close the door when you don’t want to be disturbed. In a bigger workplace, the traffic can still be a major distraction.

I definitely prefer facing the door instead of having my back to it.

Should My Desk Face The Wall?

Facing a wall is another viable option. While there is the feeling of being closed off from everything and potential claustrophobia if your room is very small, facing a door can actually be a productive experience.

Many people use pin boards or calendars or whiteboards in their offices. If you are facing the wall, these can be mounted directly in front of you where they are visible from where you are sitting. This is a great productivity boost if you use any of these things.

I also like that you can decorate the wall in front of you with posters or books and plants to have a refreshing feeling and something to look at during breaks.

Some Other Things To Consider

  • Consider the location of the power outlet
  • If your desk is right against the wall, cable management is easier vs. if your desk is in the middle of the room
  • Depending on the size of the room, you may have a lot of nice options, or not any for your desk and may even need specialized desk sizes. Here’s an article I wrote about the ideal desk size for a dual monitor setup
  • Running office equipment such as computers in the bedroom all day can create more heat, make sure you have adequate airflow for your setup
  • Consider desk shape if you want to be able to change your desk position in the future. L shaped desks limit you to corners of the room which can also be occupied by bathroom, closet, and entry doors

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