You arrive in a new office space. As the desk picking free-for-all commences, ensure you make the right decision… or you could end up sat next to the office gossip in the darkest corner of the room.

Follow this guide to make sure you pick the desk that gives you comfort, privacy and enough distance from the things that grind your gears.

Next to a window

Choosing a spot next to a window can make all the difference to your days at work, not least because a lack of exposure to natural light in your day-to-day can upset your circadian rhythm. This can impact your sleep, appetite and overall mood, while getting a daily dose of natural light and vitamin D can make you healthier, happier and generally more productive at work

Choosing a desk next to a window can make all the difference to your days at work

Similarly, being surrounded by nature is proven to have therapeutic effects. By positioning yourself next to a window with a view of green open spaces, you can improve your health and even reduce stress levels. That gentle breeze in the summer won’t go amiss either. 

Smart office design is all about making sure no one is left sitting in a dingy corner, so if you do end up away from all natural light – perhaps it’s time to suggest a workplace move to your employer! 

Screen privacy

Making sure that your desk is in a private position has many benefits. We’ve all experienced the feeling of panic when your boss is looking over your shoulder as you work, and it hardly helps towards a content workplace. Of course, working in a shared office space means you’ll naturally have people peeking at your screen from time to time, but some seats leave you over exposed.

Ensure your screen is protected from constant prying eyes by picking a spot where you’re sitting with your back to a wall, rather than towards a common walkway. That way, you may even get the odd 5-minute social media check or playlist update (fully deserved, of course!). 

Amenable neighbours

Workplace behaviour has been shown to be contagious, which is why your office space neighbours matter more than you think. If you end up sitting next to the company stress magnet or work-shy gossip, you might end up finding your own productivity is affected. 

On the other hand, sitting next to a productive and conscientious co-worker can have a positive effect on your performance, so be sure to choose your office neighbours wisely. 

Workplace behaviour has been shown to be contagious, which is why your office space neighbours matter more than you think

The perfect distance from the aircon

The office air-con can be your best-friend or notorious foe, depending on where you choose to sit. If you’re too close during the winter months, you’ll be shivering away under multiple layers for half the year. You’re also much more likely to get hit by the inevitable office sniffle!

Having said that, a healthy balance is essential. You’re going to want to receive some cooling relief during those rare but formidable heatwaves that torment the nation’s workspaces every year. Every office has its ‘goldilocks’ seat – one that’s not too close or far from the aircon, but just right. The challenge is finding that seat, and claiming it for yourself!  

Too close to the meeting rooms

Having a sneaky eavesdrop as you walk past a meeting in full flow is a staple part of office life but don’t make the mistake of sitting too close to a meeting room. Firstly, having team members walking past you constantly can lead to an intrusion of your privacy as they peer over your shoulder to inspect what you’re working on. Secondly, sitting next to a meeting room also attracts all those opportunistic chatters who will happily sneak in a quick unsolicited ‘catch-up’ every time they head to brainstorming session.

That’s not forgetting that meeting chatter can be all too tempting to listen in on too, which could lead to a constant source of distraction at work.  

Close enough to those who matter

When choosing a desk space, it’s critical to ensure you’re close enough to those colleagues you work closest with. This will help you to feel connected to the team and to the company at large, as physical distance can lead to a feeling of psychological disconnect with your wider team. 

It’s also important to sit closer to those teammates that you get on with the most, which is bound to improve your day-to-day working life. When all’s said and done, we all need a good natter or vent sometimes!

When choosing a desk space, it’s critical to ensure you’re close enough to those colleagues you work closest with

Consider a change of scenery

The saying ‘variety is the spice of life’ rings true in your desk positioning. Sitting in the same position for too long can lead to a feeling of stagnation and boredom, as your environment is inextricably linked to your thought patterns. That’s why having a change of scenery can help you to think outside the box and reduce ‘cabin fever’ like symptoms. This is one reason why hotdesking may help to spur creativity and productivity within your team. 

The seating plan in any serviced office space is a crucial decision that can make all the difference to your productivity. Employers take note: next time you’re looking for an office to let, strive for a seating plan that helps to maximise your company’s potential… and be sure the aircon isn’t blasting over anyone’s shoulders while you’re at it! 

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