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    Home Office Desk: Middle of the Room or Against the Wall?

    Posted on 26th Sep 2020 in Office Chairs, Office Desks, Workplace Wellness

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    A semblance of normalcy came back to California in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It came through one of our greatest pastimes. The Pac-12 announced this week that it will start football season in November. There is a seven-game schedule for each team, culminating in the Pac-12 Championship on December 18. The schedule has yet to be released. It's fairly certain, however, that Cal and Stanford will face one another for the 123rd time, continuing the long-time Bay Area tradition. The Big Game will be notably different though. Memorial Stadium and Stanford Stadium are not allowing fans at all in 2020. Cal-Berkeley is going even further with coronavirus restrictions.

    The university is considering a proposal that would ban community members and any other outsiders from walking or biking through campus. University officials presented the proposal, called "State-Mandated Temporary Closure to the General Public" to city officials for consideration. All buildings on campus, including residence halls and recreational facilities, and all outdoor university property would be closed to the public. Independent businesses on campus would be allowed to stay open. One city council member told Berkeleyside that the proposal has very little chance of being approved. He also said the university only drafted the proposal due to a mandate by the state.

    One near-universal mandate across the country to combat coronavirus is forcing office workers to telecommute. All indications are that this phenomenon will remain in place even when COVID-19 restrictions subside. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey from August found that 73% of managers and executives view work-from-home transitions as successful. The survey also found that 55% of bosses will allow workers to telecommute at least one day per week even when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Workers are also saving a lot of time by eliminating commutes. This has improved work life balance and subsequently increased productivity and contentment.

    While office buildings are utilizing plexiglass barriers and other precautions for onsite workers, telecommuters are contemplating myriad configurations for their home offices. One common questions on social media is desk location. As trivial as the issue may sound, desk location can have a profound impact on productivity.

    Visual distractions

    Limiting distractions is the main reason cited for those who choose to have their desk facing a wall. It is especially preferred for telecommuters with kids and pets that can easily distract them from the matters at hand. The flip side of facing the wall is the feeling on confinement. There are also the principles of Feng Shui, the Chinese traditional practice of evaluating your surrounding environment to harmonize energy forces. Facing a wall is bad according to Feng Shui because you cannot see what behind you. This causes anxiety and throws off creative energy.

    One solution is to place desks towards the middle of the room but still face the wall. Another is to place a mirror in the wall to see your surroundings without turning around.

    Great outdoors

    Facing windows is a popular home office configuration for those with the means. It is especially popular for writers, designers and other creators who look to the outdoors for inspiration. Whether you live in a downtown high-rise or a remote ranch, the outside environment allows your brain to momentarily escape and reset during difficult tasks. Windows are also perfect this time of year due to crisp fall weather and fresh air.

    Eco Office does space planning and office design for Bay Area companies. We specialize in used office furniture, cubicles and plexiglass solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to discuss your office furniture and other needs.

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