Ah, the private office. It’s one of the work perks many of us love most—a place to focus without distraction or disruption. And—let’s be real—a private office feels like an upgrade: There’s none of that drab cubicle lighting, and you can shut your door when Jessica from Accounting microwaves fish again.
But how should you set up your space so it meets your needs? Here’s a quick guide to measuring, selecting furniture, and planning so you can design your ideal private office.
1. Measure Your Private Office the Right Way
Before you can plan your space, you’ve got to know what you’re working with. And estimating square footage isn’t enough: If you don’t measure correctly, you may end up choosing ill-fitting furniture or arranging your space in a way that feels cramped and uncomfortable.
Here’s how to make sure you’ve got all the measurements and notes you need to plan your ideal private office:
Make sure you’ve got a drawing of the floor plan. You can obtain this from your leasing office, create one yourself, or use a tool like RoomSketcher. Don’t forget to include doorways and windows.
Next, measure the perimeter of the room, noting the exact width of each wall on the floor plan.
Measure the length and width of doors and windows, then note your findings on the floor plan.
Record other elements you may need to consider when planning your space. This includes electrical outlets, columns, breaker boxes, and HVAC control pads or vents.
Finally, measure the ceiling height and note it on your floor plan.
That’s it—you’re done measuring and you’ve created a thorough floor plan to guide you through planning your space.
2. Choose Furniture That Fits Your Needs
You’ve got a clear understanding of your private office space. Now it’s time to determine how you’ll fill it.
Start with your desk and chair since you’ll use these 2 pieces of furniture the most. Think about your needs and preferences to narrow down your options and make shopping feel manageable. For example, do you want the additional surface area an L-shaped desk can give you, or do you want to make a statement with a bold executive desk? Are you interested in a more classic ergonomic chair, or do you have your sights set on a kneeling chair?
Consider whether you need a bookcase or file cabinet for storage, a whiteboard for important notes and brainstorming, or a lamp to provide more comfortable lighting than standard fluorescent fixtures. And don’t forget about visitors: If you have meetings in your office, you’ll want a few chairs or a small sofa and perhaps a side table.
Check out our digital catalogs or buying guides to find all the furniture and fixtures you need.
3. Plan Your Space for Optimum Comfort and Performance
The ideal private office is comfortable, easy to work in, and easy to navigate. Here are some helpful pointers for planning your space.
Overall, aim to arrange your office in a way that supports your daily routines and activities. If you often work on confidential documents, make sure your computer monitor isn’t easily visible to passersby. If you have lots of visitors in your office, guest seating should be easily accessible. And so on…
Build in convenience while you’re planning: Keep the items you use most within arm’s reach so you’re not forced to move around the room to complete tasks. Placing your printer on a return or housing your files in an under-desk file cabinet can prevent unnecessary hassle and protect your focus.
It’s not all about logistics, though—physical comfort is crucial for maintaining your health, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. If you’ve got a window, arrange your desk so you can look out the window. This allows you to enjoy the view, relax your eyes periodically, and take advantage of natural light. Speaking of light, ensure your computer monitor is located away from glares or harsh lighting, which often cause eye strain and headaches.
One of the benefits of a private office is making it your own. Add artwork, a cozy rug, your favorite plants, family photos, or other decorative elements to leave your personal touch.
Finally, make sure your space is safe: Avoid tripping hazards by tacking down rugs and using extension cords instead of dragging cords across walkways. Ensure tall, heavy furniture items are secured against the wall. And don’t block breaker boxes or HVAC control pads and vents.
Short on Time? Let the Pros Plan Your Private Office
Measuring, planning, and furnishing your private office is easy when you’ve got our guide—but it can take a little time. If you don’t want to add anything else to your to-do list, we can help.
Take advantage of our free office design services and we’ll assess your space, craft a private office plan that fits your needs, and help you select the right furniture.