Here’s a hard fact: If you work full time, you’ll spend as many hours in your office each day as you do in your bedroom. Reading that might make you want to roll over and hit snooze, but duty calls. It’s time to redesign your office space to make the hours you spend there more comfortable.
No one would consider a bedroom design that didn’t offer hours of comfort — and the same standards should apply to your office design. But because every space should be designed with purpose in mind, comfortable bedroom design will look different from a comfortable office space.
In the bedroom, you’ll use soft textiles and plush pillows. But in a modern office, you’ll add comfort with something a little less expected: minimalist, ergonomic design.
Strong ergonomics make your space more comfortable for all-day use, and minimalist design makes it more organized for increased productivity. When your physical environment is organized, you can focus on more pressing matters — like organizing your inbox. And while we can’t help you streamline your workflow, we can help you streamline your workspace.
Whether you’ve snuck a home office into the corner of your living room or you’re outfitting your company’s private office, you can use these modern office ideas to create a comfortable, functional, and beautiful design.
8 Modern office ideas to rework your workspace
From your office chair to your storage cabinets, these ideas will help you rethink every aspect of your work environment. With each idea, we’re also highlighting the best modern office furniture to help you add the form and function you need in your office.
1. Choose an adjustable-height desk
A typical home office desk is about 30 inches high, but this Myers adjustable-height desk ranges from 28 inches to 48 inches, making it ideal for both petite workers who want to sit more comfortably and active workers who want to switch from sitting to standing throughout the day.
When you can choose your desk’s height, you can set up your workspace to be ergonomic for your height. And unlike other adjustable-height desks, which are often made from a soulless beige plastic, this elegant modern desk has antique ivory colored legs and a weathered pine top.
2. Use a corner desk to carve out a home office space
If you need to squeeze an entire office into a small space, choose an L-shaped corner desk like the Jamara Office Desk. With its Scandinavian-inspired silhouette, this piece offers clean lines and minimalist design that includes plenty of storage space. The built-in bookcase and storage cabinet give you room for files, reference books, or your Wi-Fi router. This design is a perfect solution if your version of an open office involves your office opening up into your living room.
3. Select an adjustable, upholstered desk chair
As with your desk, your office chair should be adjustable to give you the best chances of creating an ergonomic office design. While the stationary, galvanized metal chairs you see in modern farmhouse homes may look cute, they won’t be comfortable for all-day work.
Instead, opt for an upholstered chair to add both form and function to your design. Modern design mixes natural and man-made materials, so this adjustable-height office chair with metal legs, a wood seat, and leather upholstery checks all the style boxes. It’s also a swivel chair, allowing you to easily get up and down from your desk throughout the day.
4. Add a footstool
For the most petite among us, even adjustable home office furniture might not provide enough range to get to that ideal ergonomic posture with both the elbows and knees at (or just above) 90 degrees when you sit and type.
Add a small foot rest for more comfort and style. This can allow you to incorporate a lounge area into a small office space as well. When you have a simpler task to work on, like reading through emails or reviewing industry white papers, you can kick up your feet and treat your office chair like a recliner for a productive change of pace.
5. Add storage with hanging shelves
Even if you don’t have room for a full-size bookcase, you can still add storage with shelving. These industrial-style wall shelves are a perfect addition to a modern home office. Because they only take up wall space, they can easily squeeze into a small office space.
6. Slide a small file cabinet under your desk
Whether you actually need file storage or just want a place to store your snacks, a filing cabinet can offer discrete storage. If you have a larger desk in a smaller space, you can slide the cabinet underneath and still have plenty of legroom. Choose a filing cabinet with casters for more functionality, and look for wood or metal designs like this 3-drawer file cabinet to complement your modern decor.
7. Work at the dining table — in a good way
Turning your dining table into your home office can cause your work life to creep a little too far into your home life. But if you have no other office space, you can make this arrangement more ergonomic by using a laptop riser and bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Add supportive upholstered dining chairs or an office chair on casters that you can wheel in and out of the dining room when it’s time to work.
And if you’re outfitting a team office environment, you can use a dining table to upgrade your conference room. Replacing the work table in your conference room with a more stylish dining room table will create an office aesthetic that matches your office culture — modern but inviting.
We like this mid-century modern wood table for a warm, welcoming conference room, or this glass and metal table if you want to discourage your team from checking their phones under the table in meetings.
8. Use a credenza for storage and style
A credenza or sideboard is an elegant way to add storage to your space. Because the storage is behind closed doors, you don’t have to worry about storing unsightly work items like files, office supplies, hard drives, or other essentials.
While a credenza is a natural choice for a home office (where style is a priority), it can also make your team office environment look like a curated space — instead of a collection of buy-in-bulk furniture. We like this metal frame and solid wood hutch to serve as a statement piece in any modern office.
Design that works
Modern office design is elegant, organized, and functional. The clean lines and minimalist design are easy on the eyes — something we can all use after hours of screen time — and the ergonomic elements make office work easier on our bodies.
The best way to find contemporary office furniture that’s comfortable enough for full-time work is to head to your local furniture store. Shopping for furniture in-person offers something that online shopping never will: The ability to sit (or stand) at your favorite modern desk and settle into that cute desk chair for a few minutes.
When you try out your favorite modern office furniture in person, you’ll know that what you’re getting is exactly what you want. For more inspiration, check out our guide to affordable modern home furniture.
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