The growth of information technology and communication channels has allowed for a swift shift in the way we work. People are no longer confined to the typical “9 to 5” and many are even working from home on a daily basis. But in order to stay productive and on task, it’s imperative to have the perfect home office space.

Now, the perfect home office isn’t just a pretty space with eccentric trinkets; it’s a well-thought out design that fits in your work surfaces, equipment, and storage with comfortable clearances. It’s a space that is not just comfortable, but also inspires productivity and creativity. These key measurements will ensure you get your home office layout just right.


Obviously the most important part of your office is your workspace, a.k.a., your desk. Decide whether you want a floating desk, a built-in desk, or a desk against a wall. Each type will have different space requirements, but the standard desk height is the same at 29 to 30 inches. You’ll want to get the desk with the largest surface area that will fit comfortably in your space.

  • SSB 035Floating – Floating or free-standing desks range in size, but common dimensions are 48, 60, and 72 in. wide and 24, 30, and 36 in. deep. You’ll want to leave at least 30 in. between your desk and the credenza, bookshelf, or wall behind, so you have plenty of room to move around comfortably. Leave about 48 to 60 in. on the other side of the desk as well, if space allows, for additional tables and chairs (especially if you plan on meeting with clients or customers here).


  • Built-in – Built-in desks will obviously take more thought and planning from the get-go. These desks have the same basic dimensions as others, but can provide much more work surface since they’re customized. Just make sure you have enough knee space underneath and movable space behind and side to side.


  • Against a wall – If you’re going to place your desks against the wall, you’ll want to keep at least 54 to 66 in. in-between them to allow for enough space to move around between sides.

Other Key Dimensions

Aside from your desk, these are the other important measurements to keep in mind when designing your home office. 

  • Plan on a footprint of at least 18 x 24 in. for your printer. While height and width vary from printer to printer, the important part is allowing for room for the doors to open for replacing paper, ink, etc.
  • If you use a desktop and need a keyboard tray, the most ergonomic height is between 24 and 26 in.
  • Allow for space for a regular trash receptacle as well as a paper shredder, which is about 14 to 16 in. wide, 14 to 18 in. tall, and 8 to 10 in. deep.
  • You’ll most likely need filing space, so be sure to allow for enough room for a filing cabinet of some sort. Standard two-drawer letter-size filing cabinets are at least 15 in. wide, 30 in. tall, and 29 in. deep. Legal size is slightly wider, and lateral file cabinets even larger than that. Decide which type you need and be sure to allot sufficient space.
  • Remember that while built-in shelving can make your space feel more intimate, in also reduces floor space. If you have a smaller space, or need more flexibility, stick with a freestanding bookshelves that are at least 36 in. wide and 48 in. high.
  • If you use the office space for reading or studying as well, you’ll want enough room for a sofa chair of some sort. Be sure to allow a footprint of space that’s about 40 in. square. You don’t need much space in front of extra seating, so a path as small as 14 in. wide may work.

Always plan ahead for sufficient space in your home workplace. And if you have any questions while planning your home office, reach out to the professionals at Sandy Spring Builders.