Should Your Home Office Desk Face the Window?

While working from the home office, there are many things one should consider by themselves, starting from the setup of the working desk.

The first consideration would be to place or not to place the home office desk facing the window.

The home office desk should not directly face the window. However, setting the desk-facing window to its side is the most suitable considering Feng Shui, the work environment, and distractions.

Desk facing window
Placing the desk directly facing the window may cause a distraction while working.

I like the fresh air compared to using AC or fans while working.

So, I prefer having my desk near the windows. In addition, I can also take short breaks and have a look outside at my garden.

Many people prefer to sit facing their windows while working. It has both its pros and cons depending on personal choices.

Why Should Your Desk Face the Window?

There are numerous advantages of facing the desk towards the window. Also, many people do prefer this desk arrangement.

1. Finding Inspiration

Finding inspiration is hard when you are working all day indoors. Besides, all available within the four walls would not be enough to spark your creativity.

Research proves that facing a window can reduce boredom and increase creative thinking. It is easier to find inspiration looking outside of a window than inside a room.

However, the level of creativity depends on the surroundings outside, as natural and quiet areas can help boost creativity, while crowded and busy areas can be distracting.

2. Eye Excercise

Any other desk placement would have us looking at the farthest wall, the farthest distance one can see.

However, if one can look outside the window at times, the range of vision increases.

This allows our eyes to watch distant objects and get some exercise. Some even claim to have improved short-sightedness by far focusing on eye exercises.

Quick Tip: Take a break every 30 minutes and glance outside the window as far as possible while working.

3. Beats Claustrophobic Feeling

If the room of the work area is too small, there is a high chance of feeling claustrophobia. Some people have a phobia, which can significantly affect their work capability.

However, if the room faces the window, it can create a sense of space, and one would feel less boxed in even sitting in a small area.

Why Shouldn’t Your Desk Face the Window?

Despite the advantages, there are a few drawbacks or placing a desk in front of the window. Let’s go through the reasons in detail.

1. Distraction From Work

For those who tend to procrastinate, placing a desk facing the window is the worst choice of placement.

One might gaze outside the window when they should be working.

Working on the desk facing a window can increase the attraction and weaken your work productivity.

2. Distracting Bright Light

During the day, the sunlight would directly fall upon the desk and person. Since the sunlight is brighter than the computer screen, it might be hard to work.

It can also lead to headaches and vision problems as we need to focus our eyes to see clearly.

Desk facing window
The desk facing the window may be distracting due to bright direct sunlight.

3. Unaware of Surroundings

When facing a window, your back would be turned to the door. This causes one to feel vulnerable as the awareness of surroundings is decreased.

The placement can cause unconscious distraction and an inability to focus on work.

What Should You Know Before Placing Desk Facing the Window?

Before placing the desk facing the window, it is advisable to consider some factors mentioned below.

1. Window Glare

The window glare can fall upon the desk or eyes while facing or having the window to the side. This can be pretty distracting while working.

The sun’s glare can also damage your retinas. However, the following tips might help reduce the window glare:

  • Blinds are a great way of controlling the lighting in the workspace. In addition, it works excellently in blocking window glares.
  • Use light colors to paint your room. This can train your eyes to adjust the brightness. In contrast, the dark-painted room might worsen the effects of glare.
  • Use plants! You can place plants outside the window to block the direct sunlight.
  • Anti-glare window films can be placed on transparent and effective windows, blocking up to 90% of the sunlight glare.
  • Sit perpendicular to the window. This position has the slightest possibility of direct glares falling upon you.
Desk perpendicular to window
You can place the desk perpendicular to the window to avoid sun glare.

2. Direct Sunlight Can Damage Your Desk Over Time

Direct sunlight can damage the desk quality over time. For example, wooden desks can lose their color and fade with long-term exposure to sunlight.

Also, the plastic products on the tabletop would fade color over time.

There are chances of rain entering through the open window causing damage to the desk and other materials.

3. Sunlight May Damage Electronic Equipment

Sunlight can damage electronics like printers from sun exposure. The inkjet printers have water-based inks that can evaporate when placed in sunlight. This can block the ink flow as the ink get thicker.

The keypad will be exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, causing the outside graphics layer to fade with time.

Moreover, if water enters the window, it can damage the keyboards, mice, and other electrical equipment.

4. Excessive Sunlight May Ruin Your PC

The heat is more of a problem than sunlight for computers and PC. When the temperature is higher than 96 degrees, computers can overheat.

It can lead to the expansion of complex drive components, which can damage the computer.

In addition, it can damage the battery and reduce battery life. Humidity can also cause condensation build-up and can also lead to bad consequences.

Sunlight does not affect the monitor. However, direct sun exposure can affect older LCD models with ISA controllers.

Desk facing window
Direct sunlight may damage electronic devices.

The risk of sunlight to monitors is explained in detail in the article, Is Direct Sunlight Damaging To Monitors?

5. Increase the Temperature of Your Desk/PC

Sitting in direct sunlight makes it feel hotter than sitting in indirect exposure.

Also, the metal desks could get hot very quickly, making them uncomfortable to work on.

In addition, during windy and rainy days. Even if the blinds are closed, working in front of the window with thunder lights would be very distracting.

Tips to Increase Productivity While Working on the Desk Facing the Window

While facing the window, one can get easily distracted. In addition, sun glare and sunlight can be pretty disturbing.

Therefore, follow the tips below to make your work time comfortable.

1. Install One-Way Mirror Film

It can be pretty distracting when working facing the desktop if people outside can see you, especially if you are working near the street.

To avoid such distractions, install a one-way mirror film on the windows so that outsiders can’t see you.

You can buy one-way mirror films from Amazon.

2. Use Partially Closed Blinds

Blinds can help get enough air and light but avoid the distractions outside the window when the desk is facing the window.

If you have a habit of looking outside for longer times, install blinds and keep them partially closed to increase creativity and productivity.

Desk facing window
You can use partially closed blinds if you place the desk directly facing toward the window,

If you want to know more about window treatments for working productively in-home office, go through the article Best Window Treatments For Home Office.

3. Seal the Window Gaps

On windy days, even small gaps in windows can let in a rush of cold air that makes your work very uncomfortable. Try the following ways to solve the issue:

  • First, add weatherstripping to the window edges.
  • Use a window draft stopper to block the wind
  • Use tapes to fix tiny gaps.

Watch this video on step-by-step tutorial on installing window stripping to windows.

4.  Place a Mirror on Door View

When you turn your back to the door, you can feel insecure and vulnerable as you become unaware of the room surrounding you.

It can be fixed by placing a mirror with a door view on your side. It is also a step recommended in Feng Shui.

Read the article for better use of mirrors in-home office: How do Mirrors Help in Making Your Home Office Look Better?

Is it Bad Feng Shui if Your Desk Faces the Window?

It is distracting to face the window while you work. So Feng shui suggests that it’s best to have a window by the side rather than the front.

Having a window at the side allows one to look outside without being distracted.

According to Feng shui, one’s energy flows outside while working facing the window.

Also, one would have their back turned to the door, which is not recommended in principle.

Therefore, one must always be able to view the door while working.

Desk perpendicular to window
Place the desk perpendicular to the window rather than directly facing the window for better Feng shui.

Is it Bad for Your Eyes if Your Desk Faces the Window?

When a window is immediately behind your computer screen, the light from the window surrounds your display, causing eye strain.

Research also shows that desk facing window leads to eye strain.

Sunlight can damage the eyes over time and, depending on the amount and length of exposure, cause impaired vision, light sensitivity, excessive tears, blindness, and other issues.

Desk Facing Wall or Window

Are you still not sure whether to position your desk facing the window or not? Don’t worry! I’ve highlighted the pros and cons in the table below to help you decide.

Desk Facing WindowDesk Facing Wall
May reduce claustrophobic feeling however, it can be sometimes disturbing to work.May increase claustrophobic feelings but also reduces visual distractions.
Glaring sunlight may damage the furniture and equipment.No glaring. So, furniture and equipment won't get damaged.
Helps you to find inspirationHelps to make you aware of the surrounding
It may cause eye strain.It may make you monotonous but may reduce eye strain.
It is not a good Feng shui.It is not a good Feng shui either.
Place the desk perpendicular to the window for good Feng shui.You can strategically hide the wall by hanging art or pictures on the wall.

Final Thoughts

Having a window near a desk is beneficial for work productivity.

However, placing it directly in front of the window is not a great idea according to Feng shui and also the effect on eyes and electronics/computers.

If the desk must be placed in front of the window, ways like blinds and mirrors and closing the gaps might help boost worker productivity.

Related Article: Should your desk face the wall?

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