This $40 IKEA side table is probably the best way to take a meeting on the couch while working from home

A couch table offers the best of both worlds: productivity from the comfort of your sofa

a living room with side and coffee tables
(Image credit: Jon Day Photography)

Working from home is now pretty commonplace. Those of us who do it regularly like to pretend that we're sat in the home office, toiling away at our desk 9 'til 5 but in reality, some of the best work-from-home days are done - at least in part - from the comfort of the sofa. Comfortable though it may be, however, this does usually mean sacrificing the practicality of a desk. 

You might move from your desk to the living room for a change of scenery or perhaps you don't have the space for a home office at all - whatever the case may be, working from the sofa is totally permissible. Heck, even WFB if you want to (that's work from bed, if you were wondering); if being more relaxed makes you most productive, even your boss can't argue with that. But let's be honest, a level surface of some kind would certainly make life easier. 

Well, a couch desk offers the best of both worlds. Designed with an open frame for your knees to fit under while sitting on the sofa, or to project over your bed as a suspended surface, they're the perfect table for anyone who doesn't have space for a large desk in their home. Of course, when it comes to functional living and small space solutions, our friends at IKEA are on hand to help. They've just bought out a new side table that doubles up as a couch desk, and for just $40, it's undoubtedly the best way to take a meeting on the sofa while working from home.

A living room with a striped circular rug, a sofa, and a couch desk in the center of the room

(Image credit: IKEA)

We call it a 'lap'top, but nobody wants to work with their computer balanced on their legs. If you're a work-from-sofa type of person, a couch desk is the functional piece of modern living room furniture you definitely need. 

And IKEA's OLSERÖD side table is one of the best options out there. A multifunctional coffee-table-come-desk, you can slide it in front of you to take meetings from the sofa (or to eat your dinner in front of the TV) and quickly transform it into a stylish coffee table when you're hosting guests. At 24 3/4 inches tall, it's high enough to fit over the edge of a regular-sized bed too, ideal for anyone who can't sit in an office chair for long periods of time.

A living room with a grey couch, yellow pillows and a couch desk

(Image credit: IKEA)

For anyone with limited space or with a small apartment living room, the best part is you don't have to worry about where to store it. To transform the desk, simply remove the tabletop from the underframe, turn the frame on its side, and fix the tabletop in place using the fasteners. You now have a compact coffee table for space.

Proving once again that they're pros at pairing function with style, IKEA has designed the OLSERÖD in two colorways: an anthracite frame with a dark gray top or a birch effect top with a dark, mustard yellow pocket. The former is perfect if you're a fan of a more contemporary, industrial interior design style while the latter offers a fresher, more Scandi-cool feel. 

A bedroom with a blue day bed and a couch desk

(Image credit: IKEA)

A pocket, I hear you ask? That's right, you don't have to worry about the limited tabletop size, either. The OLSERÖD comes with a small fabric pouch under the table offering a clever storage solution for all those small office supplies you need close to hand, be it a highlighter, staple, or just a bottle of water. (And by night, it's the perfect spot for the remote controls!) 

Its function doesn't have to end at the sofa, the bed, or as a coffee table either (although we'd say that's a pretty impressive range, as it is). You can easily move the OLSERÖD around the room, placing it over the end of an armchair in a reading nook or over the arm of the sofa while you enjoy a glass of wine. If you ask us, this is IKEA's versatile furniture at its very best. 

Can't get to IKEA? Try one of these couch desks instead... 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.