You may have experienced the feeling that you wish you had a more efficient home office space, but maybe you didn’t know how. Or, you may have realised that something was just not set up quite right but couldn’t quite put your finger on it.
You’re not alone! Across the globe, professionals who work from a home office want a better home office solution. According to Forbes, the average worker loses 2 hours a week due to an inefficient workspace. Over the course of a year, that really adds up to some serious wasted time!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a web designer, an online store, or a freelance writer like yours truly, an efficient space will keep you comfortable, focused, and allow you to spend more time on the job of making money.
Here are a few things you can do to set your home office up correctly so that you can stay efficient and be well.
INVEST IN THE RIGHT DESK
If space allows, an L-shaped, corner desk desk is the most efficient way to set up shop. As many of you are aware, the “home office” is often the corner of a spare bedroom or living room. This set-up allows you to make the most of a very little corner of space.
How you set up your desk is important. Some “corner desk” set ups are truly for either right or left-handed people. However, other manufacturers assume that you are right-handed. Therefore, if you’re left-handed, be sure that the desk is reversible as many Piranha Furniture corner desks are.
For right-handed people, the extended desktop should be placed on the right side. Naturally, this means that the extended desk should be on the left for a leftie. If there is a tower of storage drawers, they should be placed to your dominant side, as well.
This eliminates awkwardly reaching across your body. For example, if you need to staple papers and the stapler is on the right side, a leftie would use his left hand to reach across to grab the stapler. This is uncomfortable and wastes time.
A PROPER OFFICE CHAIR
I used to sit at my very small desk and write for hours on end sitting on a vanity stool. I couldn’t find a chair that would tuck under my desk properly when not in use. Oh, my goodness, the backaches were unbearable.
Then I discovered that there are nice quality office chairs with arms that fold down when not in use! The chair tucked away just as neatly as could be. And my backaches were eliminated. The fact is, you can’t work productively when you’re achy...you will be prone to lose focus because of your discomfort.
A proper office chair will offer lumbar support, have an adjustable chair height for you to make yourself comfortable, and arms to support your elbows. Proper support of the back will curb back and neck pain. Supporting the elbows will help you position your wrists properly to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
Please do treat yourself to a chair to help you remain productive, focused, and well.
INSTALL TASK LIGHTING
Good task lighting is crucial to an efficient workspace. Of course, it eliminates eye strain. However, if you have poor lighting, you may have difficulty locating important papers, especially down in the file drawers of your workspace.
A rule of thumb is that if you are right handed, your lighting should go on your left side; left handed workers should have their lighting on the right side. This is so that as you are writing, taking notes, and working using your dominant hand, you don’t cast the shadow of your hand onto your pile of work.
The first time I was told that, it blew my mind! It was a real “a-ha” moment for me. I immediately adjusted my lighting and found if much easier to work.
Options for lighting are a desk lamp, which is especially attractive if you do have an L-shaped desk. If you have a small desk and space is at a premium, grab your tools and install a wall-sconce just above the desk on the proper side. It’s a very easy DIY project, it plugs right into a regular outlet, and you’ll be right back to work...and with better lighting.
OFFICE EQUIPMENT SET-UP
Don’t you hate it when you can’t lay hands on a pen and paper?
When you get to setting up your desk, consider again if you’re left or right-handed. Place the things that you use the most on the main part of your desk, right next to your computer, on whatever side is your dominant side.
This means a left-handed worker would place a notepad and pens on the left of the computer. Less frequently used office items can go to the opposite side of the computer or over to the “L” where the items are a quick swivel away.
Use the space next to the lamp (opposite your dominant hand) for less-used items and to place decorative items or photographs.
With a little bit of planning, purchasing and setting up a new desk will keep you productive, efficient, and comfortable.
AUTHOR BIO: Deborah Tayloe is a freelance writer and contributor to Home Tip Top. She lives in North Carolina, USA with her husband and an energetic toy fox terrier. Deborah loves DIY projects, gardening, and restoring furniture in her free time.