Considering the rising number of freelance workers who work from home in the comfort of their pajamas, it can seem a little silly to talk about the seriousness of an optimized workstation. All you need is an outlet to plug in your power cable and you can call it a day, right?
Wrong. This strategy make work fine for freelancers or businessmen and women working on-the-go, but if you want to maximize efficiency and profitability, you should set yourself up for success by optimizing where (and, by default, how) you work.
Maybe you are a freelancer recognizing the need for a dedicated work-only zone, or maybe you’re scouting a new office location for your company and want to make sure every detail is done to the T as you relocate.
Whether you’re reorganizing your current rig or setting up from scratch, follow these three steps to ensure your workspace will promote your most productive self.
1. Start with location
This can be more or less difficult to control if you’re working with limited options. Those crammed into an overstuffed office don’t exactly get their pick of the litter when deciding where to place their desk, whereas those moving into a blank space have more room (pun intended) to deliberate. As you choose where to stake your claim, keep these pointers in mind:
· The more natural light, the better
· The less trafficked area, the better
· Cold A/C is nice, but working directly beneath a vent is not
· Note electrical outlet placement to minimize the need for extension cords
2. Pick a platform
Now that you have your space in mind, it’s time to choose the right desk. Computer monitors range in dimension, so it’s a good idea to measure the size you’ll be working with to ensure your desktop isn’t too small or feel cramped. Here are some common items you’ll need to fit comfortably:
· Laptop and riser
· Or, computer and tower
· Extended screen or monitor
Optional items you’ll may want in reach include an insulated thermos to keep you hydrated while you grind away, potted plant or flower vase, and a charging station for your smart watch, earbuds, and cellphone—just make sure it’s on airplane mode most of the day!
3. Buy ergonomic everything
If you’re intent on creating the best workstation possible, it’s probably because you want to sit down and produce work faster and more efficient than before. One of the best ways you can do this is by investing in ergonomic office equipment.
Ergonomics refer to the applied science of designing and arranging things human use so that their interactions are as safe and efficient as possible. The more ergonomic your desk setup, the less eye strain, neck pain, and excessive motion you experience throughout your workday. These effects, although small, are significant when compounded upon day after day.
There are endless options you can explore when shopping for ergonomic office equipment. Here are just a few:
· Ergonomic chairs are designed to deliver all-day comfort while sitting by enhancing the support for your posture, weight, and lumbar.
· Laptop risers lift the base of your unit so that the screen is level with your natural line of vision.
· Keyboards contoured to the shape of your hands often come with wrist pads that minimize strain and maximize typing speed.
· Mice can also be ergonomically shaped to your hand’s natural resting position so that the constant clicking throughout the day places less stress on your joints.
· Floor mats are great to pair with standing desks, which promote hip and back health, because they help absorbing the pressure dispersed by your feet.
4. Add a positive pick-me-up
You don’t want your work area to feel cluttered by any means, so think about investing in some drawers or filing cabinets that can keep documents neatly tucked away and out of sight. However, adding a personal touch to an otherwise austere environment is a great way to reduce stress while working. Consider the following touches:
· A low-maintenance succulent or fresh bouquet of flowers to brighten the space with lively greenery
· A framed photograph of one of your favorite moments that can bring a smile to your face when pressure feels intense.
· An aromatherapy candle that lifts your mood with scented benefits.
By following these steps, you’ll create an environment destined for success and efficiency.