What Makes the Ideal Workstation?

Workstations should be an asset to our professional lives, and creating the ideal workstation doesn’t necessarily require a giant office makeover. Sometimes by making minor adjustments, optimizing any desk space or cubicle for maximum productivity becomes instantly feasible. In fact, equipping your workspace with the proper ergonomics, privacy elements, and ease of access are factors that can be easy to control on a personal level and don’t require huge investments or large amounts of time. However, tailoring a workstation to fit your physical and psychological requirements isn’t always a straightforward task.

To start, consider these three variables when thinking about how to create your ideal workstation:

Ergonomics

Consider the physical challenges, hassles or time sinks of your workstation. Is your desk uncomfortable? Do your arms ache after a few hours typing? Is your mouse too small, cramping your hand? In some cases, making minor physical changes to the layout of your desk or cubicle can have a major impact on your efficiency throughout the day. Perhaps raising the chair an inch or two will prevent typing fatigue. Maybe a different grip on your mouse could mitigate hand cramps. When it comes to optimizing your workstation, find out what makes the most physical sense for your day-to-day needs. Some options might seem silly, but it’s important to take care of your physical comfort, even at a desk job.

Privacy

Sometimes an open desk environment neglects the dire need for privacy. Sure, open office environments are a great way to collaborate with co-workers, but occasionally, alone time is required for innovative thinking and coming up with creative solutions. Try making a “Do Not Disturb” sign for your cubicle or wearing headphones at your desk so that fellow co-workers know when you’re in the zone. If you’re working from home, keep tabs on the external forces that could inhibit your work time and proactively address them. Perhaps move your home office to the quiet basement to better avoid your neighbor’s daily housework, or save work on your most critical projects for the middle of the day when the family is out of the house.

Ease of Access

For the ideal workstation, it’s important to consider the positioning and ease of access to all necessary equipment and personnel. It’s an obnoxious distraction to have to get up and walk across the office for a paper clip, sticky note or to constantly check in on time-sensitive projects or communicate with teammates about tasks. Remote employees may have an advantage in optimizing the convenience of their physical workspace, but even still, if changing the position of your desk or cubicle isn’t possible, it may help to consider how collaboration technologies like Skype, chat or web conferencing can ease the challenges presented by your physical workspace.

Creating the ideal workstation doesn’t have to be a major investment. By making small tweaks to what’s already available, personalizing your work environment to fit your day-to-day needs can be an extremely quick and cost-effective undertaking. To learn more tips on how to maximize productivity and potential without shelling out a fortune, check out this article.