This lifestyle blog contains organization tips and style/fashion comments. Organization is how to store/display your stuff. Style is more personal - who you are or how you look/feel. Fashion is what you wear - old or new is it you?
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We have looked at what
is best for a work
chair in your office or at your work station. Let us now
consider possibilities for your
work surface for same activities.
As they say in the
real estate world, look for the best place to put your work surface within the
limits of your available office space or within a room of your home. Now that you know the real estate location,
what should you consider next before placing the work surface into your work
area? Make sure the area feels right and
that where the work surface is place is not a distracting location. What do we mean by that? For
example having your primary work surface at a window with view of the garden
may be calming to you, but having a view of the sidewalk or street may be
distracting to you due to people or vehicle traffic. Some people prefer to have their work surface
facing a doorway so they can see who is coming into their area. However, again this may be distracting due to
people movement around the office or in the home, so it could prevent your
ability to focus. If you prefer turning your
back to the door to prevent possible distractions but still want to know when
someone may be entering your work area, a mirror posted on a wall above your
work surface may be a solution to that as it limits how much you see behind
you. When it comes to location, you have
to decide what works best for your focus and work style.
Your primary work
surface should be at your elbow level.
That would be where your wrists remain straight and your forearms are horizontal
when working at it. For most people, the primary work surface should be off the
ground by 30 inches for handwriting and 26 inches for computer work. However, to get the right height for you,
concentrate on what keeps your elbows at approximately a 90-degree angle when
working and does not cause fatigue your arms and shoulders. If your work does not require use of lots of extra
materials, then try to limit your movement with a work surface or desk that has
drawers for storing what you are not using.
Having at least one deep drawer for files and other drawers for supplies
and material storage makes working easier since your items are nearby when you
Keep urgent items on
your work surface and everything else in baskets or files that are out of sight. However, make sure they are easily retrievable
when you need them. When placing your
tools or other work items on your work surface, place the items you use the
most often within arm’s reach to prevent movement and strain. Remember
to save your workspace by removing things from the work surface when you are
not using them. One way is to consider
hanging reference data, which is not sensitive, on a bulletin board close to
the computer or phone. If your data may
be semi-sensitive, but not does not need to be secured by locking it away, tape
it under your keyboard or pencil tray inside a drawer. If your data does need to be under lock and
key, place it in the first and closest folder in lockable file cabinet or desk
You may also want to
consider having an optional standing work surface for some work tasks to reduce
back strain from sitting too long. If you think two work surfaces require too
much extra cash and space, remember this second work surface can double as
extra space for spreading out if you have a task that requires. If more work surface is often necessary for
your work, you may want to consider using rolling tables, carts, or small storage
or file cabinets to create an L-shaped area.
A cart with shelves that is movable for extra work surface or storage
space wherever it is necessary may be ideal because you can move it out of the
way when you are no longer in need of the extra surface area. Or if the work is rare and not too large, you
may just need a small triangular-shape table in an open corner for use as a temporary
work surface. If you have a credenza, chest,
or other furniture which may be useful as a possible work surface, keep it
clean. That way your work area looks
tidy and you are ready for those large jobs that need to be spread out over a
larger area than your primary work surface allows.
It is also
acceptable to use your guest chair, if one is available in the work area as a
holding space for in-work items or reports.
Move this chair closer to the work area to limit your movement. Using the guest chair in this way also has
the added benefit of discouraging people from coming in, having a seat, and
taking up your time when you have an urgent task or project to complete. If people have to stand to talk with you,
they will cover what they need to say and move on quicker. If you feel the conversation is necessary, you
can always empty the chair temporarily to the floor or another surface to allow
for longer conversations. Just make sure
you keep the work stack within your line of sight, but not so close to the
other person that it may be tripped over.
** Bonus tip for increasing your productivity- Stay organized by making sure you to clean off your work surface each day before leaving your work area. This ensures a clean work area is available for you the next time you start working.