How much time do you spend in your office? Probably somewhere between 5 and 10 hours a day, right? That's a lot of hours. Let's say you spend half of your average workday in meetings, and the other half at your desk. That's at least 20 hours per week sitting in the same place, staring at the same things--which adds up to 86 hours a month, 1040 hours a year... That's a lot of hours.
Did you know that studies show that a well-designed space can increase your productivity by up to 20%? So here are three simple things that you can do to get your office to work for you.
You probably guessed this one, but getting a comfortable, supportive chair is probably the most important thing you can improve your work space. How are you supposed to work if you constantly need to shift your position, if your leg is going numb, or if a muscle knot in your back is shooting pain down your arm? A good, ergonomic chair positioned in a way that is customized for your body, is a great place to start solving these problems.
When you're looking at chairs, consider how many different ways you can adjust it. Does the chair offer ergonomic design? Tilt and tension control? Adjustable height? Lumbar support? A headrest? Arms? Does it have smooth hooded casters, so you don't have to drag it (and you) when you need to move around? Is it breathable? Does it have cushioning?
All of these features will impact how comfortable you are during the day. And you can have all of these features and style too! You can find all of these features combined with a modern design, whether you're looking for an executive chair, an ergonomic chair, a task chair, or even a basic guest chair.
If you need a place to start, consider trying one of these:
There are a few things to consider when you're thinking about your desk. The first is the position of your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Your monitor should be positioned so that the top is at or slightly below eye level, so that while you're working, your gaze is at a gentle downward angle. It should be no closer than 20 inches from your face. The larger your screen, the more distance you will need. If you are dealing with multiple monitors, issues with bifocals or trifocals, or other types of technology, here is a convenient listof things to consider.
This will help you determine how deep your desk should be. You should also consider what else you need desktop space for--do you use paper blueprints, books, binders, or art supplies? Do you need pens, paper clips, post-it notes? A bulletin board? This will help you determine the desktop space you'll need, and whether you'll need drawers, cubbies, or a hutch.
It's also valuable to consider the space you have. Is there a door, a window, or are you sharing space with multiple people? Is it an open office environment? Or maybe you only have a very small space, and are trying to maximize what you do have.
Ask yourself: what exactly do I want to get out of my desk, to minimize my daily discomfort?
To get started, here are a few quality desks that have a wide variety of features.
If you have room, one of the best choices you can make is to have a secondary work space in your office. A comfortable reclining chair, a small meeting table, even just a basic guest chair will give you alternatives that will allow you to keep working, even when you just can't get comfortable. This can also be achieved by going outside, booking a conference room to work for a while, or hitting up a coffee shop, but if you want to stay where you are and keep distractions to a minimum, simply add another set-up to your office space.
Spread out, shift positions, and get away from your monitor by having a second place to work.
Here are a few classic small tables that would give you enough room, without taking up a lot of floor space:
If you're not sure what chairs might work, consider one of these:
When you want to make your office work for you, the furniture is a great place to start, but there are many other options as well. Consider updating the lighting, painting the walls, decluttering, reducing noise, or adding potted plants. When you spend a good portion of your life in your office, it is absolutely worthwhile to make it yours. This article lists a few other great suggestions.
Ultimately, it comes down to what you want, and what works for you. Get creative! Go crazy! And make your office work for you.
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