I’ve worked in some neat areas throughout my career. One coveted window desk overlooked downtown, another overlooked nature, and I’ve even had my own office. I’ve also set up thousands of workstations over the years, adjusting based on technology, ergonomics or preference, so I generally know what works well for me. Let’s walk through how I made strides this week toward turning my “Zeal” space into my ideal office, as inspiration for working on yours!
Comfort should be your goal in designing your office’s desk layout.
I know some ergonomic basics, thanks to collaborating with HR folks fielding ergonomic complaints, and talking with my doctor. The traditional recommendation is that your eye level should be looking at the middle of any monitors. My instinctive reading posture is hunching over to read smartphones or books so my doctor recommended that my eye level should be looking at the bottom of the screen. This encourages me to look up more, putting less pressure on my neck and back.
Talk to your doctor about your specific ergonomic needs.
My laptop and secondary monitor are, therefore, propped up around 9” compared to the traditional 3” or 6” risers. I can then use the space underneath for displaying cool things… and I’ll still need time to figure out what works best in this space. The power strip is easily accessible with open ports for chargers, nothing special about the keyboard and mouse, however, the CD boom box should get another sentence. I find having an external media player is nice and with my 1,000 CD collection, might as well listen to them, right?
Scratchpads and writing utensils are nice for the occasional note.
I’ve ironed this one out of the years. While hydration is the key to your health and success, the result of spilling your hydration item of choice will not be a successful moment. I’ve found placing my coffee, water, or tea as far away from any moving components as possible typically works best. With my desk and set up, this spot is decently far away from the mouse, and not at the edge of the desk.
Next should be a space where you can receive and send out tasks.
If I’ll use this space to write and I’ve done some research on a particular topic I want to write about, I can place those research items in the “inbound work area” (denoted by the down arrow) section. Once I’m seated at the computer ready to work, I can receive those items, process them, and then when I’m done place them in the “outbound completed tasks” (denoted by the up arrow) section. This avoids desk clutter: any object in the space must serve a purpose.
Too many cool things can incidentally be clutter.
Building out this home office was also the first step toward building up my mobile office. With this laptop serving a functional writing purpose now, it’s now a portable tool I can use regularly on the go.
And thus, “Zeal” can theoretically be anywhere.