In the beginning of the 20th century Frank Bunker Gilbreth, together with his wife Lillian, made use of scientific insights to develop strategies for saving time. The Gilbreths were pioneers in the field of motion study which, they believed, should be used to increase productivity by saving time and money.
While many of the techniques developed by the Gilbreths were designed to be applicable to the technology of the early-20th century era, the concept of devising business efficiency techniques for all types of work is still a guiding principle of the corporate world today.
Post-COVID, many workers are finding that they can perform their work duties from home and many employers are agreeing. Employees now have the time, the opportunity and the motivation to design their own workspaces so they are comfortable and effective during work hours. If the workspace is well-designed they can even enjoy the space to relax with music, movies and online casino cash slots after work.
Some effective strategies for maximizing work and enjoying it in a more comfortable environment include:
Your desk is probably the most important element of your workspace because you will be sitting next to it for hours at end. Some things to consider about choosing a good desk:
- Size -- if your work involves piles of papers, spreadsheets or books you need to have a desk that has the roomiest surface space possible. To keep those papers nearby, consider getting a desk with overhead cabinet space or overhead shelving. An “L”-shaped desk is a possibility – it gives you more space to spread out but also offers some space where you can clear off some of the area for meetings. Area-permitting, a “U”-shaped desk does the same thing but gives you more surface area. If you’re tight on space you can choose a mobile computer cart or a compact desk. Be honest about your habits. If you’re a messy worker, you should get as big a desk as possible.
- Ergonomics -- desk heights of 29 to 30 inches from the floor is a standard size and is sufficient for most users. If you like to rest your feet on a shelf above the desk, check and see if the desk comes with such a shelf or if you can have one built and added. There should be an area to rest the mouse that will be within easy reach of your hand.
- Many of today’s computer desks don’t come with drawers so if you’re going to need drawers, make sure that the desk features the drawers that you need.
- Consider a stand-up desk which, many workers say, is comfortable and is good for your back. Some stand-up desks come with stool options so you can switch off if you need to.
If you spend a lot of time at your desk you should invest in a good office chair. A good office chair will give you an easier workday and will save you from physical discomfort. Some of the things to look for in a good office chair include:
- Adjustable height – you should be able to adjust the height of the chair to suit your own height. The height of the chair should allow your thighs to align horizontally to the floor and make it comfortable for your hands to reach your computer keyboard and mouse.
- Adjustable backrests – You should be able to adjust your backrest so you can move forward or backward, adjust the height and angle the back to your satisfaction.
- Lumbar Support – Top office chairs support the back in a way that keeps the back arched at all times. You want a chair back that matches the natural contour of your spin so you don’t slump as the day progresses. Good lumbar support minimizes compression on your spine’s lumbar discs so you don’t suffer short-term or long-term back strain.
- Depth and Width – If you are short you’ll want a shallower office chair seat and a deeper seat if you are tall. You should be able to have 2-4 inches between the seat and the back of your knees and you should be able to sit with your back against the backrest.
- Material and Padding -- Avoid a seat that is too hard or too soft. Make sure that the seat has adequate padding and is made with breathable material.
- Armrests – Your arms should be able to rest easily on the chair’s armrests so you can do your work without straining your neck and shoulders.
- Make sure that your workspace is well-lit with a desk, overhead or floor lamp.
- Consider switching your laptop for a desktop which, for many people, offers a more powerful, faster and more efficient option for computer work.
- Even if you’re working on a laptop, invest in a good, large monitor so that it’s easy to see your work as you move forward. Make sure that the monitor is placed in a position that makes it easy for you to see it so you don’t need to lean over or stretch.
- Get rid of unnecessary cords and clutter by investing in a wireless keyboard and mouse.
- Invest in a good video conferencing camera so it will be easy for you to “meet” people virtually.
- Invest in the best-available high-speed internet, preferably one that has a reputation of offering good 24/7 customer support for those times that you need immediate assistance.
- Don’t save money by neglecting to get a surge protector. One lighting strike and your whole set-up can come crashing down without a surge protector.
Make it clear to everyone in the household that this is YOUR workspace. Even if you take a few minutes here and there to use it for relaxation or entertainment, it shouldn’t be the space where family members feel that they can come for “visits”.