How do I set up an effective home office?

How do I set up an effective home office?

Setting up a home office can often be difficult due to the demands of the home environment. Separating the responsibilities specific to the home from those of your work is often difficult to do. Keeping the physical location of your office away from the areas of heavy traffic in your home is a good start. To make this transition easier you should consider each of the following, as they apply to you:

  • Effective time management
  • Creating and following a priority list
  • Rules for children and other members of the household
  • Knowing when to take breaks
  • The importance of exercise
  • Allocating family time

How can I design a functional workspace?

A workspace is generally the area that can be swept by arm motions pivoting at the elbow with some shoulder movements and no upper body twisting. This main area is used for a variety of basic tasks including writing, reading and computer work. The size or span of the primary workspace should complement the task being performed.

Things To Consider, Possible Concerns and Solutions

  1. Is your workstation used by more than you alone? Your work habits and personal body size may be quite different from those of the person you share with. Make sure all furnishings are easily adjusted to suit the needs of all parties.
  2. Do you use a pointing device, such as a mouse? Overuse of the mouse and awkward posture could bring on repetitive strain injuries. Make sure you have a comfortable and stable platform for your pointing device (mouse), and your chair has armrests for additional support.
  3. Extensive use of the telephone during key-stroking or writing. Fatigue due to holding the phone handset and operating a keyboard at the same time. Use a hands-free telephone or a phone head-set which will allow you to maintain a normal posture while operating your computer.
  4. Tasks requiring computer use for extensive periods. Fatigue and discomfort from constantly sitting in the same position. Teach yourself to take small rest breaks, stretch your muscles and adjust your chair for a fresh posture position.
  5. Handling and processing of a large amount of paper. Repetitive unnatural twisted reaching could cause repetitive strain injuries. Organize your primary work area to include the paper flow; additional desk tray organizers may be a cost-effective solution.

Kevin Astala