I’m thrilled to share this article from guest writer, Carol Bremner who has a great site at Creative Home Computing. She shares what an organized home computing environment might look like and some great ergonomic tips that shold help all of us. Check out her site when you get a chance.
The ideal set-up for my home computer; it’s an environment I’m constantly striving toward and haven’t yet found, although each change brings me closer. The goal is maximum efficiency, little time lost searching for things, and a healthy atmosphere to work in.
So far, my home office looks like this:
Since posture, back pain and repetitive injuries are hazards when home computing, I’ve followed expert tips.
- My keyboard is at elbow level.
- The top of my computer screen is at eye level and is large enough to read without fatigue.
- I try to limit computer use to no more than an hour without a break, but find this extremely difficult. I need to start using a timer and commit to stopping when it rings.
- My feet are flat on the floor and a high back solid office chair helps to keep my back straight.
- The mouse is within reach. Neck and arm pain were caused when constantly stretching to use the mouse.
- I use a small fitted wrist rest that provides foam support and decreases the chance of carpal tunnel.
As for the layout of the room, everything is in fairly close proximity.
- Two bulletin boards are on the wall in front of my desk where I can see them whenever I glance up. A small board holds personal information that I use frequently, while the big board shows my goal sheet, daily schedules, website objectives, some mindmaps, and any other forms I need to keep me on track.
- A small filling cabinet is to the left of my desk, housing only files, software, and equipment that I use on a regular basis. On top of it is a carousel with pens, stapler, and other office supplies.
- To the right of my computer is a laser printer that I use many times a day. I have a color printer in another room should I need it, but found that most of my printing needs are fine with black ink. The laser is faster and ink ends up being much cheaper. I turn the printer on only when I’m actually printing, since the fumes from a laser printer are stronger and can be a health hazard.
- Behind me is a comfy couch for those times when I need a break from the computer and can do some reading work.
- The only other piece of furniture in the room is a large bookcase filled with business, marketing, and computer books. As well, it houses printer paper, cameras, a hole punch, and a number of binders full of notes. I find that this area needs the most upkeep or it soon becomes a disorganized catch-all.
No matter how vigilant I am with filing and organizing, there are days that I can’t find the information I want or realize that I have duplicate data in too many different places. There are also times I wish there was a phone in the room. Efficiency is an on-going task it seems. What works for me might not match your standards, so experiment until you find the home computing environment best suited to you.
Carol Bremner 2010
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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.