The Ultimate Guide to Designing the Perfect Workstation for Your Needs

black flat screen computer monitor on brown wooden desk

With more and more people opting to work from home, many of us are looking to create a space within our homes where we can work comfortably. Some will be lucky enough to have a spare room to work from, while others may have to carve out a space in a living or dining room. However, no matter how much or how little space you have, you’ll need a set up that works for you. 

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you design the perfect workstation for your needs. 

Think about ergonomics

If you’ve ever worked in an office environment, you’ll know that it’s not just about having office furniture that looks good, you need ergonomically designed chairs and desks that will support your body in a neutral position. Ensuring you have an ergonomic workstation will mean that you can sit for longer at your computer. If you’re concerned about sitting down for long periods of time, you may want to consider a standing desk. There are many on the market that allow you to raise or lower the height to allow you to sit or stand. 

If you do prefer to sit while working, an ergonomic chair is also a must. Choose a chair that supports the natural curve of your back with lumbar support to protect your lower back. If your existing chair doesn’t offer the level of support you need, you can invest in a lumbar-support pillow or seat cushion.

The set-up of your desk and chair should allow your wrists and arms to rest in a neutral position. This means they should be either parallel to the floor or angling down slightly. 

Consider your keyboard

Many keyboards force your hands inwards which, in turn, encourages you to hunch your shoulders. An easy way to stop this from happening is to invest in an adjustable ergonomic keyboard which comes in two pieces which can be spaced so that your hands are shoulder-width apart. Other options include keyboards without a number pad on the right-hand side so that you can position your mouse closer to you. This reduces the stress of having to extend your arm to use your mouse. 

Choose a mouse that fits your hand

And talking of mice, finding a mouse that fits your hand and is comfortable to grip will help to reduce muscle stress that causes pain or fatigue. 

Set your screen at a comfortable height

Screens should be placed at a distance and height that allow you to see the screen clearly without bending your neck or moving forwards. It’s usually recommended to have the top of your screen about 2 to 3 inches higher than eye level and about an arm’s length away. While a laptop or monitor stand is the best option to achieve that perfect position, you can temporarily raise it on a stack of books.

Don’t forget about lighting

Good lighting can help to reduce eye strain. While natural light is best, sometimes we have to opt for the artificial variety which may include a combination of overhead lighting and task lighting. However, whether you’re working in natural daylight or under a desk lamp it’s always good to take a break and give your eyes a break from staring at the screen. 

Make it personal

Unless you’re an extreme minimalist, you may find that adding some personal possessions to your workspace can help with productivity and reduce stress. This could be a green plant, a bunch of flowers, an essential oil diffuser or a favourite photograph. You may be the kind of person who enjoys some background music while you work, or you may want to invest in noise-cancelling headphones if your workstation is in a busy part of your home or office. 

The bottom line is that each of us works differently and creating your perfect workstation is all down to what will make you most productive and help you to avoid the stresses and strains that come from working at a desk all day. 

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