The workspace is the hub of any designer, developer and programmer’s world. From here you research, develop projects, mockup ideas and communicate with clients.
It is important that your workspace allows you to find a balance between allowing you to carry out your work efficiently without distraction while at the same time inspiring you to work for long periods of time. With this in mind I have assembled some top tips that will help you to improve your workspace by creating a functional, inspiring workspace that you will enjoy spending hours in.
Ten Top Tips
Tip number one has got to be placement of your worksapace. Where you are situated is definitely something to consider when creating an optimal work environment.
Most times you will not have much of a choice in the matter due to space restrictions and what not but if you find that you do have room to spare then choose a space by a window preferably and in an area of the room that is easily accessible.
Lighting is another key factor in designing your personal workspace. A space that is too light will damage your eyes after prolonged periods of time and too dark a space will cause eye strain.
The key is to work with what you have. Situate yourself beside a bright window that has curtains or blinds that can be adjusted as needed. If this is not possible then consider investing in some lamps, backlights etc. that can have their brightness adjusted to suit your needs and place them on your desk or overhead on a shelf.
However many monitors you currently have I guarantee that one more wont hurt. A number of well placed monitors will increase your workflow tenfold. All the extra screen real estate can be used to efficiently display your work while helping you to visualize what needs to be done. Plus it does look very cool you have to admit!
Shelves are the best form of organisation around, especially if you are in a small area and wish to optimize storage space. Think about the items that you wish to store on shelves and how best they should be stored. This will give you a good idea of the style and amount of shelves you will need.
A large sturdy desk can make all the difference to your workspace. Your desk must be large and sturdy enough to hold all of your gear while still allowing you space to take notes or sit your beverage down. If you are stuck for space consider a smaller L-shaped desk that can fit in the corner of the room.
Also important is the chair you choose for your space. An ideal chair should be comfortable for sitting in for long periods of time and provide enough back support to avoid back strain. Ideally you want a chair that can have its height adjusted and if you are in a large space a chair with wheels wouldn’t hurt.
Clutter is up there with the top distractions that impede your work. A desk overflowing with sticky notes, pens and old coffee cups does nothing for your productivity. Only have items on your desk that are absolutely necessary. Anything else should be stored in drawers for ease of access when needed.
Place pens and pencils into a cup or a special pencil holder, have a notebook on your desk for any quick notes you need to jot down, keep the amount of paper at your desk to a minimum to avoid excess clutter.
An organised workspace will lead to an organised mind. Consider placing your physical work into folders or binders which are colour coded to help you find what you are looking for with ease. Small plastic storage boxes can be an excellent commodity to have in your workspace for organizing stationary, USB sticks or any other bits and pieces you have accumulated and can’t do without.
Those pesky cables running from all of your pieces of hardware can drive you insane. Undoing knots in cables should not be a regular part of your day. Remove any unnecessary wires and cables and store them away. Organize each wire so that it is easily plugged in without crossing over too many other cables in its path.
If you need to, invest in cable ties to minimize the messiness of the cables. Label plugs so you know what they belong to; this will make your life a great deal easier trust me.
Again, only include what’s necessary to your work. Printers, laptops, tablets, monitors, headphones, speakers etc. can take over the majority of your space. Try to be clever about each object’s placement and positioning to maximize your space.
The bin. This is what will set you apart from the messy masses. Invest in any kind of trash can and place it near your desk so you will be more inclined to toss your crumpled up pages and empty coffee cups into it rather than discarding them all over your floor.