In the Trenches: Designing A Workspace
You wouldn’t think it would make a big difference, but over the last few months, I’ve learned that the design and location of your workspace makes a huge difference in productivity. This is particularly important for a home-based business like mine.
When I first started working from home, my desk was a big coffee table. It sat low to the ground, and the floor was my chair. Believe it or not, this was a great setup for me. The table was huge, and the floor was comfortable. I could easily spread out as needed, and I had my own room away from the rest of the house. This was ideal… for awhile.
Soon, my back started hurting. Shockingly (yeah, right), my sitting position wasn’t ergonomically ideal. Wanting to avoid doing my best impression of a hunchback for the rest of my life, I looked for other options. Fortunately, I had my mind made up for me when I was kicked out of my office.
We started doing work on the house (I write this as I hear a loud, sustained banging in the background), and my room was going to become uninhabitable. In fact, much of the house was becoming a construction war zone, so I had to move into one of the few untouched rooms. Unfortunately, a lot of other things had to move into this room as well. That meant that I had to use a very small desk surrounded by a ton of other furniture. This came with its own problems.
Being surrounded by clutter just raised my stress level. The desk itself was also too small and instead of having neat, organized stacks of information, I had towering piles in which I couldn’t find anything. Sure, on the plus side, my back was in better shape since I was actually sitting properly, but the situation was even worse than before.
As we near the end of our construction, I’ve started making plans for my new workspace. The key for me is to have a big desk, a good chair, and plenty of natural light. I need to be in an inviting environment since I spend so much time on my perch. The fact that I spend so much time at my desk is a whole other issue. I’ll touch on that next week.
Brett Snyder is President and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. Snyder previously worked for several airlines, including America West and United, before leaving to create a travel search site for PriceGrabber.com. Snyder did his undergrad at George Washington and earned his MBA from Stanford.