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Why the Home Office Furniture You Use Matters
Choosing the right computer desk and desk chair for use in your home office is a more important decision than a lot of folks who work from home realize. This is especially true for those of us who run online businesses from home. Why? Because we tend to spend more hours at our desks than those who are self-employed in offline ventures. Any business person who relies heavily on computers should pick a desk (and desk chair) carefully.
You might be asking, ‘what’s the big deal? It’s just a desk.’ The fuss is your bottom line! Several studies in recent years have proven conclusively that the furniture we use in office settings (desks, chairs, etc.) has a direct impact on work productivity. And that has a huge effect on your earnings!
Ergonomics is one part of the equation. What is ergonomics? The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines it as: “the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.” The idea is to choose office furniture that allows your body to be in the proper positions as you perform your duties. This reduces negative physical effects, such as sitting without the proper back and leg support, typing in an awkward position because your desk is not at the correct distance or height, and other considerations.
Beyond merely being annoying, an uncomfortable desk and desk chair combination might just be causing you to get less work done. After all, who wants to work in such an environment? Even when you know the work needs doing, most people find convenient excuses to do other things when their bodies are being stressed by poorly designed furniture. The end result of all of this is, of course, low productivity.
The other major factor involving your choice of a computer desk and your work productivity is organization. Now, I’m not exactly the world’s most organized person in my home office, but one thing I’ve learned is that a bad desk choice makes it a lot harder to stay organized.
There’s more to this decision than you might think. Probably the biggest consideration is surface area. Smaller desktops are usually a ‘no-no,’ because they either tempt you to pile up important papers in an unorganized fashion, or to put them somewhere out of the way (and thus, easily forgotten). Unless you are severely limited in terms of office space, investing in a desk with a large desktop will pay for itself many times over in the ensuing years.
There’s another good reason to go with a larger desk: your computer. Small office desks just don’t give ample room for the monitor, keyboard, mousepad, etc. Add a printer, a fax machine, and a phone, and you’ll find that there isn’t room for anything else. That just isn’t practical. Skip the small desks that look nice and match your other furniture. Go with a larger one, even if it isn’t as visually appealing. Your home office, while it is in your home and you want it to look nice, is ultimately about you making money.
If you look hard enough, you can find a computer desk that fits both criteria: ergonomically designed and large enough to help you organize the important stuff. At the end of the day, you want your furniture to be an ally in your home office, not the enemy. Pick pieces that help you work more comfortably. That will put more money in your bank account.
Copyright © 2005 John Schwartz