Next step is the desk

typically when setting up a workstation. I see time and time again, people simply use any old surface.  Some of them are completely unsuitable.   Some people use the dining room table, others use a kitchen worktop.   I’ve even seen a computer sat on top of a washing machine.   Other people use second hand desks.

The dining room table ok for occasional use, this can cause wear on your computers connections. Also you’d have to put it away a lot.  It’s not really a permanent setup.  Using a kitchen worktop is a terrible idea.  PC’s are places that you put your fingers, a lot. with every key press you deposit residue on the keyboard.  Get this mixed with a food preparation area and unless you take proper hygiene precautions, there could be trouble.  In addition, with items like washing machines being in alot of UK Kitchens, there will be some serious vibrations that can shorten the life of hardware.   The second hand desk from an office will of course provide a good stable work surface.  However it is designed to fit the office and not a living space.  It’ll work, and if you are lucky it will look ok.

So what about the ideal workspace for a living room?  Well I don’t know much at the moment, but here’s my challange.  I want a workspace that looks in place. fits the space well, allows all the things that I want to be kept in place without needing to shut it down.  Also I want to ensure that the ergonomic stuff is taken care of as well.

I want a good working height that is comfortable to use, plenty of leg room and an uncluttered look.

With the list of items that I want to have in there, plus requirements of the existing space.  There is a hifi system with a large speaker, and an upright lamp that I have in that part of the room.

The workspace needs to be at the right height.  I want to sit with good posture as well.

So what makes a good desk?

First and foremost is the work surface.  It has to be sturdy easy to clean and resistant to scratch and wear.   Wood, Glass or Plastic can be used as can a host of ither materials.  I’d stay away from metals as these conduct electricity and I will be using electrical items.  If I end up building myself a workstation, it’ll most likely be made from wood of some description as that is the easiest material to get hold of.  It also happens to be the easiest to work with.

Ergonomics is the main overriding factor. I recently found a good website with information about the full ergomonics of a desk. There is certainly alot of information to think about.  it should also provide a great reference if I decicde to build a desk.  The information in that site is very informative, but does say that the desk design is dependent partly on the tasks that are done on the desk. i.e. if you are writing letters all day you need an office setup suited to that, if you are answering the phone all day, that should take center stage.   Someone who is programming, creating works of art and answering phones has a conflicting set of problems that needs to be resolved.   I’ll look at the tasks that I’ll be carrying out on more detail in the next post.

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