Your workspace plays a key role in your well-being as a business owner. Whether you have face-to-face interactions with clients at your location or conduct business solely over the internet, you still need to have a space that’s productive for work. Functionality is important, but so are comfort and aesthetics.
Here is a list of workspace essentials that will help you maximize your ability to get things done, whether you’re in an office or simply have a corner of your home dedicated to your business.
A Second Monitor
While a single laptop on a desk can have a nice minimalistic look, the addition of a second monitor can significantly increase your productivity. Consider how often you are switching between programs or multitasking by simultaneously checking email and typing up customer invoices. With multiple screens, you see everything you’re working on at once and cut the time that you’re opening and shutting windows.
A Faster Internet Connection
If it’s taking what seems like forever to log in to a social media site, or you’re frequently finding that your web browser is slower than molasses, it’s time to take a look at your internet connection and modem. Huge amounts of time can be wasted with slow internet. And when you’re a business owner, time is money!
A Reliable Phone System and a Headset
You’ll most likely want to be able to use your phone while at your computer, but you may not want it ringing when you’re working hard to complete a project. A business phone solution that provides an auto-receptionist and call routing can be just what you need – particularly when you’re tackling urgent tasks at hand and can’t take calls. Don’t forget to have either a speakerphone or a Bluetooth headset attachment so you can have your hands free when you are on the phone.
Poor lighting can be a subtle yet surprisingly big problem. Windows with southern exposure can create too much glare, making it difficult to read a computer screen. Artificial lighting can cause eye strain and fatigue. As you set up your workspace, pay close attention to the lighting at different times of day. You may find that shifting the position of your desk or adding a dimmer to light switches can make a big difference in terms of your ability to focus and stay productive.
Your productivity can drop to nil if you’re unable to work because of back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or headaches due to neck strain. The configuration of your desk, the comfort and height of your chair and the position of your monitors, keyboard, mouse and phone headset should all promote good posture. If you’re hunching over or straining as you work day in and day out, it’s time to evaluate your setup before you end up with a painful and costly repetitive strain injury.
Enough Storage Space
Do you find yourself spending more time looking for things than actually working? You might be lacking in storage space for your files, cables, manuals, books and office supplies. Even if you’re not known for your organizational skills, a filing cabinet, some bins and a cabinet can be helpful tools if you want to cut down on the stress and frustration of misplaced items.
Originally published Nov 02, 2010, updated Aug 21, 2020