Desk Space: Mine is Tidier than Yours!

People seem to like showing off their desk space.

Maybe it’s a bit like ‘show and tell’ at school. There are plenty of sites where you can upload a photo of your working environment for others to see. Some of the more interesting sites include deskography and the Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Flickr Group. Most of the photos on there come from the Lifehacker Coolest workspace competition. Voyers might also want to take a look at Web Worker Daily’s home office, Spy journal and the many screens of biscade.

Help is at Hand

There also seems to be a lot help for those who are unsure of how to set up their home workspace. The great Monkeysee video on how to organise your office really made me laugh (it’s done by a professional organiser!). It keeps going on about Health and Safety precautions when moving furniture about! Of course this is relevant, and making sure your desk is a comfortable place to sit at is really important, but it does seem a little out of context.
The article on How organised is your home-office workspace? also has lots of ideas.

If you have a small pot of gold to use when planning your home office then Web Worker daily gives some tips on the whole planning process from putting pencil to paper. There are also reviews of a couple of 3D planners including the Ikea Planner and Google Sketchup

My Home Office

All of this has inspired me to write a few words about my home office.

I don’t work for a big commercial company and don’t have lots of expensive kit but I still want to make sure that my workspace is right for me. It’s a decent size space but has to double up as a spare bedroom and storage room (probably like most people’s office).
As you can see I’ve got a box room and all the exciting stuff happens along one wall. I’ve got a desk, some great wall-to-wall shelves, books galore and drawers full of supplies. I have an all-in-one printer (scanning, photocopying, printing) which saves space. Unlike all the flash people on Flickr I only have (and need) one monitor. I’ve also got a keyboard, lamp, headphones, DVD rewriter, speakers and phone on my desk. The most important thing I have is my notebook. I still love writing stuff down on paper! I have a red swivel chair, which probably needs replacing – ergonomics – health and safety and all that! Work will pay for our home office furniture but it’s up to me to order it (using their supplier catalogues). I’ve also got a special mouse and wrist rest as I have carpal tunnel syndrome and can get really sore if I do too much typing.

I have an electric heater for when it is impossible to fit more clothes on. If it’s really cold I tend to shut the door and try and heat a smaller space.

On the walls I’ve got quite a few photos and pictures my children have drawn, contacts lists and calendars.

I’ve also got a futon in the room, so sometimes when I’m trying to do a bit of brainstorming I’ll have a lie down on there.

The wackiest Home Office

I’ve mentioned the Shedworking site before, but I guess a lot of us would love to have an office down the end of our garden that we could shut and lock the door too. I saw a great blog post recently on the 10 most unusual places to set up an office. It’s worth a look even if just to have a peep at what the inside of Airforce one looks like. Now that is working on the move to the extreme!


6 thoughts on “Desk Space: Mine is Tidier than Yours!

  1. Pingback: Posts about Lifehacker as of April 8, 2009 » The Daily Parr

  2. Interested to read this, and the Green office piece, as we are just about to move house, and although neither of us will be home working, we do want to set up the 3rd bedroom (one of the reasons for moving!) as a work space/guest bedroom, so it is interesting to consider how we should set it up.

    We got rid of our home printer a while back. I find most of the paper I have at work is stuff given to me by others. However, I do print stuff sometimes – and I suppose the truth is that even if you only print one document a week, you still need a printer (don’t know if laser or inkjet printers are considered greener?)

    I’m finding more and more that I wish I had two screens at work, but suspect that it is a luxury I should really be able to live without (especially when you factor in the minus points on the eco front)

  3. Hi Owen,

    A confession. If I have a big report to print out I usually ask the admin staff in the UKOLN office to do it for me and post it over – they can use the fast laser ones they have on-site. My inkjet is really only for small scale stuff and if I use it a lot I notice as it eats up cartridges (a reminder to me that I’m not being very environment conscious! – though I always recycle cartridges.) I have a Cannon PIXMA MP610 – which was actually bought for me as a birthday present last year. I found the one work supplied wasn’t that effective.

    I’m not sure which type of printer is the most green. I’d suspect a laser printer. A laser printer uses a lot more energy but then is faster. Inkjets use more cartridges and I’ve also read that inkjet print outs are harder to recycle because the ink cannot be removed. Anyway I guess the trick is still to print out as little as possible. There are many days when I don’t switch the printer on…so I do the best I can.

    Oh…and a white board. No thanks. I have my trust note pad and it’s not as if there is ever anyone in my office that I need to explain stuff to using big diagrams. Besides it would just end up being the kids new favourite toy!


  4. Loved this post, very interesting, thanks for sharing this. As for the unique office spaces, I’ve been hearing about those cardboard offices and they seem really functional! Eco-friendly too, which is a big plus!

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