Organising the office: a checklist and tips. Anyone who sets up on one’s own or incorporates a small business, usually needs to have an office for arising operations. And anyone who needs to organise an office completely new, may also lose track very quickly.

Our checklist will help to make the organisation of your office easier. We want to highlight what to consider when organising an office and give some tips for the office being completely and well-appointed in the end.

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Sufficient space

Büro einrichten: Checkliste & Tipps - Beispiel für einen Schreibtisch mit Rollcontainer

Organising the office – we recommend creating an office for four people with simple elements of separation

You may first think of the room itself. Where should my office be located? How much space do I have for organising it?

The optimal workspace in an office is approximately 10 m2. That contains sufficient space for furniture, you can move easily and yet don’t feel cramped. After all, nobody is sitting in a tiny room for working all day long.

If the 10 m2 space gets undercut in an office where many people work, it will get crowded. Conversely, this can cause a reduction in concentration.

Moreover, small rooms increase the accident risk and may block life-saving escape routes.

So, it’s better if the office space is rather more spacious when organizing the office.

Enviromental factors

Even the biggest and nicest office is not much use if you are not able to work by distracting noise which reduces your concentration. Therefore, bevor organising an office, you have to make sure that there is no disruptive noise sources nearby.

A badly isolated office, located close to a main road, can easily cause headache and stress.

Is the heating working? Are there outside roller blinds in case of a dazzling sun?

Lightning

Working in the dark is no fun. That’s why light rooms are perfect for working. Best is a room with a window.

Natural daylight benefits our wellbeing and efficiency.

When organising an office, the room should be furnished with lamps which will lighten up the room. But make sure that the lamps are attached in such a way that they don’t dazzle or cause reflections on the screen.

Safety

In an office you will find expensive working equipment and important operational documents, therefore, every office should be lockable and well protected against unauthorised access.

According to personal experience, offices in old buildings, having double doors at the entrance, feature a genuine safety risk. Any trained burglar can break those doors very quickly.

When organising the office, you should install a smoke alarm. A fire extinguisher is recommendable as well.

Colours

We recommend placing no dark furniture in an office because then it will appear darker. Black furniture can also have an oppressive effect.

According to your very own request, you can design the walls colourful. But bear in mind that less is usually more in this case.

Accents in colour are worthwhile in order to get rid of the typical sterile atmosphere in an office. But don’t utilise any glossy colours or wallpapers because otherwise your eyes get tired more quickly due to reflections.

Office desk

Büro einrichten: Checkliste & Tipps - 3 Bildschirme = Größerer Tisch

The bigger the desk, the more space for creativity.

Consider purchasing a model with minimum 160cm × 80cm as your office desk because a smaller one is only partly applicable for office work. You can easily place important documents right in front of you and work with multiple monitors on one big office desk. You also have more free space and can move much better during work.

It would be ideal to equip your office with an electric height-adjustable office desk, thereby you can temporarily stand while working (see advantages of a height-adjustable office desk).

If you have a conventional office desk, best would be to adjust the desk to your own height when furnishing. For that, take advantage of the removeable feet (compensating the height) of the office desk and avoid buying a static desk without any adjustment in the first place.

Place your desk at a right angle towards the window. By that, you will avoid reflections on the screens and will not face the light from outside.

Make sure that the office desk is sealed or has a non-scratch-sensitive surface (melamine resin). Avoid desks with a glass top, otherwise reflections will have a negative impact on your efficiency.

Office chair

Büro einrichten: Checkliste & Tipps - Ein guter Bürostuhl gehört dazu

A good office chair with many options in adjustment is part of a every office furnishing.

Make sure that your office chair has minimum a tilting mechanism (even better a synchro mechanism with an adjustment in weight) and can be adjusted to your height.

Especially armrests and the lumbar support should be height adjustable. A GS mark (a German certification mark for technical equipment) is required!

Storage

When organizing your office, provide sufficient storage by the use of cabinets and pedestals. Latter ones are of advantage for small office desks. For visual reasons, if possible, don’t use any open shelves for files or documents.

Place one or more filing cabinets on the office desk. By that, you will keep the desk in order and have important documents close at hand in the corresponding filing cabinets.

Working equipment

Ein gut ausgestatteter Arbeitsplatz erhöht die Leistung

A fact that is often underestimated: a well-appointed workplace increases the efficiency.

Get yourself a PC or Mac computer up to date that you can get on well with. Ideal is to set the operating system so that your hard disks are encoded.

Important input devices are the mouse and keyboard. We recommend using CHERRY keyboards, a German manufacturer of computer input devices of all sorts. Their keyboards are silent and have a pleasant centre of pressure.

An optical mouse with a thumb key is recommendable if you’re frequently working online. Also think of a mouse pad.

A second monitor eases working at the computer immensely and is useful to have.

Also make sure that the internet and telephone connection is available in time when organising the office. Consider getting matching network cables as well!

If you need a fax machine and printer, bear in mind to get them on time.

Plants

Plants are a must have for every conception of furnishing. You feel more comfortable, and the air gets cleared constantly.

Plants also work sound-absorbing and therefore should be placed in every office.

Is there anything we forgot about? As always, we are looking forward to your feedback!

The post "Organising the office: a checklist for self-employed persons & founders" written by:

Stephan Forstmann

Experte für Home Office und gesunde Büroarbeit

Stephan is from Dresden, Germany. He is a founding member of Deskonia since 2009.

Stephan is a home office worker since 2013 and became a home office expert. He shares his experience and publishes various tutorials for a better life at the office und creates tutorials on topics like ergonomics and communication.

In private, he is also very passionate about photography. He loves to chat about photography-gear and composition an. Stephan also published a lot of photography tutorials.

If you want to get in touch with Stephan, you can easily reach him via e-mail: forstmann@bueromoebel-experte.de.

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