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Ergonomically furnish the study
Ergonomically furnish the study
Video: Ergonomically furnish the study
Video: Ergonomics Expert Explains How to Set Up Your Desk | WSJ 2023, February
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If you work from home, you usually have to set up and furnish your own study. A task that overwhelms some, because numerous regulations and ordinances apply. Which lighting and which devices are the right ones? Find out how to set up your home office optimally here.

Table of contents Table of contents Ergonomically furnish and equip the study

  • Regulations for the installation of an VDU workplace
  • Proper lighting in the study
  • Correct furnishing of a study
  • Laptop or stationary PC?
  • Networking via radio or cable?
  • Internet connection
  • How do I keep my data up to date?
  • Mobile phones and apps in the home office
  • The smartphone as a small office
  • data backup
  • Remote maintenance software
  • Security in the home office
  • Spatial design of the study
  • Study room and children

Table of contents Table of contents Ergonomically furnish and equip the study

  • Regulations for the installation of an VDU workplace
  • Proper lighting in the study
  • Correct furnishing of a study
  • Laptop or stationary PC?
  • Networking via radio or cable?
  • Internet connection
  • How do I keep my data up to date?
  • Mobile phones and apps in the home office
  • The smartphone as a small office
  • data backup
  • Remote maintenance software
  • Security in the home office
  • Spatial design of the study
  • Study room and children

Especially when it comes to setting up a workplace with a computer, it is worth implementing health and safety regulations and ergonomic guidelines at home. Among other things, computer work places high demands on the eyes: the gaze constantly switches back and forth between the screen, keyboard and desk. Therefore, pay attention to the correct lighting in your office. Otherwise, headaches, poor posture and fatigue could result. As far as the technical equipment of your study is concerned, you will find tips and ideas here about which devices you should buy.

What are the regulations for setting up a computer workstation?

The same requirements apply for the workplace in your own four walls as for offices in the company. The VDU Ordinance and DIN 5035 “Lighting with Artificial Light” provide binding information. The European standard EN 12464-1 “Indoor lighting of workplaces” specifies: 300 lux illuminance is sufficient for simple office tasks such as filing or copying. Anyone who reads, writes or works on the screen needs at least 500 lux.

The Euro standard also stipulates that the lighting system in the study must be checked and serviced regularly by an electrician. The background is safety in the workplace and economical use of electrical energy. Electrical specialist companies offer their customers corresponding profitability tests. Those who choose this can achieve significant financial benefits - according to the experience of the specialist companies.

And what about the cost of lighting the home office? “Many employers give a grant. The self-employed can deduct the lights from the tax,”says interior designer Fritz Lechner.

What is the right lighting in the study?

Kopfschmerzen
Kopfschmerzen

Improper lighting in the study can cause physical discomfort, such as a headache.

Photo: Klosterfrau health service

When selecting and installing the lights in your study, it is important that the light is not dazzling and is not reflected by the screen. An indirect light source is suitable as an alternative to directly radiating ceiling lights or dimmed lights, as recommended by the Fördergemeinschaft Gutes Licht (FGL).

Ceiling washlights or uplights in the form of a wall or floor lamp are a good choice. It is important that the light comes exclusively from above and does not dazzle.

The work surface at the desk should be illuminated by a rotating and swiveling lamp with reflector; it directs the light to where it is needed. The lamp should be flexible enough to allow left and right-handed people to work without shadows.

Illuminate without dazzling

The lighting in the study must ensure two things: illuminate the work surface optimally and precisely and illuminate the room evenly. For this, interior architect Fritz Lechner recommends "special pendant lights for mounting on the ceiling or floor lamps arranged to the side of the desk". He also refers to the newly developed Eldacon microprism technology, which illuminates the workplace brightly without being glaring or dazzling. "And it saves energy, " emphasizes the Munich interior designer, because: "Modern fluorescent tubes generate light instead of heat."

Combine daylight and artificial light

When looking for the optimal lighting design, the savings aspect is of central importance. Permanent lighting can cost money. The most effective is a combination of daylight and artificial light, according to Lechner. A variant that is particularly suitable for desks near the window in the study. The highlight: intelligent lights regulate the necessary amount of light independently and switch off automatically as soon as you leave the room. That saves energy and money.

Another example of innovative and economical lighting technology are the slim three-band fluorescent lamps (diameter 16 millimeters), which are operated with electronic ballasts (EVG) and are dimmable. This system saves up to 25 percent energy compared to conventional three-band fluorescent lamps (26 millimeters plus electronic ballast).

Natürliches Licht am Arbeitsplatz
Natürliches Licht am Arbeitsplatz

It is best to combine natural and artificial light in your study.

Photo: iStock / Poike

How do you properly equip a study?

It is not so easy to equip your study properly and to provide it with all the necessary equipment. In the office there was a separate device for each function. Space and money didn't matter - and if you didn't know what to do next, you called the system administrator. All of this can be a problem in the home office. Therefore, rely on a few, but really necessary and high-quality products.

Answering machine

An answering machine is also mandatory in a home office. Modern telephone systems usually offer integrated voice recording, and almost all telephone providers now offer a cloud-based voice box. Others use SMS or email to notify you of a call or send a recording, also in the form of an email, to your notebook. So you can query important messages from anywhere. Another option is to have the incoming calls via landline forwarded to his cell phone. This service usually does not cost anything extra if you have a wireless tariff with so-called "Sprachflat".

fax

E-mails have increasingly replaced the fax machine. So think carefully about how often you actually send or receive faxes. A much cheaper alternative is to simply scan documents and send them digitally. Another advantage of this variant: The documents are archived at the same time and are saved on your PC. As a pure fax recipient, you can purchase a telephone with an integrated fax function. Incoming faxes are automatically digitized as PDF files and sent to you by email.

Drucker + Scanner = Kopierer
Drucker + Scanner = Kopierer

With a multifunction device you can save yourself the purchase of many individual devices.

/ FabrikaSimf

scanner

A scanner is required to digitally read paper templates. Nowadays, the purchase of a separate device is no longer absolutely necessary. There are now multifunctional devices on the market that can be used to fax, scan, copy, print and take photos. They are either directly connected to the computer via a cable connection or can be linked wirelessly via WLAN or Bluetooth. Apps are also available for mobile devices such as tablets, with which documents can be scanned easily and conveniently.

printer

What should not be missing when setting up a study is a printer. Use your money well and get - as already mentioned above - a modern multifunction device. On the one hand it saves space and on the other hand it only has to be set up once. The complex cabling of several devices is also eliminated. After that, it is available for a variety of tasks. The only disadvantage: If a function needs to be repaired, all the services that the device has to offer are canceled. Understanding service providers will lend you a replacement device for emergencies.

Laptop or stationary PC?

A laptop is also the first choice if you are not often away from home for work. For the office, all you have to do is set up a docking station with a large screen and separate keyboard to work ergonomically. A stationary PC with a large keyboard and screen is only essential if your work often involves computationally intensive graphic activities such as CAD, image, video or layout editing. It is worth buying a stationary computer here, since it usually has a much higher computing power at a comparable price. In such cases, a second screen is also useful.

Networking via radio or cable?

Netzwerkkabel
Netzwerkkabel

Connect your various PCs with a network cable.

Photo: MEV

If you work in several places that are in different rooms but on the same floor, the easiest way to implement a wireless connection between computers and other technical devices such as printers or scanners. This also enables you to synchronize several PCs (or cell phones) so that you can access their address and calendar data from different devices, for example.

A direct connection of the individual components via a network cable is more energy-efficient, faster and more stable - in this case the router also acts as a connecting element and forwards the data streams to the right end devices. If you use a stationary server - a so-called NAS (Network Attached Storage) - for data backup, you should also connect this with a LAN cable. In this way, you can also transfer larger data volumes such as videos or image series quickly and securely. Mobile devices are also integrated into the network via the activated WLAN.

Important: Always keep the entire software up to date by performing regular updates. Activate all security features on your router and secure the access with long, cryptic passwords to prevent unauthorized access to your network from outside.

Internet connection

Nothing works today without a fast internet connection. We can hardly imagine a professional or private life without e-mail, search engines, electronic tax returns or online banking. Depending on how high the expected data traffic is, you should have the fastest possible DSL connection - unfortunately, the internet is still sluggish in some regions of Germany, which is becoming a problem especially for freelancers with high data transfer needs.

How do I keep my data up to date?

Address book, calendar, task lists - really handy if the cell phone knows what you have entered on the computer. If you only want to synchronize a computer and a mobile phone with each other, you can do it easily via USB connection. If there are multiple computers and multiple cell phones, you should use software for this. The Outlook e-mail program provides a good basis for the successful exchange of data between the mobile and stationary devices in your home office. To do this, however, you have to set up a central mail server with IMAP technology for comparing data. Alternative: You use an external service provider. In addition, there are cloud-based complete project planning tools such as Trello for relatively little money. If all devices are set up accordingly, you can access your data on the go - even from other computers.

Mobile phones and apps in the home office

If call forwarding is too expensive for you, you can also download an app that can be used to merge calls from both mobile and landline networks. The application connects the cell phone wirelessly to the WLAN router, so that you can now make calls over both networks. E-mails and faxes also land on your cell phone in this way. If you have a WLAN router that does not contain this function, there are mobile phone tariffs that can be used to make calls to landlines within a radius of two kilometers. For a regular study, this is usually sufficient.

The smartphone as a small office

Have you ever made calls over the Internet? This is also possible with a smartphone that has Internet access. Simply download the corresponding app from the Internet and you can make cheap calls with your mobile phone via Internet services such as Skype - worldwide.

There are also services that allow you to send faxes over the network. This makes you independent of expensive devices and mobile, especially in the home office, because the services can be used by mobile phone or laptop wherever there is Internet.

Smartphone
Smartphone

You always have your office with you with a smartphone.

Photo: fotolia / rangizzz

data backup

Data backup is an important topic, especially in the private study. You can solve two problems with a cloud: on the one hand, data can be backed up online, and on the other hand, it can be accessed from anywhere. Back up your data and backups from a PC, tablet or mobile phone in the cloud, you can always access them and are secured if your technical devices need to be repaired or should no longer work. The backup is done with a password.

Remote maintenance software

If the laptop does not want to print or if a program does not work as it should, good advice costs a lot of money. In your home office, you can generally not call for help from an in-house IT specialist. We therefore recommend a remote maintenance program. It enables experts to access your PC. This way, problems can be solved very easily - without someone having to come to your home.

Security in the home office

Once the home office is furnished and fully equipped, many often neglect their own safety. Electricians are observing a negative trend: increasingly modern and complex technology adorns the home office - but there is hardly any protection for the user.

Too few power sources or overloaded power strips pose a significant risk not only for your data. They can lead to a room fire. Smoke detectors should therefore not be missing in the study. They immediately raise the alarm when smoke is generated and prevent worse things. Furthermore, lightning strikes or minimal voltage fluctuations in the power grid are already causing massive damage to electrical devices. You can counteract this with comparatively little effort and protect your data and devices. Retrofitted surge protection systems keep an overdose of electricity away. The installation is dirt-free and quick.

Spatial design of the study

If you want to separate your study from the rest of the room, you can do this with clever furniture such as a cupboard office. You can make your documents disappear in a self-made roll container. With a carpet and a few green plants, you can make your study look more cozy. Green plants such as the ficus or the green lily filter the pollutants blown into the air by printers or other devices and improve the indoor climate. You should also choose the color for the walls carefully. It is best not to paint all four walls in one color, but possibly only one wall. A neutral environment can increase your productivity. By the way: If you have a small apartment and cannot do without an entire room as a study, you should set up an office in the living room or equip a rarely used bedroom with a compact home office. However, please note: If you want to deduct your study from tax, it must be spatially closed - in case of doubt, it can be worth moving in a lightweight wall.

Study room and children

Children in particular are at risk in the home office environment because they can often only be supervised with half the attention. When children play on the floor next to the desk, sockets and power strips with access locks are essential. Special child protection sockets should also be installed. Because: An electric shock can be fatal! A residual current circuit breaker switches off the entire circuit at lightning speed in the event of a short circuit. Electricians are specialized in such installations.

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