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Your Working Environment


Setting Up your Office:


Be realistic about the desk, file and shelf space you will need when designing your desk

Is there enough room for your research material and the notes you need? Use shelving and magazine racks to stop paperwork encroaching on the space in front of your computer monitor. 

Access to information

If you are writing up historic research you will need much more space than someone writing a novel. Within arm's-reach you should find the items that you need to use and replace frequently. If the Internet is your research engine, you need to understand the risks of RSI when using pointing devices.

Choosing the right desk

You mght want a specialist computer desk, which ensures your monitor and keyboard are positioned at the correct heights but most designs provide little space for working notes. If you settle for a more conventional desk, the dining table or the kitchen worktop, make sure you have a chair and footrest to match.


At home and at work, most people prefer not to have their screen overlooked. If you are working in an area with a lot of through-traffic, people will inevitably glance at your work. You may want to think about screening off your working area.


Natural light

Office windows need adjustable blinds. They allow you to regulate the amount of light entering the room, particuarly on sunny days. Curtains are second best.

Walls can also be decorated to minimise reflection, while screens and partitions can be positioned to limit undesirable morning and evening light.

While natural light can lift the spirit it can be difficult to manage in your office, so be prepared to use artificial light. 

Artificial lighting

Eyes work best in good light. They don't have to work so hard on focusing effectively so invest in a good local light which illuminates your working area and keyboard. Normal bulbs produce a lot of heat so select a low energy or fluorescent light.