Here are 10 tips you should consider if you want to create a happy and productive workshop.
Tip 1: Make sure the time you spent playing Pool isn’t wasted
We’ve all experienced it. You have a shot on the black to win the pool game, but the pub pool table is too close to the wall. You end up tearing the cloth and bouncing the white off the table.
When considering operational spaces, give yourself room to move in and out of position and to adjust. Don’t compromise operational spaces unless you really, really have to. Never compromise safety. Leave adequate space for the materials you need and the stacks of products you create.
If you are going to spend many hours in one position, and it is crucial to the success of your business, make sure it is comfortable, safe and productive.
Tip 2: The Wheel was invented more than 1,000 years ago
If you hit a problem with your workspace, someone has probably already invented a solution. If you have to do lots of packing, for instance, it is probably a good idea to purchase a purpose-designed packing table (pic) or a mailroom workbench. They come with rounded edges and scratch resistant surfaces – and they aren’t that expensive. They allow clear views to eliminate mislaid post and they can be easily adapted.
Then there are a range of tried and tested, simple tools that speed up packing work enormously, such as tape dispensers, staple guns, and shrink-wrap kits with dispenser stands.
If searching for the edge on the tape roll is a daily task, a very small investment will quickly pay for itself.
Tip 3: Consider frequency of use
In setting out your workspace, take account of how often you will use equipment. Less-used equipment can be tucked more out of the way.
Tip 4: Effect on others
If there are activities that are going to generate noise, dust, dirt or mess, would it be sensible to partition off a special area (taking account of light and ventilation)?
Tip 5: Windows are best
Maximize the value you get from windows. Try and place your workspace under natural light if at all possible. You see better in natural light. If you have to do close work, do it in natural light. And remember, windows can make your workshop bigger. If you’re working on a very long item, for instance, you may be able to stick a length of it out the window (or door). Plan for that. A door leading directly to the outside world can also be very handy.
Tip 6: Think about shadows
When it comes to artificial light, choose lighting that minimizes shadows and make sure you have plenty of light. If you use desktop lighting and you are right handed, make sure that the lighting is coming from the left. Poor lighting leads to accidents and fatigue.
Tip 7: Power points
Can you have too many? But make sure they don’t compromise the space available on your worktops.
Tip 8: Insulation and ventilation
Proper insulation and ventilation will save you money. Will the space be as comfortable in November as it is in July? Are there dampness issues? If the space must be kept cool – or warm – have you got the right type of furniture? You can buy vented polymer shelving systems, for example, that are temperature resistant from -29ºC to 88ºC.
Tip 9: Don’t forget the floor
If you are going to spend a lot of time on your feet, consider anti-fatigue matting. It is a hard-wearing, easy-clean, cushioned matting that is commonly used in factories. You can buy short sections. It protects you from the effects of hard concrete floors. It is resistant to many chemicals. It is non-slip, and your equipment is less likely to be damaged if it falls on the floor. But it can also help protect you from injuries such as RSI.
Tip 10: Avoid screwing anything to the wall – until you are sure
When you have completed laying out your workshop, test it.
As you go about your work, do you bump into… trip over… step over… tools, materials or equipment? It’s not your fault. Those things are in the wrong place.
Unless there’s a safety issue, take your time before fixing things permanently. It’s psychological; as soon as we screw something to the wall, we think of it as a ‘fixture’. Once it becomes a fixture, we stop asking ourselves whether it is in the right place.
Take account of your needs and adjust the layout.
These tips were brought to you by ESEdirect.co.uk , the Experts in Products for Business