Programmers spend long hours at their desk space writing lines of code, collaborating with teammates on software design, and sorting through their messages. A programmers’ tasks require an acute focus, so understanding how to design the best desk setup for programmers is important to help productivity and functionality.
If you’re a beginner or advanced programmer looking to create or revamp your workspace to suit your workflow, this article includes everything an ideal programmer desk setup should include, how to design the best programmer setup, and the essential technical and non-technical items needed in a programmers’ workspace.
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What Makes a Programmer Desk Setup Effective?
A programmer’s desk setup is effective if it can handle the capacity of work the field demands whilst reducing your work pressure. According to Statista, 75 percent of developers work an average of nine hours in a five-day workweek. If you’re interested in becoming a computer programmer or learning software development, you need to create a workspace that gives off a productive and comfortable vibe.
As a programmer, you shouldn’t risk incurring the negative effects of poor lighting on your health or work performance, since poor lighting can cause repetitive strain injuries. While most programmers opt for dim lighting, adding a simple desk lamp to your cool desk setup can help reduce this risk. If you can’t get natural light, LED or incandescent light can boost your programmer or software developer desk setup.
Having the right work tools is the most important factor that determines the effectiveness of your programmer desk setup. A typical day in the life of a programmer involves a lot of coding and multitasking, so investing in dual monitors or an extra programming laptop is essential. Your programmer desk accessory purchase isn’t complete without external monitors, an ergonomic external keyboard, a USB-C cable, and a wireless mouse for the best mouse experience.
Your desk setup should include items that boost your mood and job focus. If you’re a visual person, you could include cool furniture in your workspace. If you’re an auditory person, you could create a playlist of your favorite music. As well, plants are excellent mood boosters and can improve air quality. If you like to work in silence, ensure you install a noise cancellation device close to your office setup.
How to Create a Programmer Desk Setup: 5 Top Tips
Ergonomic Desk Accessories
Designing your programming workspace with ergonomic chairs and desk is non-negotiable. Since you’ll be spending long hours at your desk, your desk accessories must facilitate your workflow. Your office chairs should be comfortable and have arm, neck, and back support. There are cheap chairs online for purchase.
You can also opt for an adjustable standing office desk so you can alternate between standing and sitting when you need to. Thanks to the adjustable height, you can stand whilst you work with the desk at the correct height to improve posture. You can also use mechanical keyboards, a wireless mouse, and a mouse pad to boost ease of use and comfortability.
Setup Your Office in a Serene Environment
According to Upwork research, remote work is likely to continue after COVID-19. If you’re interested in becoming a programmer, you may have to work from home at some point. Therefore, creating the perfect desk setup in your home office is essential. For starters, ensure you set up your work desk in a good location. A good location is a quiet space with a good light source. If you share office space with your colleagues or you live in a noisy neighborhood, invest in noise-canceling headphones.
Don’t Sacrifice Functionality for Aesthetic Appeal
Furniture accessories are necessary to spice up your workspace and boost your mood, but they shouldn’t be at the detriment of your workspace functionality. Don’t cram your desk with too many non-functional items such as artificial plants, desk frames, and mugs. You can still achieve a beautiful desk setup with a minimalist design. If you have to shuffle through items to grab your headphone, mouse, or charger, it’s not a good desk setup.
Implement a Healthy Work Schedule
So that you don’t suffer from burnout and other stress-related disorders, create a healthy work schedule. Employees agree that flexible scheduling increases their productivity. Your flexible schedule should incorporate and consider your job tasks, working hours, and energy levels. If there is an imbalance, you could suffer from stress-induced health issues.
Align Your Technical Tools to Your Workflow
As a programmer, optimize your workspace for productivity. Before buying technical tools like desktops or laptops, consider your workflow. If you’ll be multitasking a lot or working for long hours you need to find systems designed for that capacity. Even if you’re on a budget, you’ll find cheap laptops or desktops that are ideal for intensive tasks in programming. Your technical accessories should complement the complex tasks you do in programming.
5 Things You Should Invest in When Designing Your Programmer Workspace
If you’re new to programming or remote work, it might be overwhelming to create the ideal programmer workspace for your programming tasks. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of essential technical and non-technical items to consider when setting up your programmer or software developer desk space.
Technical Items to Consider
- Dual monitors. You’ll likely need to run multiple applications simultaneously, and working with a single monitor can limit your productivity. You should have at least two monitors as a programmer if you want to optimize your productivity and efficiency. Since desktops have larger screen sizes, you don’t have to worry about straining your eyes or neck as long as you place them at custom heights suitable for you.
- Laptop workstation. If you want convenience, you can opt for a laptop workstation. Laptop workstations are designed for multitasking, complex computations, and data analysis. If you’re a programmer or software engineer with a huge workflow you should review the best laptops for programming. There are cheap laptops for your intense programming tasks, too.
- Noise-canceling headphones. You need to be able to control the noise limit in your workspace at will. As a programmer, you should invest in good noise-canceling headphones. Noise-canceling headphones come with a microphone that neutralizes sound at low frequency and can be connected to a music player. These devices aid in optimizing work productivity.
- Ergonomic keyboard. You need a quality keyboard for the best typing experience, and ergonomic keyboards offer this. Not only do they provide wrist support, but they also reduce the risk of chronic musculoskeletal problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. Choose an ergonomic keyboard based on your typing pattern.
- Ergonomic mouse. An ergonomic mouse is designed to fit your palm. Using an ergonomic mouse helps you reduce compression on the wrists, and avoid wrist pains and discomfort associated with typing for long hours. An ergonomic gaming mouse is designed for prolonged use, making it an excellent choice.
Non-Technical Items to Consider
- Adjustable desk. Your programming workspace needs an adjustable desk so you can easily alternate between standing and sitting while you work. This helps prevent swelling in your feet caused by immobility. Adjustable desks also make you more agile and engaged in your work tasks to easily boost your productivity. Also include a desk pad and storage unit in your desk to promote organization and efficiency.
- Ergonomic chair. An ergonomic office chair keeps you relaxed, focused, and safe from postural injuries. As a programmer who’ll be working for long hours, you need a chair that’s built for comfort and efficiency. You can customize yours to include lumbar support, headrest, armrest, and back support. It should also come with wheels so you can move around your desk area or workspace when the need arises.
- Desk organizer. A desk organizer prevents a cluttered desk and optimizes your desk space. You can store all office supplies you’ll use whilst working in a confined space so it doesn’t litter your work area. To save cost and boost efficiency, you can customize your desk organizer. If not, go to office supply vendors to purchase one.
- Energy tray. Programmers should have an energy tray in their desk area. A typical energy tray should include a water bottle, coffee mug, and some energy bars or fruits. Your work may demand long and active work hours so having these items will help you stay active and hydrated whilst working.
- Anti-stress toy. An anti-stress toy can be a good source of stress relief, especially when you reach roadblocks while working. Your anti-stress toy can be anything that doesn’t require your active focus and calms you down when you’re stressed. You can customize your anti-stress toy or buy from anti-stress toy vendors. An anti-stress toy could be a stress ball or fidget toy.
Creating the Best Programmer Workspace
Working as a computer programmer has its benefits, one of which is the impressive $65,142 average annual salary. However, depending on the company or clients you work for, you may have to put in long hours. If you don’t have a good desk setup for programming, it could affect your motivation and work productivity.
As an aspiring computer programmer or software developer, understanding what makes up the best desk setup for programmers is essential to your work success, especially if you plan to work remotely. Although creating the perfect desk setup might incur high costs at the beginning, in the long run, it will help you save costs and prevent unnecessary health complications.
Best Desk Setup for Programmers FAQ
The three major skills every programmer should have are mathematical computation and analysis, knowledge of programming, and troubleshooting. However, without the right set of soft skills, these technical skills may not be well implemented. Programmers should know how to manage their workspace if they want to maximize their productivity.
The minimum RAM you need for programming is eight gigabytes of memory space. Your job may involve a lot of multitasking with complex programs and software applications, so it’s best to find systems with up to 16 gigabytes of external memory space. You can enjoy faster system load time, enhanced network connectivity, and a low risk of computer shutdowns.
Every programmer needs over one monitor screen, quality keyboards, a cordless mouse, and good furniture accessories. You should apply ergonomics to your equipment purchase so you can enjoy increased productivity and comfort.
Yes, coding requires a good computer system. Regardless of whether you choose to settle for a desktop or laptop, you need to review your system’s specs before purchasing. For starters, you need at least a Core i5 CPU processor, eight gigabyte RAM, 15-inch screen size, and an HD screen resolution. As for design specs, a UHD graphics card will suffice.
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