Workspace Setup

A brief guide on how to set up your workspace for ergonomic comfort and optimal productivity.

An optimal workspace set-up is essential for making sure you can consistently contribute your best efforts. Remember, just as experimental groups invest their resources in chemicals, new lab instruments, equipment time, etc. to do their research, as computationalists, we invest in office items, software, computers, and other related tools that will make our group members more effective. So if you will use it, buy it. Don't worry so much about if you "need" vs. "want" it.

Personalizing Your Workspace

Please feel free to decorate your workspace with photos, posters, or other personal touches.

Basic Ergonomic Workstation Accessories

An effective workspace should help maximize your productivity. You will spend a great deal of time working in this space so it is worth investing in any equipment needed for you to work more efficiently and comfortably. Order any peripherals and ergonomic devices (e.g. wrist pads) such as:

  • An external monitor: One big display screen is usually better from an ergonomic perspective than dual monitors. Note that Mac OS include features such as "Split View" (split your display between showing two different windows side by side) and “Spaces” (quickly shift between desktops displaying different sets of windows and open apps).

  • A keyboard: The Apple Wireless Keyboard is a popular option. Some prefer mechanical keyboards. If you prefer a larger or ergonomic keyboard, you can certainly get that.

  • A mouse/trackpad: The Apple Magic Trackpad can be a popular option for those who value consistency between their laptop and desk workstation. And it also offers additional functionality and customization built in for Mac OS (e.g. gestures). After a while you get used to doing everything on your trackpad even if you were previously very productive/accurate with a mouse on Windows. However, many group members get by just fine with a mouse (especially the Apple Magic Mouse, which has some gesture support.)

  • An external hard drive (compatible with Time Machine for backing-up your computer). 4TB is a good size.

    • Some recommend a USB-C G-Drive that also doubles as a charger.

  • An extra computer charger

  • An HDMI adapter dongle

  • USB to USB-C adaptor (if you have personal electronics that rely on USB connections)

  • Computer docking station (optional)

  • An ethernet cable adapter dongle

  • A presentation tool or clicker, e.g., Logitech R800 (optional)

Remember to be mindful of selecting cables and devices that have compatible ports/connectors and purchasing appropriate adaptors when necessary. There are also many spare adapters/monitors/keyboards etc. in the offices, so please see if you can reuse them before purchasing one, in order to avoid waste.

Last updated