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Five Things That Should Never Take Up Desk Space

Nate Lanxon delivered quite a diatribe against the telephone in Wired magazine in August. He makes a compelling case for banishing this outdated contraption from the office desk forever. After all, almost every office worker now has a cell phone and can be easily reached whenever necessary. Long distance charges for US calls are pretty much nonexistent with the expansive network coverage provided by cell towers. If employees do have limited minutes or data, they can be supplied with a monthly stipend to cover the added cost of using their personal phone for work. A corporation might conceivably need a dedicated line for overseas or international calls, but that’s about it. In most cases (outside of call center settings), a landline telephone just takes up space on a desk. Perhaps it is time to retire this piece of technology – along with four other items that are unrepentant desk hogs:


The best place for this is a keyboard tray. It takes a few days to get used to the new position if you have been typing with your arms and wrists higher. But the ergonomic benefits will pay off for years. The truth is that most desks are simply not built at the right height for an average sized person. If you sit with your thighs parallel to the floor, your elbows are almost certain to be situated lower than your worksurface.


An articulated monitor arm isn’t just about good ergonomics. It may become a necessity since worksurfaces are getting smaller. The days when dedicating an entire corner of the desk to a boxy CRT monitor are long gone. Now, even making space for a blade-thin LCD monitor is seen as a waste of real estate.


With today’s action packed work schedules, it’s likely that you need way more space to make notations than you would have on any desk calendar. Even those daily calendars tend to be no more than paperweights after a while. That’s because you aren’t there on the weekends to pull off the pages. Most of us don’t even make it to March remembering to change the date every day. Putting work calendar items on our mobile device and syncing with our PC is more useful.

Tomorrow’s Work

There’s a lot to be said for clearing your desk at the end of every workday. It lets you start with a clean slate the next day. Don’t let an inbox full of paperwork dominate the desk. If you aren’t working on a file before you go home today, it should be neatly labeled and filed away. Use your online calendar function to remind you of any due dates associated with getting paperwork completed.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user plenty.r.


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