Equipping a laboratory with workstations is often a difficult task for many. It is a capital investment, and there are important factors that should be taken into consideration to avoid unforeseen expenses. Although the price is usually the deciding element, here are some tips that can help you find what you are looking for, and ultimately help you decide if the amount is right.
It Is Not Only About the Price Tag
The price of a workstation is not the only thing you should pay attention to when budgeting. Shipping and installation costs can easily create immediate budget excess. Further on, add-on accessories, such as shelves, storage and equipment holders, should not slip your mind either.
Maximizing the usage of vertical space can save valuable floor space and therefore reduce its cost. On top of that, you want to pay attention to the expected lifetime of the product and how often you would need to replace it.
What Direction Is Your Business Developing In?
Every successful business reaches a point of growth and change. With success comes the need to reorganize, relocate and expand. Naturally, all these things are connected with your ability to adapt to new circumstances.
The initial workstation choices will dictate your flexibility when the time comes. Built-in stations come with the price of flexibility limitation and are a source of additional costs when it comes to reinstallation. Changing the workstation layout can be readily achievable by rearranging and expanding modular and movable elements.
Take Care of Your Employees
With the transition to sedentary work style, came ergonomic injuries and disorders. Laboratories can often be a source of repetitive injuries due to the restrictive nature of that type of work environment. Long hours of sitting in an uncomfortable position combined with the movements such as reaching, lifting or bending, are a recipe for a health and safety disaster.
Providing your employees with ergonomic laboratory furniture will prevent work-related health issues and maintain the desired level of productivity within the lab. Ergonomic furniture will allow your employees to rearrange and adjust the elements of the workstation according to their personal needs.
Some typical examples of element adjustment would be: changing the height or tilting the angle of shelves and work surfaces, changing the height or direction of lighting, and raising or lowering the height of footrests.
Be Ready for Changes in Equipment
In the past decade, there have been drastic changes in equipment used to execute essential laboratory tasks. Although nothing can truly prepare you for what the future has in store, you can at least keep up with the latest trends and equipment changes, and try to determine which items are most likely to affect the lab operations, before deciding on the design of the workstations. The last thing you want is workstations that are not able to support all the necessary equipment.
Think About Supporting Services
As in any business, you want to establish a good collaboration and widen the network of your connections. It is especially important when it comes to the supporting services for the product you are getting. A reliable supplier should be able to provide support services such as laboratory layout and design, customization of the purchased products, installation and training.
Making an excellent choice of the lab workstation will probably not result from following only one of the above pieces of advice. It will be the attention you are willing to give to each one to help you decide on the final choice. What you should have in mind are the expectations you have for your laboratory and the success that could easily depend on your initial preferences. Pair up with a reputable and professional lab planner for the best advice and execution.