Deciding where to put your family’s computer seems like a pretty uncomplicated task, however there are many things to take into consideration. Here a few tips to help you put your family computer in the best place possible:
1. Seek an area with enough space — not only for your computer, but all extra hardware (printers, scanners, speakers, etc.), a desk, and shelving for manuals, paper, and office supplies. Also take into consideration having enough space to hide the cords and power strips (so as to avoid people tripping over them and little kids playing with them).
2. Pick a spot that has adequate lighting (too dark of a room can be hard on your eyes), but try to keep it away from windows that could cast a glare on the screen.
3. The most important thing to consider when deciding where to put the family computer is to take online safety seriously. The Internet is full of predators looking for new targets. Don’t count on Internet blocks or filters — there’s not a substitute for parental supervision. Keep the computer in an open area that you can check on regularly.
4. If the computer will mostly be used for work, studying, or homework, put the computer in a more quiet, less-trafficked area. If children or teens are using the computer, don’t put it in an area that is too secluded.
5. If the family computer will be used mostly for fun — like downloading and listening to music, watching movies, and playing video games — put the computer in a larger area that allows two or more people to use the computer at once.
6. If you’d rather not have the computer tucked away in an office, try putting the computer in an unexpected or unconventional place in the house that is used frequently so you can better supervise kids or teens using the Internet. Try a kitchen nook, a living room corner, or in the family den/entertainment room. To make this work with your home dÃ©cor, try to make the desk match the way the particular room looks by matching colors and incorporating existing features (like bookshelves, lamps, cupboards, etc.).
7. The computer needs to be where it works best for everyone, but sometimes, certain needs aren’t met. For example, if you have kids that will be using the Internet, you’ll want the computer in a more supervised, high traffic area. However, older kids and teens need the computer for homework and studying, which also requires quiet time and limited distractions. To meet their needs, consider putting an older computer (possibly the one you just replaced) in the older child’s room, but don’t connect it to the Internet.
8. When using a computer around younger children, be sure to put it an area that isn’t susceptible to rowdy play and roughhousing. Keeping this in mind will save your computer from unnecessary damages and expenses.
9. If supervision and online safety isn’t a concern (for families with very young children who don’t use the computer or for couples without children at home), you can put the computer in your bedroom. This allows for more privacy and quiet. To make the computer work in a bedroom, make it as inconspicuous as possible. Ways to do this is to use a laptop (by just closing it, it almost disappears), buy a glass (or another clear material) desk, and use decorative elements from the room to dress up the desk area.
10. Be adaptable. You may decide on a location and realize that it doesn’t work or meet your family’s needs. Try different spots until you find what your family needs. Even if you find the right spot now, it may change as your family gets older. By being adaptable, you will get the most out of your computer.