5 Benefits of Setting Up Your Laboratory With Efficiency in Mind
July 24, 2017 Francine Jones 0 Comments
Laboratories tend to get messy and disorganized over time, but that isn’t a good thing. An organized, efficient laboratory offers several benefits over one that was set up in a haphazard way. Optimizing a laboratory can be challenging and take quite a bit of work, but those who put in the extra effort do reap the rewards of their diligence.
A scientist’s work is never done, but they can make progress much more quickly in an efficient laboratory than in an inefficient one. A good laboratory setup will cut down on time spent traveling through the laboratory or digging out equipment to perform an experiment. It will only save a little bit of time every day, but that little bit will add up very quickly over time.
Safety should always come first in a laboratory setting. An efficient setup ensures that everyone can use safety gear, such as fume hoods, without excessive waiting. The layout should also ensure that emergency tools, such as eyewash stations, are easy to access from the laboratory’s workstations. A good layout will save time by making sure that everyone can access the safety gear that they need, but it will also make sure that accidents can be resolved as quickly and as safely as possible.
Most researchers share their laboratory with at least one other person, and often with an entire team of assistants and peers. Since science is a collaborative process, researchers often want to discuss their work with their peers. That is a challenge in a messy laboratory, where it can be hard to see the other people and know who they are addressing. An efficient laboratory solves that problem and makes communication easy for every member of the staff.
Efficient laboratories are neat and tidy. That neatness is an advantage of its own, since it reduces the risk of important papers getting misplaced or damaged. It will also ensure that the laboratory makes a good impression on visitors, which can be vital for those that need to maintain a public face for donors or university administrators.
It always takes time for a new hire to adjust to a laboratory’s layout. Most workers lose some efficiency until they get used to it, which is undesirable for laboratories that are working on a tight schedule. An efficient layout is usually easier to understand than an inefficient one, so it takes less time for new workers to adapt and start working at maximum efficiency. That is most important for teaching laboratories and others that have a high turnover rate, but almost all of them can benefit from it every now and then.