Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity recently due to their durability, ergonomics, and tactile feedback.
Many people prefer them over conventional membrane keyboards because of their comfortable typing experience and improved accuracy.
But are mechanical keyboards good for office work? Yes, they are! However, you have to consider various factors when selecting a mechanical keyboard for office work.
This guide will discuss the factors you should consider, the advantages and disadvantages of using mechanical keyboards at the workplace, and whether or not they are suitable for office use.
Why Choose a Mechanical Keyboard To Use at Work?
You may use a mechanical keyboard in your office because it offers various advantages over its membrane counterparts. Some of these advantages include the following:
- Increased durability: Mechanical keyboards are built to last and have greater resistance to wear and tear compared to membrane keyboards.
- Enhanced responsiveness: Mechanical keyboards provide a more tactile response when typing, which can reduce fatigue and increase your typing speed.
- Improved accuracy: The individual key switches on mechanical keyboards enable more accurate typing and reduce the chance of typos.
- Customizability: Many mechanical keyboards can be customized with different key switches and keycaps, allowing you to create the perfect keyboard customizations and shortcuts for your needs.
- Quality sound: Mechanical keyboards produce a distinct sound when typing, which can be pleasing for some users.
Should You Use a Mechanical Keyboard in the Office?
The decision on whether to use a mechanical keyboard at work will depend on various factors, including your office setup and its tolerance to noise, comfort and ergonomics, keyboard design, and other similar factors.
Below are these factors in more detail.
1. Your Office Set Up
The decision to use a mechanical keyboard will depend on your office setup. There are two main types of mechanical keyboards. Those that make a clicky sound while you type and those that are relatively quiet. You can use a loud or clicky mechanical keyboard if you are in your own office, where the clicky sound will not cause a distraction to your co-workers. However, consider using a more silent mechanical keyboard in an open office setup where the clicky sound of your keyboard may disrupt your coworkers.
The noise level of a mechanical keyboard will mainly depend on the switch type. There are three main categories of switches. These categories include:
- Linear switches
- Tactile switches
- Clicky switches
Below are these switch types in more detail.
The best keyboard switches for an office setting are linear switches, such as Cherry MX Red, Black, or Yellow. Linear switches are great for typing because they offer a consistent and smooth actuation force without the clicky sound. This means you don’t have to worry about the loud clicking sound associated with tactile switches.
Tactile switches are louder than linear ones but are not as loud as clicky ones. You can use tactile switch mechanical keyboards in your office since they are relatively quiet. Brown and clear switches are two of the most common tactile switches. Brown switches have a tactile bump, while clear switches require a higher actuation force.
Clicky switches are the loudest, and it can be tricky to use a keyboard with these types of switches in the office. However, you can use them in a closed office where the noise will not disrupt your workmates.
2. Comfort and Ergonomics
Another factor to consider when selecting a mechanical keyboard to use in the office is comfort and ergonomics. You need a comfortable keyboard since you spend a lot of time on your keyboard while at work. Most mechanical keyboards have ergonomic features such as adjustable height, split keyboard designs, and more.
Additionally, some mechanical keyboards come with wrist rests and other ergonomic accessories. These features help reduce fatigue when typing for extended periods.
3. Keyboard Design
The design is an essential factor to consider when selecting a mechanical keyboard to use in the office because it can drastically affect your user experience. Mechanical keyboards offer enhanced speed and precision, allowing for a smoother and more comfortable typing experience.
Mechanical keyboards are designed to reduce strain on the user’s wrists and hands, making them ideal for long typing sessions.
3. Additional Features
You should also consider additional features when selecting a mechanical keyboard to use in the office because doing so can help improve your typing experience and productivity. Mechanical keyboards offer faster and more accurate typing due to their tactile feedback and keycap design, making it easier to type for long periods. This makes them ideal for office environments where speed and accuracy are critical.
Additionally, mechanical keyboards often come with more customizable features such as macro keys, RGB lighting, and other specialized functions that enable you to perform your tasks more efficiently. Furthermore, mechanical keyboards tend to be more comfortable to type on, reducing the risk of wrist and hand fatigue or injuries that can slow down your productivity.
Other features, which include wireless connectivity, make mechanical keyboards ideal for offices where mobility is essential. Ultimately, mechanical keyboards can balance comfort, precision, and productivity, perfect for office environments.
Media & macro keys also make a mechanical keyboard ideal for office setup, as they allow you to quickly switch between programs or open specific files with a single keystroke. This makes accessing documents, programs, or websites manageable since you do not have to sift through multiple menus or windows. Furthermore, you can assign specific tasks or commands to a single key, making mechanical keyboards ideal for quickly performing complex operations without remembering complicated commands.
Mechanical keyboards with USB pass-through are also ideal for office setup because they allow you to connect multiple devices like a mouse, microphone, or external hard drive.
Durability is another critical factor to consider when selecting a mechanical keyboard to use in the office because it can significantly impact the cost of ownership. If a mechanical keyboard is not durable enough, it can suffer from premature wear and tear, increasing maintenance and repair costs. Durability also affects the lifespan of the keyboard. A more durable keyboard lasts longer and provides more value for money.
Additionally, some office environments require a certain amount of ruggedness, so a durable keyboard is essential for optimal performance and reliability.
Tips for the Use of Mechanical Keyboards in the Office
If you’re using a mechanical keyboard in the office, you should keep a few tips in mind. Below are some tips for using a mechanical keyboard for office work.
1. Use Sound Dampening Materials
Sound dampening is essential when using a clicky or loud mechanical keyboard for office work. Several options are available to help reduce the noise a mechanical keyboard generates. The first option is to use a keyboard with quiet mechanical switches. A range of mechanical switches is available, with some designed to produce less noise. Additionally, many mechanical keyboards come with O-rings or dampening rings, which fit around the stem of each key and act as a sound barrier.
Another option is to use a keyboard mat. The mat is a dense material you place underneath the keyboard to absorb the sound created by the mechanical switches. Using one or more of these sound-dampening options ensures that your mechanical keyboard is quiet enough for use in an office environment.
2. Utilize Proper Typing Techniques
Proper typing technique is essential for using a mechanical keyboard for office work. It is important to familiarize yourself with the motion and force of the keys to ensure optimal performance. Doing so also helps to reduce typing fatigue and improves your accuracy.
Keeping your wrists in a natural position when typing on a mechanical keyboard is vital. Stretching your wrists too far forward or backward can cause fatigue and strain. It is also essential to type lightly, as the weight and pressure of your fingers can add up over time and cause injury.
Finally, having the right posture when using a mechanical keyboard is essential. Sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your feet flat on the floor will help you type in a relaxed and comfortable position. Taking regular breaks throughout your workday will also help reduce fatigue.
3. Invest in a Good Ergonomic Keyboard
An ergonomic keyboard is an excellent investment if you use a mechanical keyboard for office work. An ergonomic keyboard provides comfort and reduces the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) caused by long hours of typing. Ergonomic keyboards are more comfortable and come with features such as split keyboards, adjustable angle settings, and palm rests.
The palm rests help to keep your hands in the correct typing position, reducing strain on your hands and arms. Ergonomic keyboards also often have programmable keys for everyday tasks such as copy and paste, allowing you to work more efficiently and reducing the strain on your fingers. Investing in a good ergonomic keyboard is wise if you use a mechanical keyboard for office work. It can help you avoid injury, stay comfortable, and work more efficiently.
4. Place the Keyboard in an Appropriate Spot
The optimal placement of a mechanical keyboard is crucial and will depend on the size and layout of your desk, as well as your height and arm length.
When positioning the keyboard, it is crucial to ensure that the keyboard is at a comfortable height. You should place the keyboard at a level that allows your wrists to remain in a natural position while typing. Additionally, you should set the keyboard close enough, so your elbows are bent at approximately 90 degrees. This will help ensure that you are not stretching your arms too much, which can lead to fatigue and discomfort.
Ensuring you place the mouse on the same level as the keyboard is also essential. This will allow for smooth and easy navigation when switching back and forth between the keyboard and the mouse. Additionally, you should place the mouse close enough to the keyboard so you do not have to stretch out your arm too much when transitioning between the two.
Placing the keyboard in an area with plenty of space is also essential. Doing so will protect you from accidentally bumping into nearby objects or surfaces.
You can type comfortably and accurately on a mechanical keyboard in the office by ensuring that you place the keyboard in an appropriate spot. Doing so will help you be productive in the workplace and reduce the fatigue and discomfort you may experience while typing.
Mechanical keyboards are great for office work. They offer many features that make typing and other office tasks much easier and more comfortable. They are also durable and reliable, with many models providing long-lasting performance. Most models also offer customizable lighting and ergonomic designs, making them ideal for office work. Therefore mechanical keyboards are suitable for office work since they provide a comfortable and efficient typing experience.
Can I use a mechanical keyboard in the office?
Yes, you can use a mechanical keyboard in the office, as long as it is not too loud and does not disturb other people. You can use various methods to dampen your mechanical keyboard noise, such as using O-rings or adding a noise-dampening foam or a mat.
Is a mechanical keyboard good for office work?
Yes, mechanical keyboards are a great choice for office work. They are durable and provide excellent tactile feedback and accuracy, which can help improve your efficiency.
What are the benefits of using a mechanical keyboard for office work?
Mechanical keyboards are incredibly durable and can last for many years. They provide a satisfying tactile experience and excellent accuracy, making them great for typing. Additionally, mechanical keyboards have a wide range of adjustable features, such as programable keys and backlighting, allowing you to customize the keyboard to your needs.
Are mechanical keyboards noisy?
Some mechanical keyboards are louder than regular keyboards due to the mechanism they use to actuate the keys. However, many mechanical keyboards with quiet key switches are also available, which can minimize the sound.
Are mechanical keyboards more expensive than their membrane counterparts?
Yes, mechanical keyboards are generally more expensive than membrane keyboards. This is because mechanical keyboards use individual mechanical switches for each key, which are more expensive to produce than the rubber dome switches used in membrane keyboards.
Additionally, mechanical keyboards are often designed with higher quality materials and features such as customizable lighting and programmable keys, contributing to their higher cost.