Work stations are self-contained units that have the appropriate machinery and tools available to perform a specific job. It is where the work assigned to the station is completed before passing the component on to the next station. The term can also refer to computer work stations, which are types of computers that allow personnel to complete their work. Basically any area that is designated as a place to do a job or task could be considered to be a work station. You will find all types of work stations in many environments such as industrial work stations, factories, schools, offices, hospitals and banks etc.
In computer situations a work station is a high end microcomputer that can be used by an individual and can also be connected to a local area network (LAN). Computer work stations are generally used for engineering applications, desktop publishing, software development, and other applications that may not be able to be done from a personal computer.
Physical work stations come equipped with various things such as: suitable seating arrangements (if the process needs the personnel to be seated), bins for storing sub components so they can be easily accessed, optimum lighting arrangements, easy access to components and jobs that come in and easy output points to allow the finished component to be sent to the next work station.
Depending on the process, the work station may be completely enclosed, like in a cubicle, or it may be out in the open. A work station may be located either inside or outside. Sometimes a work station may allow more than one operator to work in it. The work station design should address issues related to: utility, adjustability, accessibility, power/data management, task lighting, mobility, security and safety. In case of an emergency, personnel manning the workstations should be able to make a quick exit.
To make sure that a work station is efficient it should be equipped with all of the necessary items that are needed for the operator to complete their task. This could be anything from a telephone to a large piece of machinery. You should also make sure that your work station is clean at all times and is free of clutter and obstructions. You need your work station to be a safe and secure place.