How To Efficiently Organise Your Research Lab

Working in a research lab is a distinctive experience. Each lab member works on their respective unique research projects and is expected to carry out work efficiently and quickly.
 Unlike corporate offices there are no clear management guidelines outlined to work in a lab. 
So, whenever someone wants to use communal equipments, reagents and resources individual obligations can get confusing and there are chances these being interpreted in a wrong manner.
To run a research lab properly, you need to efficiently organise it but before you do that, there are some attributes of a lab that you need to familiarise yourself with.

It’s not a walk in the park

Working in a lab can get very chaotic. Since there are no managers to keep tabs on scientists, an individual has to depend upon other people in the hope that they are carrying out their duties in a proper manner. 
Sometimes this results in happy and healthy environment and sometimes all hell breaks loose.
It should not come as a surprise as to why so many labs are always on the brink of chaos. 
It becomes very difficult for doctorate holders to work with grad students who have just joined the lab.
 They also end up working under a lot of pressure to produce results and publish their paper quickly; if they don’t, the funding for their research might stop coming in.
 Working in such an environment leads to less bonding among colleagues.

Bigger the lab, bigger the problems

A small lab which employs few scientists will work well since there might be only few issues among them and it becomes easy to discuss any new plans that one might have.
 But, if labs expand, so do the problems. Small issues may end up making it difficult to work and if necessary steps aren’t taken, things can go from bad to worse.
 It is necessary that every lab member is organised and aware of their individual responsibilities at work.
Here are some organising tips that will make the workflow more efficient and smooth:

Allocating responsibility

Every lab member should be allocated particular tasks. Making every member aware of their responsibility includes assigning a particular area for them to keep clean, re-ordering reagents or taking care of specific equipments. 
If the tasks are clearly assigned to a person, there will be no blame game in the workplace. Various responsibilities will push members to carry out their duty with a sense of morale. 
A lab will be perfect if there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.
 Make sure that after the equipments are used, they are stored in their respective places in a quality tote box where chemicals and reagents are kept away from direct exposure.

A source of central information

To be up to date with everyday tasks, a lab can incorporate online documentation to maintain records of everything. 
An option like Google Sheets may be used to keep up with everyone’s work. 
Maintaining an ordering sheet, daily task sheet or scheduled maintenanceof equipments sheet will help you keep up with your lab’s demands and schedules.

Use of special software

There are a variety of options available for lab organisation to keep up with the workflow such as Quartzy, iLab Solutions and Labguru.
 With lab management software at hand, the workflow at your lab can be managed easily and chaos will turn into order. 
Though such online management tools are easy to use, a dedicated person is needed to maintain them throughout.
 Reports can be derived from this personnel on a weekly or a monthly basis and a better line of communication can be implemented just the same to make things easier.

Team work

You can use various organisational strategies separately or in combination to maintain a research lab, but at the end of the day team effort is essential to effectively run a lab.
 No matter how strict the rules and guidelines are there will always be someone who will not be happy to co-ordinate with others in maintaining a positive environment around lab. 
Individuals working together can provide feedbacks and learning opportunities to newcomers that will motivate and make them more productive.
We hope the above given tips help you in organising your lab and taking your research to the next level.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.