5 Expert Tips For Setting Up An Ergonomic Home Office While WFH
After several weeks of working from home, you may be starting to feel it. Your back is playing up, your neck and shoulders are tight, and your legs are getting increasingly more restless. Your make-shift remote work setup consists of a little desk and a dining table chair. Not exactly the ergonomic home office setup the health and safety department at work would recommend.
Everyone is currently working under different conditions, but we all want to be as effective as we can during these difficult times. Some of you may still be in the workplace. Some of you might be working from your home at a designated workstation or sharing your room with others. But whatever your circumstance, here are some tips from home office experts on how to enhance your workspace.
Ergonomics essentially means that there is a dedicated office space with all the necessary equipment to allow somebody to work comfortably without any discomfort.
For you to work without discomfort, ergonomics experts recommend that you adopt a working stance where you have a 90-degree bend in your arms to your keyboard, relax through your shoulders, and look straight ahead on your computer screen instead of at a downward angle.
The dangers of an inappropriate home office setting up are usually “more subtle and long-term in nature. Translation: problems with the spine, shoulder, back and wrist. If you’re one of the few people who can do a day’s work in bed without noticing the consequences a few days later, it’s good for you. Most of us, sadly, will need a month worth of chiropractic care.
The 5 tips for setting up an ergonomic home office:
1. Choose a dedicated workspace
No one wants to waste time shifting their things around every day. On top of that, having a dedicated workstation – whether it’s a corner on your kitchen table or a separate desk – allows you to be ready to do your job and make it easier to sign off and “leave your job at the end of the day.
2. Make sure that there’s a decent lighting
Ample natural light is crucial, and sitting in front of the window can help with video conferencing… unless it’s right behind you, casting you in the shade. Also, the glare of the sun isn’t good for your eyes, so find the right spot where you can benefit from the light, but don’t struggle against it.
3. Making your workstation a lovely place to be in
Turns out that having plants in our work areas makes us happier and more productive. You may find that you prefer different lighting, background music, or total silence, or that you need extra cushions on your chair to make it more comfortable. It takes time and a lot of little tweaks to build a place where you feel relaxed and efficient.
4. Figure out what things you need at your desk to be productive
What times can you do without during the day? It could be refreshments, your phone files and books? If you drink a lot of tea during working hours, For example, it could be helpful to keep a cup and some tea bags close to a (prefilled) kettle. Do you like to listen to music, but do you share your office with others? Maybe a pair of earphones could solve that problem.
5. Figure out how you want to “leave the office”
If you don’t have a dedicated workstation, pack up your work-related stuff and keep them out of sight until the next day. This will help to keep shared spaces structured and accessible. Having some kind of structure on your workday helps with efficiency, but it also helps to have a so-called “exit strategy” on how to finish up your day.
You might check your email one last time 30 minutes before it’s time to shut down your machine, or you might get used to sending a message to your colleagues to inform them you’re signing off. As the novelty of working from home wears off it’s important to have a “leaving office” plan in place, because it’s easier to differentiate your work time from your leisure time – because both happen at home
Working from home can blur the lines between your personal and working life, so it is important to implement these tips so that you can differentiate these two separate worlds. This will help you have a positive and productive working environment.