Now that many of us are working from home due to the coronavirus, it is important that we have the right setup for our home office.
Working from home is not the same as working in an office. We need to ensure that we do not create physical problems for ourselves due to poor posture and repetitive strain injuries. Most offices are designed and set up by professionals who do their best to keep employees safe and productive. On the other hand, the home office is likely to be a mishmash of furniture and equipment that may include a dining room chair and table, a small desk that may be unsuitable for work purposes, a couch and possibly even a bed.
While it maybe be okay to sit with your laptop on the couch, or use the kitchen table and a dining chair for short bursts of work (max 1 hour), this is less than ideal when working for extended periods.
As a result, we would suggest, if you are now required to work from home, that you look at some office furniture and equipment that can help to improve posture and concentration and prevent repetitive strain injuries.
These items include:
- Ergonomic Chairs: Designed to help you to maintain the correct posture and protect you from the onset of neck, back and wrist injuries, as well as leg strain. If you are sitting for many hours at a time (not advisable), it is imperative to have a good quality ergonomic chair that is suitable for your requirements.
- Sit/Stand Desks and Height Adjustable Desk Risers: It is recommended that you don’t stay in any one position for more than an hour at a time. Sit/stand desks and desk risers are designed to move easily up and down, enabling you to change your position and posture between sitting and standing. Aside from improving your posture, other benefits that people often report include improved concentration and productivity. An anti-fatigue mat is also recommended for added comfort when using a sit/stand desk.
- Monitor Arms / Laptop Mounts: It is important to keep the top of your monitor slightly below eye level. This way it only requires minimal neck movement in order to see the screen properly. Using a monitor arm, along with a laptop plate if required, can help to protect against the onset of neck, shoulder and wrist strain or injuries. We advise using an ergonomically designed monitor arm to ensure that the height of your monitor can be positioned correctly.
- Ergonomic Keyboards and Mice: Laptop keyboards are typically small and harder to operate than a full-sized keyboard. Using a standard mouse can mean that your arm, wrist, elbow and shoulder are positioned in such a way that can lead to injury.
It is very important to customise your home office for your work style, body height and size. Having the appropriate furniture and equipment can enable you to avoid some of the issues related to poor posture, and to work in greater comfort. It may also help to free up additional desk space (using a monitor arm) and improve concentration and productivity.