Working at home isn’t a new development, and unfortunately COVID-19 has forced many businesses to make it a standard operating procedure for people who can do their job over the internet.
Consequently, many people have been forced into a makeshift office, and a lot of these spaces do not bode well for the long term. In addition to having the necessary technical setup, the ergonomics of a home office is fundamental to avoiding strain injuries and maintaining productivity. Incidentally, avoiding repetitive strain injuries and maintaining productivity should be something both employers and employees want.
If you’re still getting by on a makeshift setup, consider the following tips on how to make your professional situation a bit better.
A Designated Workspace
Many people don’t have a spare room just sitting there, waiting to be monetized, but many of us can transform one half of an extra bedroom or part of an enclosed porch.
If you can’t mark off a dedicated space that is free from immediate distraction, attempt to get a space that is as out-of-way as possible for the people you live with.
Sleep experts recommend avoiding doing work in the same room you sleep as this can increase our odds of insomnia.
Proper Desk Height
Having the right desk height goes a long way to preventing strain injuries. Your desk surface is at the right height if your forearms are parallel to the floor when you sit up straight. Your wrists should not be bent when you use your mouse or type. When you are working, the top of your wrist ought to be in line with your forearm, and your fingertips should be the lower points of your entire arm. The goal is to have your wrists lie flat. If your wrists are bent for a long time, you are at a higher risk of a repetitive injury.
An Ergonomic Chair
While it may take days or weeks for you to feel the effects of an improper desk height, you’ll probably notice a bad chair setup after just a day or two.
Most chairs out there aren’t meant for prolonged office work. Your home office chair should have adjustable height, be able to roll, and have lumbar support. Ideally, your chair should also have an adjustable seat tilt and arms.
It’s easy to overlook how bad lighting can negatively affect your capacity to do work. At the very minimum, you should have enough ambient light to illuminate your keyboard and immediate surroundings, to the point you can readily see your keys and read papers without strain.
Similarly, ensure your monitor’s brightness isn’t too bright or dim. Either one can cause unnecessary eye strain. A good general guideline is to use a screen brightness that just a little brighter than your ambient lighting.
We Can Help You Find Your Ideal Work Situation
At Career Concepts, we help job seekers find their best-fit work environment, which currently means helping people find remote or socially distanced positions. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you find a better work situation.