At-Home Workspace Ergonomics Tips
Working from home comes with some great perks such as flexible work schedules and casual comfortable work attire. But if your at-home workspace isn’t comfortable and organized, it can be tough to sit and stay focused all day. Just as you’ve probably spent time rearranging your desk and desktop monitors at the office, it’s also necessary to adjust your at-home workspace ergonomics to avoid injuries, prevent long-term health issues and improve your daily efficiency. In collaboration with our friends at HR360, we came up with some helpful work from home ergonomic tips to help you work from home more comfortably.
It’s safe to say that the longer you work from home, the higher your chance of experiencing aches and pains as a result of being uncomfortable from your chair, desk or monitor set-up. Poor workspace ergonomics can lead to increased long-term health risks such as back issues and damage to nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Now is the time to do a self-check-in and make adjustments for comfort and success. The main considerations for healthy workspace ergonomics is a sturdy chair, a desk with space underneath for your legs and feet and a screen that sits directly in front of you and is at arm’s length away. Collectively, you want to create a layout that minimizes strain from lifting, hunching or bending over to see your monitor, reach for files, etc.
Professionals working at home should have a sturdy chair that supports the curvature of the spine for ideal ergonomics. Chairs should also allow for adjustments so that feet can rest flat on the floor and thighs are parallel to it. While typing, arms should be parallel to the floor as well.
While not everyone working from home has a designated office to do work in with a desk, chair and desktop setup, you should use a work surface, such as a desk or table, that has space underneath for your legs and feet. If a work surface is too low, the chair can be adjusted accordingly. The situation may also be able to be corrected using sturdy supports to boost the legs of either the work surface or the chair. Some people also prefer to cushion wrists from the surface edge with padding or a wrist rest.
The monitor or screen should be arranged directly in front of you and approximately an arm’s length away with the top of the screen at, or slightly below, eye level. If you have access to two monitors, you may find it is easier to view multiple programs and files at once.
Your layout and equipment
Your files and materials can be organized so that they can be accessed without constantly bending and straining. When using a keyboard and mouse, keep them on the same surface. You should position your arms so that hands are aligned with, or slightly below, the elbows and make sure wrists are straight and upper arms stay close to your body. If you use the phone frequently, put it on speaker or use a headset in order to avoid having to cradle the phone between your head and shoulder.
Along with your desk set-up, it’s important to pay close attention to other potential risk factors such as tripping hazards or overloading electrical outlets. Be sure to include regular stretch breaks throughout the day. As you arrange your at-home work space, be sure to check in on your team and discuss options for getting them the equipment that they need to continue working from home. Using these work from home ergonomic tips can go a long way toward preventing unnecessary injuries. Share them with your team! You’ll be glad you did when you return to the office healthy, refreshed, and ready to hit the ground running.
Rose & Kiernan, Inc. continues to monitor and relay information related to the many aspects of dealing with COVID-19 and the workplace. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us here or by calling (800) 242-4433. You can also view our COVID-19 resources page for important information about Rose & Kiernan’s response to the virus outbreak.
Please note that news and events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are changing quickly. The information provided in this blog post represents where things stand on the date of publication.