There’s no doubt that 2020 was a year of rapid adaptation and change, in so many ways. One of the major changes included adapting to new ways of working. Those of us who were used to travelling into an office every day were suddenly forced into a situation of home working, without any prior planning or preparation.
For many people, being home-based is not ideal; especially for those who do not have a dedicated home office. Working from kitchen tables or even on a laptop from the sofa has become the norm for many workers. Of the people lucky enough to have dedicated workspaces, many are still not even using ergonomic chairs. These poor working set-ups, combined with longer working hours, is leading to a rise in musculoskeletal injuries.
The good news is, whatever your home set-up is, there are some easy ways to improve the way that you work. Joerg Bakschas is a workspace specialist and member of several European committees working on standards for the office. He shares the following advice on some simple ways we can create healthier work environments:
If you can, adjust your work equipment to your body (chair, table, monitor etc.). Often people don’t realise that their chair has a lot of options such as height adjustment, armrest height, seat depth or others. This also applies to desks and monitors.
If possible, change between sitting and standing during work. If a standing desk is outside your budget, consider a desk riser as an low cost alternative. It’s important to move around as much as possible; our evolution did not intend us to sit in front of a computer all day!
Take a look under the desk. Is there enough space to stretch your legs, or are wastebaskets, boxes or cables in the way?
Use a second monitor for a better overview of several documents. This will help you work more efficiently.
Consider the lighting. Is there enough light for your workspace? Is there glare from direct sunlight or from looking directly at the window? Too much glare can cause headaches and have a negative effect on productivity.
Do you have enough fresh air? This will help you stay alert and focused.
Are you taking regular breaks? This is something that is often overlooked; however, regular breaks help maintain focus and concentration.
Are you drinking enough water? Water is essential for the human body. Not drinking enough can have negative effects on our ability to concentrate. It can also increase drowsiness and cause headaches.
Adjust your monitor so that it is an arm’s length away and the top is high enough that you have to move your eyes/head down slightly while reading.
Look into the distance every 20 minutes and look at a point at least 20 meters away for one minute. This is good for your eyes.
Putting these simple measures in place will help to create a healthy and productive work environment, regardless of location.
Adapt offers ergonomic furniture to improve workspaces, from sit-stand desks to monitor arms and cable management. Click here to view our product range.
Our sister company Ergo Squad offers ergonomic consultancy and software to improve health, wellbeing and performance. Click here to find out more.
If you would like any further advice or information about your home office or our ergonomic office furniture, please get in touch. And, if you found this blog helpful, please feel free to share it with your social networks.