Work in Mind is the first knowledge platform dedicated to the connection between healthy buildings and workplace wellbeing. We believe that the environment in which you work, exist and learn should be a space in which you can reach your full potential. Staying constantly focused on a screen can lead to eye – and mental fatigue. Every 30 minutes or so, take a moment to gaze at a distant object for 15 seconds. And when you take a five-minute break, take the opportunity to close your eyes and give them a complete ‘waking’ rest. Here are four best practices that you can easily implement in your home workspace.
How can you improve ergonomics working from home?
- DON'T hunch over your laptop.
- DO work at an appropriate height.
- DO use an office chair if possible.
- DON'T give up on your current chair.
- DON'T let your feet dangle.
- DO follow the 20/20/20 rule.
- DON'T turn your couch into a workstation.
- DO customize a space to fit you.
Regularly reminding or adopting software to prompt employees to stand and move frequently can help correct posture mistakes. Although the remote workstyle appears mutually beneficial for employers and employees at a surface level, the cracks in home-based working provision for employees are starting to show. Ergotron’s survey shows that 15% of hybrid-office and home-based UK workers have not been provided any equipment at all by employers – including a laptop, ergonomic chair, big monitor, or a subsidy for equipment. Despite the challenges, the benefits of remote and flexible working are now being proved. Surveys are showing that many employees now want work-from-home setups to continue post-pandemic.
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As we have transitioned to remote working from home, our movement everyday may have decreased significantly because everything is in such close proximity. We no longer have to commute, walk down the hall to a meeting, walk to see a colleague, head to the communal printer or café. Each issue of The Homeworker magazine looks at your wellbeing, productivity and home workspace. Stay up to date with our newsletter so you find out about each issue. Ergonomics when working from home isn’t just about adjusting your equipment or securing the right furniture. There are other ways to work optimally that benefit your overall wellbeing.
Another way to keep your body moving is by changing your working position regularly. This means while you may do the bulk of your work at a desk, you could change position by moving to other rooms in your home, or working while standing up.
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A pillow can be used under the knees to maintain the S-curve of the back. However using them in a wrong postures for a longer period can be harmful. I often recommend to clients who find it hard to switch off in the evening that they find ½ hour to reflect on their day in peace and quiet, then plan a to do list for the next day. This can then include a short meditation exercise if they prefer to help Remote Work Ergonomics Tips to Use them relax. The American Psychologist Martin Seligman refers to this state as the loss of self-consciousness during an absorbing activity. According to Seligman when we are in the flow, we ‘merge with the object and use up all the cognitive and emotional resources that make up thought and feeling’. This is one of the best ways to switch off and relax after a day home working on the computer.
Your head should be above the rest of the spine, eyes looking straight ahead at the screen. Your elbows should be at 90 degrees to keep your shoulders as relaxed as possible. Use a support for your wrist too, to ease them as you use your mouse. If you are using a laptop for work, it’s important to buy a proper monitor to plug in.