Photo courtesy of Humanscale
The dream of working ‘from the comfort of home’ has become a reality for many professionals who spend part, or all, of their weekdays working remotely from a home office setting. Indeed, work from home arrangements are appealing on many levels, and often provide a new degree of convenience and efficiency for both the worker and employer.
There are, however, some notable challenges to working productively from home. Beyond distractions such as household chores or the temptation to watch The Price is Right, remote workers may be at risk for eye, neck, and shoulder strain, back aches, wrist injury, and the list goes on. The reality is that many home offices lack proper ergonomic set up, and working for hours on your laptop while sitting on the sofa is simply a recipe for pain.
The good news is that this can be easily remedied with these 5 simple assessments to help ensure your home office best supports you, ergonomically.
5-Step Home Office Self Assessment
1. Chair and Seating Adjustability: To ensure sound ergonomic seating in the home office, look for chairs with arm supports that adjust easily, have adjustable seat height and depth, and adjustable back and lumbar support (dynamic or manual).
2. Desk and Keyboard Tray Height: Working at a desk with ideal height for you is essential to preventing neck, shoulder, back, and wrist pain. A simple way to determine your ideal desk height, while at either a sitting or a standing desk, is to place your hands on the desk or keyboard tray and check that your arms are comfortable and slightly open beyond 90 degrees.
3. Keyboard and Mouse: Use an ergonomic keyboard in the home office to support a natural, relaxed posture, and help keep wrists straight and elbows properly aligned, whether you are seated or standing. An external keyboard is recommended for laptop and tablet use as well. And an ergonomically designed computer mouse or input device will help prevent fatigue from overuse and combats carpal tunnel syndrome by keeping your hands and wrists in a natural position and arms relaxed.
4. Monitor Position: To reduce and eliminate neck, shoulder, and eyestrain, be sure your monitor is comfortably at eye level. A monitor riser, monitor arm, or laptop stand will help ensure that the monitor can always be positioned at perfect height.
5. Lighting: Appropriate task lighting is just as important in the home office as it is in a corporate setting. Ensure you are working with the optimum task-specific light and minimize glare and reflection caused by overhead lighting or bright windows.
Use these 5 easy assessments as a guide to help ensure optimal ergonomics in your home office and to best support the work you do there. And–bonus–home office accessories are tax deductible in most states.
Let us help turn your home office into a comfortable, ergonomic haven