COVID has forced millions to huddle themselves and work from their homes. Although the world was moving towards remote working, COVID accelerated the process. Even before the Covid disaster, many companies were offering small working options to their employees. Many tech giants like Google and Microsoft already had 15% of staff working from home before the Pandemic.
This “new normal,” as it is dubbed, has transformed our lives in ways more than we can imagine.
If you, too, are working from home individuals, it’s vital to have a safe, healthy & ergonomic working environment. In this blog, we will be discussing why an Ergonomic home office is vital, how you can set it up, Tips to work from home, some Do’s and Don’ts while working for a Home office setup, and some basic desk exercise to help you stay fit!
So let’s get started with first things first.
Work from home is here to stay.
As mentioned earlier, many tech businesses were offering remote working opportunities. During Pandemic, these numbers rose drastically. And this is when many companies figured remote working could be an excellent option for them and employees alike.
Remote working offers flexibility to the employees and reduces a lot of financial strain on businesses. Businesses can save millions in Office space, electricity bills, and other perks that they would have to offer to the employees working in offices.
Moreover, as the world is going Digital, Businesses will prefer virtual meets &skeletal office staff to minimize their expenses. The IT industry, where implementing remote working is easy, will be the front runner in it.
So even when the Pandemic ends, a lot workforce will be working from home. In short, work from home is here to stay, period.
Why ergonomically designed home office setup is vital?
Work-from-home has many perks for professionals, but it comes with its challenges. People tend to work from couches, beds, and sofas without proper posture. Working in such improper postures can result in back-pains and neck-pains.
According to Julie Larson, a professional therapist, as people were ordered to work from home rather quickly, they had almost no time setting up a proper Ergonomic home office. People spend more time sitting in the same positions for hours, resulting in mild to severe back and neck pains.
So as long as a large workforce is operating from homes, it’s vital to set up an Ergonomic home office.
Steps to set-up an Ergonomic Home office?
If you plan to work from home, a lot of equipment is available in the market that can help you set up an ergonomic work-setup. Let’s take a look at these products.
1. Adjustable desks
When you have to work for long hours sitting in the same position, you must have a suitable desk. If your viewing angle is too low or too high, it will put a lot of strain on your backbone and spinal cord, resulting in severe neck and back pain. Moreover, before you chose a standing desk, ensure it has enough legroom and your knees and your hips remain at the same height.
Adjustable desks can prove extremely helpful. Such desks let you adjust your screen’s height, so you don’t have too high or too low. So if you want, you can fully customize your office as you like.
2. Ergonomic chairs
Keeping the right posture is vital while you work for longer hours. An Ergonomic chair can be of great help. The back and lumbar support of an Ergonomic chair ensure that you sit in the right posture and don’t put too much stress on your back. These chairs are designed with suitable seat depth to your hips, so they don’t feel too much pressure.
The best part is, they are height adjustable. So if you have a fixed screen or cannot change the screen height for certain reasons, these chairs can be the perfect option for you. Moreover, even their armrest height, lumbar support, and back support are adjustable, offering more flexibility.
While designing an ergonomic office, feet are often the most ignored body part. Unfortunately, improper foot position can result in a reduction in blood circulation. Medical experts suggest that even 60 minutes of sitting in the same position can reduce blood circulation, and the possibility of heart attack and strokes may increase dramatically.
Footrests are ideal as they reduce the pressure in your feet and boost blood circulation. Using footrest, you can perform various coaxial moves to avoid blockage of blood circulation.
4. Under desk Keyboard tray
Typing constantly without proper posture can lead to many issues like Carpal Tunnel syndrome. When the median nerve passing through your wrist feels too much strain due to repeatedly typing, it can result in a painful or numb wrist. Moreover, constant typing can result in tendinitis, a condition where the tendons feel too much irritation due to monotonous movement.
Fortunately, under desk keyboard tray can solve this issue. A quality under-desk keyboard tray allows you to type at different angles and offers many comforts while working for longer hours. Various studies suggest that a comfortable working environment can boost your productivity by almost 15 %!
5. Monitor Mount
When you work on screen, it is vital that your eyes and screen should be properly aligned. If you are looking too high or too low, it can result in severe pain in the neck. Monitor mounts can be of great help in this situation.
It’s easy to set up on your table. As it swivels in all directions, you can adjust it in a way that suits you the best.
6. Cable management
Tangled cables make home office setup difficult and irritating. There is a risk that you might get trapped in these cables and trip over. So it’s vital to have home-office cable management. With an efficient cable management solution, you can reduce accidents, damage your equipment and raise your productivity.
Multiple cable management options like Cable Spine, Cable mesh & Cable baskets can help you conceal and organize your cables easily.
7. Laptop stands
It is neither comfortable nor advisable to slouch for 10-12 hours a day in front of your laptops. This might result in a lot of ache and pain. Laptop stand can be of great help in this situation. You can install an ergonomic laptop stands for placing your laptops.
You can adjust the height, viewing angle, and position of these laptops, making it super easy and comfortable to work for hours without putting too much strain on it.
8. Headphone Hooks
These are much-rated equipment while setting up an ergonomic office. But, we would recommend getting them installed in your home office. You do not want your headphones to keep obstructing your work while you try to focus. Moreover, these headphone hooks help you maintain a clutter-free desk by housing your wired or wireless headphones.
Now you know how to set up an ergonomic office, let’s take a look at some Do’s and Don’ts while you work from home.
Do’s for Work from Home
Craft a routine
Psychologists note that working from home without a planned routine might result in burn-out sooner or later. So it’s always better to craft a routine and strictly adhere to it even while
working from home.
This will help reduce the hours you spend in front of your screen, improve your efficiency, and gives you extra time for yourself.
Set up an Office
Although you can work from any corner of your home, it is advisable to fix a spot for working. Once you fix the spot, we would recommend creating an office-like environment that can offer you more creative ideas while working.
Additionally, such a setup will protect you from many distractions like kids (if you have them, obviously!)!
Get in touch with people.
Remote working offers an excellent opportunity to secede into your foxhole and work with extreme concentration. But such constant isolation can impact your creativity and even your health. Even if you prefer to work in isolation, keep meeting people you like or spend some time in public places like cafes & coffee-shops for some human interaction.
Adopt the right posture
This is critical for healthy remote working. The comfort of beds and couches are too tempting to avoid. But if you will be working from home for a longer duration, PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR POSTURE. Sitting in improper posture might lead to severe ailments in your body.
So mind your posture and make sure you follow the below steps for a better and healthy work routine.
- Set up and ergonomic home office
- Ensure your screen and eyes are aligned
- Ensure you keep your arms parallel to the ground to minimize the strain on your wrists and tendons.
- Keep your thighs perfectly horizontal so your hips and knees remain aligned.
- Keep your feet flat and if possible, choose a nice footrest that can offer comfort and coaxial movement to your feet.
- Push your hips as close to the seat’s back support as possible to reduce strain on your hips.
- Take breaks regularly and splash your face eyes with nice and clean water to offer them comfort.
- Make sure all your stuff is easily accessible from your sitting table to minimize strain.
- Avoid slouching to reduce any pain in your back.
Don’ts for Work from Home
Don’t forget to get fresh air.
We understand it’s not easy to cope with the immense work pressure while remote working. But don’t let this pressure impact your health. Move out, take a walk, breath-in some fresh air, and you will be recharged as new!
Research suggests that taking breaks regularly boosts productivity by around 20%.
Don’t delay your task.
While working from home, people often tend to delay their work as they have practiced a lot of time. But that’s a grave mistake. Delaying your work results in mounting pressure, and you will end up working endlessly.
Set a routine, & get your tasks done at the desired intervals.
Don’t go on an eating-spree
What’s better than a right combination of some savory chips, nachos & an excellent old coke for working remotely, right? Wrong! This is a dangerous trend that numerous dieticians are warning against.
Taking in a high-calorie and sugar-loaded food with minimal physical exercise can result in obesity, high blood pressure, and other physical issues. So avoid going on the eating-spree while you work from home.
Don’t be in front of screen 24×7
It’s understandable that when you don’t have a lot to do for entertainment, Netflix seems the best option. But it’s not the right choice. Switching between your work and entertainment is not a good idea. It can seriously damage your eyes permanently.
Don’t get stuck with Social Media.
Scrolling your Social Media feeds for hours can affect your productivity. If you want entertainment, watch a movie or some episodes of your favorite show, but avoid watching useless content on Social Media. It doesn’t serve any purpose and is a total wastage of time.
Some useful desk exercise
While you work, it is natural that you won’t be performing any physical activities. So you must stick to some useful desk exercises for staying in good shape. Let’s take a look at these simple desk exercises that you can perform anytime, anywhere.
1. Wall pushups
These simple pushups can help you keep your arms fit without much sweating. Stand in front of a wall, place your hands flat on it and start pushing until your arms are straight. Don’t forget to keep your abs tight to avoid slouching while doing this excessively.
2. Chair squats
This simple, quick, and rapid exercise can help burn out some fat while working from your home. Get up from your chair, lower your body as if you will sit, and stop right above your seat. Repeat the steps as much as you like in between meetings, calls, or even while you are doing nothing!
This easy to do sit-ups are a perfect stress-buster while working from home! There is no need to explain anyone how to do them. All you’ll need to do is get up from your seat and start doing the reps!
Lunges are a perfect way to get your blood moving through the body. Place one leg on the front, and lower your back foot knee to the ground slowly. Then again, repeat the same with another leg. You can take a stroll in the home while doing this exercise or can do it outside.
5. Triceps Stretch
Stretching your arms can offer great relaxation. Stretch your hand as much as you can touch the opposite shoulder blade. Don’t push too much but ensure you stretch it optimally.
6. Oblique twist
Want to burn some fat rapidly from your belly? An oblique twist can do the job if you have a swivel chair. Sit straight, lift your feet and start twisting your body on both sides by hold the desk with both hands.
7. Neck Rolls
If you are constantly working on computers, this quick exercise is a must. Relax your body and start rolling your head on either side for 10 to 15 seconds. Once are done with one side, repeat with the other side. This will relax your neck muscles and will give you a comforting feeling.
8. Shoulder stretch
Too much stress on their shoulders may make them numb. So this shoulder stretch can be of great help. Clasping your palms together, push them upwards as much as you can, and stretch your shoulder. Give them stretched and take few deep breaths.
9. Chest Stretch
This chest stretch can give a much-needed relaxation to your strained chest muscles. Pull your hands behind the lower back, clasp them and push your chest outwards. Keep your chin high while doing this, and maintain the posture for 4 to 5 breaths.
10. Upper back stretch
Constant working in front of a screen with improper posture can lead to this problem. This upper back stretch can come to your aid in such a situation. Clasp your hands facing down the ground, align your head and your arms. Arc your back ahead while looking down. Hold the posture for few minutes, and you feel a lot of stress released.
Taking care of your eyes
This is probably the most critical thing that you will have to do while you work from home. As people tend to spend more hours in front of a screen while working from home, resulting in serious problems. So it’s vital to take care of your eyes while you work from home.
Few tips for better eyes.
- Align your monitor a bit low from your eye level. Don’t forget to stay at least 2.5 feet away from the screen.
- Optimize the brightness of your screen to reduce the strain on your eyes. Very high brightness or high contrast can impact your eyes adversely.
- Use anti-glare displays if possible and if not, try to avoid glare from various light sources like windows and doors.
- Keep blinking every 4 to 5 seconds to avoid the dryness in your eyes.
- Take a break instead of viewing the screen for more than 25 minutes. Give your eyes some rest, and don’t forget to splash them with fresh water.
Working from is here to stay, no matter what. So it’s critical to tailor your home-office set up ergonomically to reduce your body’s stress and boost your productivity.
There are surely some challenges that you will face while working from home. So it’s better to adapt with it for best results.
What points do you think we can add to this list?
Feel free to let us know via comments.