Revolutionize Your Home Office
More and more employees are working from home these days, a nod to the changing–and shrinking–nature of workplaces. There are many benefits to working from home, such as taking frequent microbreaks and personalizing your space. But it’s not all roses. Many people do not outfit their home offices correctly, leading to discomfort and, worse, injury. Often, it may seem easier to use existing furniture–such as a dining chair as a task chair–for aesthetic reasons, rather than considering the improvement in comfort and productivity offered by actual work tools. Whether you work from home one hour or 60 hours per week, it’s important to consider the following tips.
If you are setting up your own space and work on a laptop, our ergonomists recommend investing in three essential work tools that can help put you on the path to comfort: a quality task chair, a laptop stand and an external keyboard and mouse system. The key fundamental recommendation here it so separate your eyes and your hands, since they drive your posture, and these are tools that can help you do that.
A well-designed task chair is guaranteed to ensure that you’re sitting in comfortable postures and can provide the support and flexibility that a standard kitchen or dining chair simply can’t. If you’re concerned about aesthetics, shop around. Many are designed to be both functional and beautiful.
Once you’ve got your chair picked out, you should consider a laptop stand, which will position your screen at eye level. The combination of a stand and external keyboard and mouse helps you work more comfortably and safely. For ultimate workflow improvement, consider investing in an external monitor (and a monitor arm to hold it) to increase screen size and resolution.
Other tools to consider when outfitting your home office include a task light, which provides the correct amount of light for paper-based work, and a keyboard tray that ensures your hands are in your lap while you type. A keyboard tray is a cost-effective way to prevent you from hunching forward, and also frees up your work surface.
If you’re pinching pennies or aren’t looking to invest in new work tools yet, our ergonomists have a couple of cheats. You can put your laptop on a pile of books, while using the external keyboard, to truly separate your eyes and your hands and allow you to work in a more comfortable position. If you can’t overcome the height of the desk, try working off an ironing board for a little while, as it is height adjustable. Finally, working on a couch or bed, where you can recline, put your knees up and place your laptop on your legs keeps you in a neutral posture and allows you to change positions throughout the day.
Investing in the best tools to support your body will improve your comfort, reduce your risk of injury and enhance your productivity while working from home.