Are you or your employees feeling the discomfort that comes from working in a non-ergonomic home office? It is important to create a productive workspace for remote workers, many of which are working from home for the first time.
The ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. have some quick DIY home office design hacks that will instantly transform a remote worker’s environment into the most comfortable place they’ve ever worked.
Home Office Desk
No matter how enticing they are, don’t make a bed or couch into a home office workstation. Working from a couch or bed forces workers to hunch over their laptop, placing a strain on the neck and back.
To avoid injury, work in comfort, and be more productive – every remote worker should invest in a proper desk and learn how to set it up in a comfortable fashion.
When using a desk or table, the worker should make sure it is tall enough to accommodate their legs. If the desk is not adjustable, one quick hack is to raise the desk by placing blocks beneath the legs. Books work well, too. Whatever is used, the worker should be certain that they can lift each leg by the same number of inches to create a level workstation.
Whenever possible, invest in ergonomic furniture for the home office. In the long run, it pays to have an ergonomic chair that offers lower back support. An alternative DIY hack is to place a rolled-up towel at the lower part of the back.
The remote worker’s feet should easily rest flat on the floor to keep the body in good posture. Another DIY hack for if the bottoms of the feet don’t reach the floor is to make a footrest out of any handy household item such as a box, pillows, or books.
Double-check seated posture by looking at the thighs – they should be close to parallel to the floor.
Prevent vision problems (like digital eyestrain) by keeping the correct distance from your computer monitor. To check your distance, sit as you normally would at your desk and, without leaning forward, extend your hand and fingers. Your monitor should be at arm’s length.
Remote workers should position their home office workstation so that any window light in the home office comes from the side. It isn’t ideal to sit with your back to the window so that the light strikes your monitor head-on, but neither do you want to sit facing the window. The competition between the light coming from the window and the light from your monitor will quickly tire your eyes.
If you have a monitor that’s independent of your computer, try to keep the monitor at approximately eye level. The height will differ if you wear multiple focus eyeglasses. You may find that you prefer the monitor a little lower than eye level.
Remote workers may also want to invest in some computer glasses that look just like regular glasses, but are designed to reduce eye strain from the screen.
If the phone plays a considerable role in your working life, go hands-free with a Bluetooth device or even with the speakerphone option. Otherwise, you risk fatigue and muscle soreness from repeatedly holding the phone to your ear.
Remote workers should position the mouse so that it can operate without the need to constantly bend the wrist. A quick, free hack is to limit mouse use by learning keyboard shortcuts of commands that are repeatedly performed with a mouse.
Remote workers should consider investing in an ergonomic mouse. Just because an employee is working from home doesn’t mean they should ignore having the proper tools. Read “The Top Benefits of Using an Ergonomic Mouse at Work” to learn more about this topic.
After typing throughout the day, it is not unusual for remote workers to feel discomfort the more they work.
When typing, you will often feel discomfort if your wrists aren’t in proper alignment with your arms. If your wrists remain straight, you avoid unnecessary irritation and possibly, carpal tunnel syndrome. Remote workers can also protect their wrist from injury by padding the edge of their desk. A DIY hack is to try rolling up a small to pad the edge of your desk.
Related Blog: “3 Reasons to Switch to an Ergonomic Computer Keyboard”
Go Beyond DIY Home Office Hacks and Invest in a Virtual Home Office Ergonomics Assessment from a professional
Sharing home office design hacks with colleagues or employees is a helpful way to keep remote workers safer and more productive. Furthermore, the need for comfort and safety should convince you of the immense value of having an ergonomic home office. Consider contacting a professional to learn more about affordable virtual ergonomics assessments for remote workers.
At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.
Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.
Virtual Ergonomics Assessments available nationwide!