To protect us all from the spread of COVID-19, many businesses now have employees working from home. Not everyone has a dedicated space or office furniture they can use to set up their computer and monitors correctly.
Even working from home there are important aspects you need to consider. Which is why we have put together a guide to help you create an effective working environment at home.
Guide to Creating an Effective Work Environment at Home
1. Use a desk, table or hard surface that you can pull a second hand office chair underneath. There needs to be an adequate distance from your lap to the underside of the table - ideally between 700mm and 800mm.
2. Standing at a sit-stand desk or static worksurface then make sure you have good foot clearance so you can sit/stand close enough to your laptop or computer.
3. Sitting down use an adjustable chair, sit back into your chair so your bottom is as far back as possible. If your chair has no lumbar support, roll up a tea towel and position it into the small of your back (longer-term we do recommend lumber support). There should be a 2-inch gap from the back of your knees to the edge of the seat. Sit as close as possible to the desk/table.
4. If you have height adjustable arms on your chair you may need to raise them to sit close. Relax your shoulders and rest your forearms on the chair arm pad. If you don’t have height adjustable arms and they are preventing you sitting close to your desk, you may need to remove the arms, most chair arms can be removed.
5. Make sure your seat height is correct and that your armrests are in line with the desktop. If your feet do not touch the floor when your chair arms are in line with the desk, you will need a footrest. You may not have a footrest at home so for the short term try using a box.
6. Use a separate keyboard and mouse and make sure they are positioned in front of you for easy reach.
7. Make sure your monitor or monitors are at eye level, with the top of the screen being in line with your eyebrows, if you do have a monitor arm then use some boxes to raise the monitor to eye height.
8. Do not slouch always keep good posture, straight back, relaxed shoulders and head neutral.
9. Using your mobile phone from home, try and keep the screen at head height when looking at information to prevent the neck from dropping.
10. Take regular breaks every 20 minutes and incorporate some desk exercises into your day. For example, leg raises and shoulder shrugs, you could also use your office space for wall push-ups and wall sits. Keeping active helps with productivity.
Making sure you have the correct working environment at home will help improve efficiency and productivity. Ensuring you are comfortable will also prevent additional stress or even injury.