Ergonomics tips for working from home
10 tips for working from home effectively
Here are the top 10 tips for working at home during corona virus and become a productive employee. Remember, understanding the ergonomics of working from home can make the hours you spend engrossed in your work enjoyable, less taxing, and more comfortable.
1. Regular Hours: Ensure you maintain fixed hours each day for work. During that time, you should focus on your work and not get distracted by your housework and household.
2. Have a Routine in the Morning: It is essential to create a routine in the morning while working that you should follow diligently.
3. Create Ground Rules: As you are working from home, ensure you create ground rules for family members that they and you need to adhere to. That will help you focus on your work.
4. Have Breaks: Schedule regular breaks so that you can refresh your mind. It will positively affect your productivity.
5. Have Dedicated Office Space: Never sit on a sofa or your bed to do your work. It will strain your shoulders and back. Instead, get a desk with a comfortable chair and use it for your work.
6. Get Out of Home: Wear a mask and go for a walk to bust work-related stress. In case you cannot go out, use your balcony or terrace to walk up and down and get re-energized.
7. Get the Right Work Setup: Since your employer wants you to work from home, ensure your organization provides the right setup so that you can work seamlessly and without getting stressed.
8. Have a Separate Phone for Work: Do not use your personal phone for work. Instead, get a separate number for work. That way, you will get work-related calls on that number and will be able to have video conference calls without a hassle.
9. Get Social: Working from home can isolate you from your colleagues. So, think of ways to socialize with them online. It could be before the start of a Zoom meeting or even talking to them over the phone.
10. Have an End-of-Day Routine: Just before you finish for the day, make sure you get ready for the next day. Write down the tasks that you have to do so that you can hit the ground running. Creating a routine at the end of the day will also allow you to unwind and get ready to spend time with family and friends.
What is the meaning of ergonomics?
While working from home has its perks, it comes with its own set of obstacles. For one, you are not going to obtain the convenience and comfort you obtain sitting on a desk and chair that is meant for working at your workplace. However, this is where ergonomics comes into play. It refers to applied science that revolves around designing and arranging things in a manner that is safe, efficient, and convenient for your surroundings and yourself.
Why ergonomics is important ?
When working from home, your body needs to interact with the tools and space in a manner that does not make it difficult on your neck, shoulders, back, and overall posture. Incorporating ergonomics into your home office setup also works to boost productivity and competence to get the job done. This also prevents any occurrence of undue stress and injury. This has an overall effect on work performance which in turn ups engagement and enhances morale.
What are the pros and cons of working from home?
While there are pros to working from home, there can also be a downside. Its pros include:
· Savings yourself the time, expense, and trouble of commuting
· Obtaining the flexibility to manage errands and appointments
· Having fewer interruptions from small talk and important meetings
The downside includes:
· The division between work and leisure is not well defined as there is no physical separation as such
· You have to actually go out of your way for a change of scenery
· It can be easy to misjudge cues and perspectives via electronic communications
Like all things in life, there is an upside and downside to both.
What are the benefits of working from home?
Working from home inevitably brings you an improved sense of work-life balance. This is because you can begin and end your day the way you wish to. Other than this, the other advantages are:
· You are not limited in any way by geographic location when looking at job opportunities
· It gives companies a chance to enhance diversity and inclusion as they gain the ability to appoint people from various socio-economic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds
· You save on transportation, gas, car and parking charges
You also obtain a customizable office and can positively affect the environment since you are not giving out emissions going to and from places.
What are the most common issues faced while working from home?
When you are working from home, you could face a few physical issues that could hinder your work and productivity. Some of the common problems include:
Pain in the neck
Pain in the upper back due to incorrect posture
Pain in the shoulders due to poor posture
Carpel tunnel syndrome
Pain in the knees due to extended sitting
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
Some people may also experience the following:
Many of these issues can be overcome if you focus on the ergonomics of working from home. It will enable you to deal with any issues that may crop up while working at home.
How to make your work from home space ergonomics?
Here are some ergonomics tips for working at home and making sure that your workspace is comfortable.
Make sure you have a dedicated table that helps to keep your laptop or computer screen at eye level.
Get a comfortable chair that allows you to keep your back straight and maintain a good posture to avert backaches, shoulder pain, and neck pain. The chair’s height should be such that your eyes are in line with the screen/monitor.
Use cushions to pad your chair so that your buttocks are comfortable. If necessary, change your position regularly by shifting on the chair. You can even use a cushion for your back.
Use a footstool to elevate your feet if you find that your feet are swelling up or getting tired.
Utilize a USB keyboard and mouse so that you can work with ease on your laptop.
What is an ergonomic office chair? And, how to select it?
An ergonomic office chair is completely adjustable. You can also move the seat of the chair either upwards or downwards. In this way, stress to your structure and spine is kept to a minimum. Here is how you can pick the best one for you.
· The seat should come with an ample amount of width and depth to support any user comfortably
· The height of the seat should be easy to adjust
· The backrest needs to be at least 12 to 19 inches wide
· Lower back support is immensely vital so it needs to come with adequate lumbar adjustment and support
It should also come with adjustable armrests, should have a swivel option, and offer comfortable set material.
How to work effectively from home?
Here are some helpful tips for working at home more effectively:
Stretch your back, shoulders, and arms if you are going to start a repetitive, prolonged or static activity. It will loosen your muscles and prevent them from getting stiff.
Don’t assume the same posture for more than 30 minutes. Set an alarm so that every 30 minutes you are reminded to change your posture. It will prevent you from getting stiff and straining your back, shoulders, and neck.
Exercise your neck and stretch your back periodically so that you loosen the muscles and prevent pain.
Take breaks to get your coffee, drink water, and have your lunch.
Take a walk in your garden, balcony, or terrace to stretch your legs and revitalize your energy.
Learn a few basic exercises for your back, neck, and shoulders that you can do while sitting at your work desk.
Does working from home lower your immune system?
There is no scientific proof that supports the argument that working from home lowers your immunity. However, the consequences of working from home without breaks can pose issues. This includes depression, stress, bad health habits as well as bad or irregular sleep. This may have an indirect impact on your body’s ability to fight. This is why, it is important to manage your stress levels, sleep well, exercise regularly, and have a well-balanced diet.
How can I prevent back pain when working from home?
· See that you do not stand or sit for prolonged periods in front of the computer
· It is also important to view your computer screen with a straight neck so that you obtain a comfortable viewing height
· Also, look at paper documents with a straight neck
· To reduce eye strain, do not work with your back to the window or even facing a window rather put your screen sideways to a bright window
· Keep your touch pad, mouse, and keyboard at a convenient height
Above all, reduce the time you work on your bed.
What happens to your body when you work from home?
Prolonged sitting and standing can lead to poor posture which can lead to back and neck pain, poor cardiovascular health, stiff and weak muscles as well as poor digestion. It can also cause an increased risk of diabetes. This is mainly because you are not getting enough physical activity.
That is why it is important to look at ergonomics when working from home. You can do this by:
· Setting a morning routine in place
· Do not hunch over your laptop
· Do not let your feet dangle
· Keep set working hours and stick to it
· Set a specific area in your home for work
Above all, do not skip lunch and see that you stay hydrated.
How to work at home with laptop?
Remember, it is not okay to use the laptop while lying or sitting in bed or on a couch. You will strain your back and neck. Instead, have a dedicated space in your home for a laptop, preferably a desk with a comfortable chair. The monitor should be at eye level, and you should be sitting up straight, about an arm’s length from your desk.
Yes, it is possible to work with a laptop by following the laptop ergonomics at home. Just make sure that you invest in a good quality laptop and you have a dedicated desk and an ergonomic chair with armrests. Also, the desk should be tall enough to keep the monitor of the laptop at eye level so that you do not strain your neck and back looking down or up.
Opt for an ergonomic chair with armrests so that your back is well-supported while working. It will also minimize back pain and fatigue. If your feet tend to swell up, use a footrest. Also, take frequent breaks to reduce your tiredness and clear your mind. It will make you more productive.
Adjust the brightness and contrast of the laptop screen based on the lighting in your workspace. That way, you will not risk straining your eyes while working.
Get a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse so that you can work comforatbley with straining your shoulders
How can you improve ergonomics working from home?
Make sure you have a comfortable desk and chair. The chair should have an adjustable back that allows you to ensure adequate support for your lower back. Also, you should be able to adjust the height of the chair so that it is right for you.
The monitor of your laptop or computer should be at eye level and the brightness should be adjusted to avoid eye strain. If you find that your eyes are getting fatigued, take a break and spend time in your garden if you have one. You can also close your eyes for 5 minutes. Check the internet for eye exercises that can help you minimize eye fatigue.
Make sure you stay hydrated while working as it will keep you comfortable. If you feel tired, take a break and go for a stroll outdoors or do something you enjoy. Forget about work.
What are the ergonomic requirements for working from home?
· See that you keep a proper and neutral posture
· Pay attention to your eye and elbow height
· The top of the monitor has to be at or slightly below eye height
In this way, you can work from home with a desktop as well as a laptop. You can use an external mouse and keyboard so that you do not put a strain on your shoulders and arms as well as neck when using a laptop.
What happens to your muscle when they are not used?
Not using your muscles can lead to real problems. These include issues with posture, eyestrain, headaches as well as muscle aches and pains. These are problems you can be prone to if you work from home, it is important to take necessary precautions.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you and see that you keep it in a relaxed position. Take breaks in between prolonged sitting and standing sessions so that problems do not arise and make sure you devote time to physical activity. This means going out and about as well. This is sure to make working from home a breeze.