Ergonomic tips for working from home
Ergonomics: “Relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment.” (Oxford Dictionaries)
Of course this has always been an important aspect of a healthy working life, however, much like many other things, ergonomics has accelerated since the appearance of COVID-19.
With working from home the new normal, and some questionable work set-ups from ironing board desks to sofa-surfing, we need to consider ergonomics more than ever.
According to Huffpost, this is how remote workers could look in 20-years time:
Yikes! This just won’t do, we need to do something about it!
Here are a few tips that should help you to stay happy and healthy in your home office.
If like us, your daily tasks involve a lot of phone calls, Microsoft Teams video and audio meetings, you should definitely consider going hands-free.
By investing in a headset you are relieving yourself of repetitive tasks, strain and your working day will be more comfortable.
With a wireless headset, you can dictate, have phone calls and audio meetings whilst walking around the room – The perfect change to stretch your legs!
I got myself a Philips SpeechOne headset when we begun working from home and it is a life-saver! No more picking up my phone non-stop and lastly, it’s just a lot easier!
Ensure you have a great chair
This is probably the most common way that home-workers go wrong with ergonomics – I’m guilty of it too!
During the first few months of lockdown I was sitting on a wooden (yes wooden) fold away chair (ouch!). You wont be surprised to hear that it started to give me a sore back!
However, this was all fixed with a quick trip to the office to pick up my nice, sturdy, supportive office chair. When looking for the right chair, make sure it is:
- Adjustable in height
- Supportive on the lower back
- Cushioned on the seat
- Moveable via swivelling
Take care of your eyes
Since working from home many employees have increased their time spent in front of the computer; with this comes more strain on the eyes.
Whether it’s looking through Excel workbooks, replying to emails, reading contracts, our eyes are put through a lot on a daily basis.
Hence our next ergonomic working from home tip: Take care of your eyes!
Evidently, people were experiencing this as we saw the popular blue light glasses trend take-off on TikTok – As users purchased the pair of glasses that are said to protect your eyes from the reflection of blue light from computer screens.
Whilst the effectiveness of these glasses has not been guaranteed (Read here), it sets a good example of the care that workers should be taking with their eyes.
For example, taking periodic breaks away from the screen is a definite way to relieve the strain on your eyes and reduce headaches and migraines.
Unleash the power of voice
A notorious effect of bad ergonomics is repetitive strain injury (RSI) within the hands and wrists. Typing with a keyboard is a very common factor that can cause forms of RSI including carpel tunnel syndrome.
Now I know what you’re thinking, how can I do my job without typing? The rise of speech recognition within the workplace is not only for productivity/efficiency reasons, but also for ergonomics.
Dragon Professional Individual is a form of speech recognition software that we provide to our clients that are suffering with RSI; Depending on your IT set-up you may need a different version but we can help with that.
Not only does voice recognition limit the time spent typing on the keyboard, it also allows for ease and comfort in the home office; When combined with a wireless headset, Dragon allows people to dictate whilst standing up or walking around the room allowing for a break away from the desk.
“Dragon dyslexia software was a game changer as I can articulate myself far better through speaking than I can writing or typing.”Thomas McCready – Dragon accessibility user
Change it up
A key theme that seems to be running through our ergonomic tips for home working so far is that repetitive tasks are not good for the body; So, yep you guessed it, our last tip is to change it up!
This could be standing up instead of sitting, relocating your desk every now and then, having breaks or swapping your workflow method through using voice recognition – The point is, switching things up is good!
To elaborate, if you are starting to feel particular nags in your hands, blurriness in your vision, listen to your body – It’s time to make a small alteration.
That is all from us for now, I hope you have enjoyed our ergonomic tips for working from home and that they come in useful – After all, we don’t want to end up like the avatar from the beginning of the blog!
If you would like guidance with coping strategies or work assessments, we’d be more than happy to help where we can.