Ergonomics: How to make a home workspace work for you
Given the sudden, mass shift of workers leaving their office space to work from home during this COVID period, it’s important your home workspace supports you in the best possible way. We know office workspaces are critical to human wellbeing and achievement, but for now, we want to help people create a home workspace that works for them.
Recently, our Construction Manager Aaron sent us a picture of his home workspace and it caused a general flurry of envy within the team. Aaron’s image caused a series of adjustments to everyone’s workspace (see picture for Aaron’s lovely workspace) and had us all discussing how ergonomic furniture and workspaces are important to the home environment.
The term ‘ergonomic’ means designed for efficiency in the working environment, and A1 Office specialise in creating ergonomic workstations. Our workplaces often have furniture that is ergonomically certified, from desks to chairs and monitors – we place health and wellbeing at the centre of all our designs.
To make your home workspace work for you (and be good for your health) there are a couple of things to consider:
- Proper display height and distance
Particularly those working on laptops, it’s best to get a monitor set up in your home office because proper display height and distance will save your neck and body a world of pain. Ergonomics suggest monitors and other display devices should be placed at eye level to those using them, as this helps with natural and good sitting posture. The display should be positioned at a distance where squinting isn’t necessary. Essentially having a great ergonomic workspace means that you should not be required to turn your neck left, right, up or down to view a display, so adjust your monitor or screen to achieve this.
- Lighting and Space
Environmental essentials such as design, lighting and humidity make a significant difference to any workspace. Natural indirect sunlight is the best source of light so when setting up your home ergonomic office, consider the windows and where the light shifts throughout the day. Good workspaces have a balance of natural indirect light and warm light, as computer screens don’t fare well in direct sunlight.
We know that beautifully designed spaces make for pleasant and productive environments. Even a clean space can influence a person, you may not have the designer workspace furniture you’d like, in that case find a space that you can keep clean and clear. Have something nearby that you like, a photo or ornament – make sure you enjoy the area.
The temperature of your environment should also be taken into account when setting up an ergonomic home workspace. Ensure the air conditioner or heater is set to a comfortable temperature. Corporate workspaces often have the temperature between 21-22 degrees, although we recommend whatever is comfortable for you.
- Adjustable chairs and desks
The aim of an ergonomic workspace is to set up a place that encourages and supports good posture and a neutral body position. Your desk and chair should promote good and natural sitting posture, with a straight back, and your knees and chin at 90 degree right angles to the ground Having adjustable chairs and desks ensures this can be tailored to the person using them – as one size certainly does not fit all. Our German designed Klober range chairs are ergonomically designed and adjustable. Our team also have sit stand desks, should this be of interest to you, do get in contact with us today.
- Keyboard and mouse position
The proper keyboard and mouse positioning is just as important to posture as the screen display height and distance. To consistently reach for a mouse or keyboard at a bad angle will create stress on elbows and wrists, fatigue and possible injury. Keyboards and mouses should be placed within easy reach and do not cause unnecessary movement to use them. The neutral positioning requires the keyboard under hands when at right angles, and the mouse in easy reach next to this.
- Right Movement
While the ergonomic space is set up to reduce unnecessary movement and keep desk-bound workers in a healthy, good posture; it’s still important to get up and get physical every half hour. Whether you stand for a stretch, or a quick walk around your house, don’t forget to move your body every so often. This physical release is critical for both physical and mental wellbeing. Although when you are seated, make sure you’re doing so ergonomically, to help foster good posture and wellbeing in your home office space.
We thrive off creating all types of workspaces, and while adapting to this new environment, effective home workspaces are critical. Should you need help setting up your home workspace – please contact us to ensure your home office supports you and your work.
Looking to create your own ergonomic home office space? View our new home office packages, available here.