Working from home is now the new norm in these Covid-19 times where our homes are transforming into workspaces. We are all so used to the daily routine of the office, we take it for granted. We identify some common pitfalls when working from home and how to address them immediately.
Laptops and couches: Convenience does not always mean best practice. The couch is not a suitable work area and don’t sacrifice short term comfort for long term issues. This should be avoided at all costs
Non-adjustable equipment: Equipment with the greatest adjustability allows for the greatest chance of finding a comfortable position. In the short term, use what you have available to raise your screen (make sure it is safe and stable) and use an external keyboard and mouse to help you to position your screen at the best possible height.
Confined spaces: Avoid putting your desk in small or overcrowded spaces. It needs its own area and the proper amount of freedom in which to work. Set up a designated area for the time you are working at home, try to prioritise this and put in the time to setting it up as close to ideal as possible. Try not to let your work area be disturbed and constantly moved around. This only leads to bad habits and the feeling of “I just need to get this done” and then sacrificing your ideal positioning.
Poor light or poor air: Makes sure the area is well lit and ventilated. This can affect concentration, the eyes and overall health. Fresh air and natural light can help to boost productivity and concentration. Find a space that works for you and set it up and keep it.
Reduction in break times: The time you “gain” by skipping breaks is lost in your energy levels. Be disciplined and take scheduled, regular break times. When "working out" in the gym you would never skip your rest periods in between sets of weights, your workstation works the same. Break times are an essential part of your productivity and work day.
Productivity can be affected in many ways. If your positioning is not correct, it has an adverse effect on your energy levels, concentration and potentially long term health. We hope these tips help you make the most out of your home working.
Brian Crinion is a Chartered Physiotherapist working in partnership with Spectrum Life and Laya Healthcare. His practical tips around ergonomics are designed to help people adapt to working from home