Working from Home
As the threat of COVID 19 increases, many workers will be retreating to home base. However there are better ways and smarter ways of working from home. First let’s look at…
- Distractions and interruptions: It is very easy to get side tracked when home. You have time to see home jobs that need doing. There is the temptation to pick up a book, magazine or even turn on Tele, easier than you think. If you have other members of your household present as well, then conversation is hard to avoid, or that quick cup of coffee turns into a full business lunch with the wife or hubby. “Please dear could you just keep a check on junior as I pop out to the shops”…. 2 hours later you have enjoyed some great child bonding time but that work project is no closer to finish.
- Boredom: You have no one to talk to, to bounce ideas off. Suddenly your home corner seems a little claustrophobic
- Lack of exercise: No longer are you biking or walking to work or at least from the car to the office. You feel like you are putting on extra kilos every minute.
- Bad Posture: You no longer have that adjustable desk or ergonomically designed office chair. You are now sitting 2 to 3 hours at a stretch on a dining chair at the meal table. Those normal break spaces that occur in the office are not there to disturb you to get up and have a break.
How to keep safe at home
Your work place safety should be stuck to as much as possible at home too.
The following suggestions could help you enjoy working from home a whole lot more.
Two items that you need to invest in if possible:
- Adjustable Desk An adjustable desk large enough to safely handle the work you intend to do. An adjustable desk gives you more options and allows you to have the best posture for your height. Choose a 3 column desk instead of a two column one. An electric adjustable desk is better that a manual operated version. They are easier to operate making it more likely that you will use the adjustability.
You can get small laptop desks that are adjustable, could be all you need at home.
Don’t stand all day at your desk though. We have all heard how bad sitting is on your health; well standing in a fixed position is also hard on the body. Alternate with sitting and standing.
- Chair: Invest in a really good ergonomic chair. Sitting on the beds, floors or dining chairs will not do.
Choose a chair suited to the task you intend doing. A good ergonomic chair will be easy to adjust the height and angles. Some chairs allow you to tilt the seat pan forward which is great to achieve a slightly better posture and other chairs allow you to slide the seat pan forward which is helpful if you are taller and need a longer seat. Always allow a gap between the back of the knees and the front of the seat pan. Should you use arms on a chair? There are points for and against. However arms can restrict the chair getting in close enough to the desk and some people can’t help leaning on the arms which causes a curve in your spine.
Laptops: these were originally for short term use but now, along with tablets, have become our mainstream computers. They are not ergonomically safe. So don’t hunched up on the lounge chair. If you use your laptop as the main computer at home, you should place the laptop on a correct height desk and then use a Laptop raiser or a monitor arm. This will allow you to position the monitor at the correct height and avoid neck strain. Use a full size separate keyboard and separate mouse. Environment: do not set up your computer with the monitor or yourself facing windows unless you intend to pull shades across to limit daylight shinning in. keep room temperature even.
- Maintain correct posture (How long have you been sitting).
- Every 30 to 40 minutes stop and have a short break, get circulation going again, stand up walk around, shake your arms and gently move neck around.
- Then three times a day stop and go for a good walk round the block or round the house.
- Create as much movement into your day as possible, the body was designed to move not get ‘parked’ for long periods of time!
- Make sure you take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air.
- If you are by yourself try popping down to a local café once or twice a day just to be round fellow human beings. We are relational beings.
- Always have water on hand between those coffees too.
- For more info contact Phillip Haussmann at The Bad Back Shop.