As a result of the global pandemic, millions of people worldwide are now working from home, transforming kitchen tables and bedrooms into temporary home offices. The same is valid for the Cobuilder employees across Europe. Unfortunately, many of us are working under less-than-ideal ergonomic conditions—a kitchen chair that is too low, a table that is too high, some even work lying on their beds. You get the idea.
Poor ergonomics can make or break your work-from-home experience. With that in mind, we would like to share some tips and tricks, literally “DO-s” and “DON’T-s”, to help you create an ergonomic workstation at home.
Scroll down to the bottom and find some useful videos related to the subject. We also would like to thank Maria Andersen – QA Manager Chemicals and Environment who inspired us to write this story.
Tip #1: DO make sure you get up and walk around.
The goal is to get in as many steps as possible during the day, even if that means strolling around the kitchen table. Take movement breaks every half hour and change postures when starting to fatigue.
Some of our employees share that they take small walks around the neighbourhood during lunch break. You can also translate the daily stand-up scrum meeting to a walking scrum meeting. Just make sure you are in an environment that you know, so you do not put yourself in danger.
Tip #2: DON’T turn your couch into a workstation.
As tempting as it is, the couch is not an optimal place to work for the entire day. Although it may be comfortable, having your legs or full body in a vertical position can lead to muscle numbness and discomfort.
Separating your work and “home” life is very important for your mental health. That is why, if you want to maintain your couch as a place where you rest – it is best to choose a better working area. The same goes for your bed!
Tip #3: DO follow the 20-20-20 rule.
For every 20 minutes spent looking at a computer screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at something else 20 feet away. This gives your eye muscles a break and helps reduce eye strain. You will actually benefit even more if you look at something nice! Aesthetics are very important for our well-being.
Tip #4: DON’T give up on your current chair.
If you don’t have the option to bring your office chair home, there are some household items you can use to help you adjust what you have. Putting a firm cushion or tightly folded towel on your chair will raise your hips and increase the curve of your spine, making sitting more comfortably.
Tip #5: DON’T let your feet dangle.
Place your feet on a few books or boxes under your desk, so that your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor and your hips are slightly higher than your knees. This will reduce stress on your lumbar spine.
Tip #6: DON’T hunch over your laptop.
When looking at the screen, your eye line should be level with the address bar on your web browser. You can always put your laptop on top of a box or a stack of books if you don’t have a more suitable platform.
Tip #7: DO work at an appropriate height.
Find a working height so that your elbows naturally fall flush with your table/desk height. This will promote better wrist alignment rather than impingement or carpal tunnel stress.
Tip #8: DON’T skip lunch.
It’s easy to snack throughout the day instead of eating like you did in the office. Making a proper meal gives you the opportunity to stand up, walk around, and let your eyes have a rest from the computer screen. Also snaking is not great for your waistline!
Tip #9: DO use ample Natural Lighting.
Create a dedicated work area with as much natural lighting as possible.
Tip #10: DO drink lots of water and take breaks throughout the day.
Drink water consistently throughout the day. The best way to stay hydrated is to sip water regularly rather than drinking huge amounts of liquid all at once.
Last but not least here are some additional materials related to the subject:
We hope you found this article useful and that it will help you turn the remote working conditions into a more comfortable and pleasant experience.