By default, home sweet home isn’t set up like the office. Your partner is around, your pet is crashing your meetings, and you’re now working on the couch because you don’t have your usual desk or chair. Everything has changed. The way you interact with your environment, along with your office ergonomics, can affect your work.
To support you working from home, here are 5 tips to help you be a virtual superstar!
Elevate Your Screen
Have you ever found yourself staring at your computer screen, neck protruding with a hunched back looking like Quasimodo, and walked away at the end of the day with a headache, sore neck and back? Elevating your screen can prevent bad posture and relieve you of pain, allowing you to walk away after a workday without that annoying crick in your neck.
In order to elevate your screen properly, the top bezel of your screen should be horizontal to your eyes/the forehead area. If you are working on a laptop, you can consider getting a stand or riser that will elevate the screen while still making it possible to type comfortably – Amazon has a wide variety of options to choose from that will best fit your work area and your home aesthetic.
Other options include raising the laptop significantly and using a second keyboard and mouse to work or having a desk monitor with adjustable height options. If you don’t want to spend a chunk of money on new office supplies, setting your laptop on a set of books, while using a mouse and keyboard to type can work just as well as a riser.
Remember, this is your time to shine!
Lower Back Support/Lumbar Support
The secret to having a comfortable workspace is all in the chair. You may have noticed a small curve in your lower back, which needs to be maintained when sitting at your desk. It is very crucial to protect that curve, as your back is likely to start to revert to the opposite direction, and you could develop strain along with an increase of spinal issues later in life – none of which sound like fun, and no one enjoys walking around, hunched over, looking 30 years older than you are.
But not to worry! This issue is easy to solve, either by investing in a good office chair that allows you to adjust the lumbar support to protect your back, or if you don’t want to spend the money on a chair, you can use a rolled-up towel or a cushion to achieve a similar affect.
Use a Footrest (not a Footstool!)
Don’t be fooled, these footrests, not to be confused with footstools that can be found accompanying lounge chairs, are all business; a powerful tool to take your workflow to the next level in terms of comfort, productivity, and energy levels.
Ideally, when sitting at your workstation, your thighs should be horizontal, and your feet should be flat on the floor. However, for people who have had to adapt to unconventional workplaces, such as working from the dining room table, this might not be possible. If you can’t get your feet flat on the ground, use an ergonomic desk footrest (don’t worry they come in all shapes, sizes, and colours to fit any aesthetic). Desk footrests encourage active leg movement, such as rocking to keep cramps away, which improves circulation. These footrests are quite inexpensive, as little as twenty dollars online, and many offer tilt and height adjustment options, which is essential if you cannot afford an ergonomic chair better suited to your body height.
Get Proper Lighting
Everyone knows what the proper lighting is for photos, selfies and your Zoom meetings, but did you know that according to the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety, without proper lighting, you are more prone to fatigue and headaches?
Natural light is the best when it comes to your health, both mental and physical. Basking in the natural daylight whenever possible helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, improves our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, helps us focus and even makes us happier. Don’t worry about glare, as that is easily preventable by simply avoiding putting your screen directly opposite a window.
When considering proper lighting, you must also consider your screen light. Even if you are sitting in natural light, make sure to look away from your screen every half-hour or so, as continuously staring at your screen for hours on end can be damaging to your eyesight and cause migraines. Fluorescent lights should also be avoided, as not only do they wash you out during those Zoom calls, but they can also dry out your skin and can have a negative impact on your everyday health over time – LED lighting is the way to go if you must use artificial light at all.
Relieve Contact Stress
Contact stress is not a term you hear often but it is a very important one to be aware of when working in an office, or from home. Contact stress is damage to the tissue of the body caused by contact between soft tissue and a hard object, and there are a few contact stress points that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. These can be caused by having your forearms resting on the edge of your desk, resting your wrist on the desk when you are using your keyboard or mouse, leaning your elbows against a hard armrest, or when sitting in a chair that places pressure on the back of your thighs.
These are easy to fix by simply making the necessary adjustments to your chair to avoid those stresses or investing in a chair from a quality brand known for ergonomics. Aside from that, getting up every hour for 10 minutes to stretch and walk around will also lessen the stress on your body and prevent pain caused by your body’s relative inactivity.
Accora Village is the perfect place for remote workers to work and play. Our apartments and townhouses are spacious, pet-friendly, and come with beautiful views. Within walking distance of Britannia Beach and numerous trails, it’s easy to take a break from work and get some fresh air. We offer after-school programs, recreational activities, and more. Contact us today for more information on how we can make working from home a comfortable, convenient everyday experience.