5 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy and Productive when Working from Home
Because of the pandemic many people are now being asked to work from home during the crisis. Some may be accustomed to working from home and have an equipped home office, but many have never worked from home before and lack a proper space or setup to work in comfort for long periods of time.
While a lot of people have a home computer or laptop they can work from for a short time, not everyone has a good, productive setup for spending an entire workday at home.
Hunching over a laptop at the kitchen counter or on the dining table may be ok for an hour or two, but not all day. It may sound like fun to work from the comfort of your bed or couch with your laptop, but doing so can lead to back and neck pain which can kill productivity.
How can a new home worker stay healthy and productive?
Here are 5 ways to stay productive during your work at home experience:
1. Carve out a dedicated work space
If you don’t have a home office consider picking a spot with a work surface that is 27” to 29” high which is an ideal height to prevent annoying shoulder and neck discomfort when using your computer. You should also consider a quiet area where you will not be disturbed and can concentrate.
2. Find or buy a good chair
It would be ideal if you had a good adjustable, ergonomic chair, that adjusts to your body, and gives support everywhere needed. But if not, take stock of the existing chairs in your kitchen, dining room, or living room.
Try to find one that gives you back support allowing you to sit upright with a straight back. Make sure the chair height allows your elbows to be even with the work surface height. You don’t want to be reaching up or down to your keyboard and want to have straight wrists.
It is good to have lumbar support in a chair and a straight backed chair will not have that. You can supplement your chair with a folded or rolled up hand towel placed behind your back and wedged against the chair.
This crisis may lead to working from home more often for more people which can be a good thing. If that happens talk to your employer about buying you a proper ergonomic chair.
3. Elevate your laptop or desktop monitor
The 27” to 29” work surface height is good for your arms, wrists, and shoulders, but just placing a laptop or monitor on this surface is a problem. Your monitor will be too low forcing you to look down and will increase the strain on your neck.
A temporary solution is to raise your monitor on a stack of books or box, and then install an external mouse and keyboard. The top of the monitor should be at your eye level. There are also low cost angled laptop trays that will do this for you as well. Also consider a low cost Monitor Stand or Monitor Arm that can easily raise your monitor and give you increased adjustment in height and angle.
4. Keep Moving
Be sure to take breaks every 30 to 60 minutes to walk around or stretch. If your work setup is less than ideal more movement may be better. You can also stand or walk while on phone calls to increase your movement.
5. Consider a Standing Desk
Now is a very good time to investigate options for purchasing a Sit Stand Desk for home just like you may already have at the office. Including all the ergonomic accessories such as monitor arms, anti-fatigue floor mats, keyboard trays, standing desk stools, and so forth.
You can make a good case to your employer that this will lead to increased focus and productivity. In a study of call center employees, those that had a sit-stand desk were about 45% more productive on a daily basis. Studies have also shown that by standing you burn 20 more calories per hour, and improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
If you are considering a Standing Desk purchase there are many options, sizes, and colors to accomodate your needs. There are Compact Standing Desk Converters you can place on top of an existing desk that have a very small footprint. If you have a bigger budget and room there are numerous options in larger stand-alone Standing Desks.
There are also numerous ways in the way sit-stand desks adjust in height. The pricier models are electric and adjust in height at the press of a button and have memory presets. There are also options for crank adjustable, and pneumatic sit stand desks that you manually adjust.
Standing Desks provide an easy way to alternate between sitting and standing throughout your day in a much more ergonomic way. You can dial in the ideal sitting height, and also the ideal standing height.
Many standing desk converters have a built in keyboard shelf that you can align with your arms, and a higher shelf for your monitor. You can also adjust the height, orientation and angle of your monitor with add-on monitor arms or monitor stands, or accommodate multiple monitors.
Working from home can be lonely and isolating, especially if you are used to being in a busy office with many employees. Keep in touch with your colleagues via video or phone, and get outside to enjoy the sun and breeze when you can to reinvigorate yourself.
If you need help in selecting a standing desk or any of the accessories Ergo Standing Desks will be happy to assist you.