Comfort and efficiency are fundamental when looking to set up a home office in your apartment or townhouse.
To assist you set up your work from home environment, please use the following as a simple yet effective office ergonomics checklist that you can carry out at home, to make sure you’re comfortable, safe and productive.
Posture – Activity – Exercise
Maintain proper posture, paying careful attention to positioning of head, neck/spine, arms/wrists, hips/thighs and feet. Basically, ensure the small of your back is supported, your shoulders relaxed (not slumped, not elevated), and that there is no pressure under your thighs;
Alternate between different postures on a regular basis;
When keyboarding, use minimum force while striking the keys;
Keep a neutral position, where the forearms, wrists and hands are in a straight line;
Avoid awkward reaching for work tools such as telephone, mouse and reference materials;
Avoid resting elbows, forearms or wrists on hard surfaces;
Take frequent mini-breaks throughout the day to give muscles and joints a chance to rest and recover;
Alternate between work activities which use different muscle groups to avoid overuse;
Give eyes a break by closing them momentarily, gazing at a distant object and blinking frequently.
Lighting – Air – Noise
Maintain appropriate light levels for specific tasks. More illumination is usually needed to read a document than a computer screen;
Reduce or eliminate glare by using window shades, dimmers on overhead lighting and anti-glare filters for computers;
Adjust the contrast and brightness on your computer screen to a comfortable level;
Clean the computer screen and other surfaces regularly;
Reduce the number of dust collecting items like papers and files on your desk;
Maintain a comfortable temperature by using layers of clothing or a portable fan or heater;
Identify distracting noises and try headphones, ear plugs, soft music or a quiet fan to reduce or mask the noise.
Work Style – Organisation – Breaks
Reduce stress by planning ahead and setting realistic expectations for what you can accomplish during the workday;
Organise your workload to help even out busy and slow times, to avoid feeling “swamped”;
Vary tasks to make the day more interesting;
Avoid long periods of repetitive activity. For example, alternate computer work with other tasks like phone calls;
Organise equipment, supplies and furniture in the most efficient arrangement for daily tasks;
Acknowledge ideas and accomplishments of co-workers on a regular basis;
Develop stress reduction and relaxation techniques which work for you at the office and at home;
Take mini-breaks that re-energise, invigorate and refresh.
Disclaimer: This article provides general advice only and does not take into account individual circumstances.
Smarter Communities has taken all reasonable care to ensure the information in this publication is accurate as at the date of publication. The information provided in this publication is general only and is not legal, financial or personal advice, and may be the opinion of the author. If further information is required, an appropriately qualified professional should be consulted. Smarter Communities accepts no responsibility for the consequences of error or for any loss or damage suffered by readers of any of the information contained.