Well, it looks like we’ll be working from home for a while longer. Remote working has become a global reality pretty much overnight. As much as we enjoy seeing everybody’s creativity when it comes to home office desk setups, you may be thinking it’s time to rethink the propped up ironing board/laptop on your belly/kitchen table homeworking scenes. So we’re here to give you some homeworking setup advice…
Herman Miller has been conducting research for over 50 years on people and ergonomics. We use this research to advise ergonomic ways to work at your laptop or computer to prevent long term injuries and increased productivity.
Preferably, try to use a chair with arms. Even better if the arm height can be adjusted. It is important your wrists, forearms and elbows are supported at a straight angle with elbows at 90 degrees to reduce any strain.
Set the height of your chair so that your knees are at 90 degrees with thighs parallel to the floor. If your table cannot be adjusted and is too high for your arms to be positioned as explained above, try using a footrest or stack books under your feet so both your knees and elbows can be at an angle of 90 degrees.
You should have your back against the backrest of your chair. The moment you shuffle forward, your back is not supported and may lead to back pains.
Also check the depth of your seat. The seat should not be digging into the back of your knees or it will reduce your circulation; leading to drowsiness. Ideally, you should be able to fit 2 or 3 fingers between the backs of your knees and the front of the seat.
As mentioned above, your work top should allow your elbows and your knees to sit at a 90 degree angle. If you have a height adjustable desk, you can easily adjust this. If not, you can use a footrest or try stacking books under your feet if your desk seems too high.
Once you have set up your seated desk position, you should think about regular movement. We were not built to sit at a desk for long periods of time. Try to remember (or set a timer) to move between sitting and standing at your workstation. There are different guidelines on this time but try to work for about one hour for every one to two that you sit to work. If you don’t have the luxury of a standing desk, you may have to rely on your creativity but it is better to sit in a variety of imperfect positions than to stay glued in one!
If possible, try to set your workspace up near some natural light. It is not good for your mental health or productivity to sit under artificial lights all day.
With ergonomics in mind, the Lolly light’s head has been designed to tilt just below eye level, reducing glare and reducing eye strain for people working away from natural light or on detailed work. It is lightweight so you can move it easily around your worksurface to focus the light where you need it. It also has charging points, reducing the need for power points and clutter on your desk!
To avoid moving out of the supported positions explained above, it is important the tools you use are within reach so you do not strain yourself. Your keyboard and mouse should be within reach. If not, you can use a keyboard tray to bring them closer to your arms’ natural resting position. Alternatively, you can get a wireless keyboard and mouse – perfect for this agile world we are living in. Try logitech.
The top of your screen should be at eye level. It should also be at full arm’s reach. This will avoid straining your neck and eyes. It will also ensure you don’t lean forward if you cannot see clearly, so you lose contact with the back support of your seat.
If you use more than one monitor, have a primary monitor which is set up as explained; then align the top of the other monitors with your primary screen.
If you are using a laptop only, try a laptop stand. Or grab a stack of books and put them below your laptop until the top of the screen is at eye level!
As you try to navigate how best to get your employees back to work safely and comfortably; whether this means back to the office or working from home (or both!), we want to help. We’re all going through the learning curves together and we hope this homeworking setup advice is useful to all those home workers! We will help guide you as a company and as individuals as best as possible as we continually learn from our clients, colleagues and indeed ourselves!