Work from Home No-No’s

It is becoming apparent the significant number of ergonomic struggles associated with working remotely. As people post their set-ups on social media or tell stories of their days, office furniture experts are becoming concerned with the little attention to health and natural working positions (and the long-term effects associated with ignoring them).

When working from home, ergonomics shouldn’t go out the window. In fact, it becomes your responsibility to dedicate a healthy work environment that is beneficial to your body and your productivity.

Keep reading for some major WFH “no-no’s” so you can check yourself and your distanced employees.


The Dining Room Table

The dining table functioned as many people’s makeshift office when they were quickly thrown into working from home. However, it is vital that this doesn’t become a long-term option. Make sure that you and your team are actively working on creating spaces away from the kitchen, better suited for and dedicated to work.

The dining room table has a few flaws. Not only is it likely in an area of many distractions, but it isn’t ergonomically sound. First, the table and chairs can’t be adjusted. In most situations, the table is set at an ideal height for eating but too high for hours of working. You don’t want your forearms resting on the edge of the table where added pressure is applied.

And second, dining room chairs typically don’t have the right curves for your back. Sitting perfectly straight can get uncomfortable and arching forward definitely isn’t any better. The right office chair should support your lower and upper back as you lean into it, allowing you to rest your back in a natural position. According to SPINE-health, it should also include various features such as arm rests and the ability to swivel, as well as be adjustable.


The Chair and Desk Battle

You have possibly now discovered the importance of a proper desk chair and taken the time to research and invest in one for your workspace. This is a great step! However, experts are seeing that many people aren’t necessarily thinking about the chair in relation to their desks.

No matter the impressive ergonomics of your chair, if it is too high for your worksurface, you’ll still experience awkward body positions and likely some aches and pains. Pictures have surfaced of employees sitting in their nice chairs hunched over to reach their lower desks. This is a major “no-no” and can easily be solved with an upgrade.


The Laptop

Laptops are a common piece of technology used in remote working – provided by many employers, easily transported, and a cheaper option than investing in large monitors. However, laptops are not exactly ergonomically friendly.

The screen you are looking at should be about eye level so that you aren’t tilting your head and throwing your spine out of line. This means that a laptop stand for your desk might be crucial to lift everything to the right height.

In addition, laptops put a significant amount of strain on your wrists with the often-smaller keyboard and mouse pad. Investing in a separate keyboard and mouse is key to preventing carpal tunnel and other wrist injuries.


Working in Your Comfort Spaces

Dedicate a “work zone”! It can be harmful to work from the areas that your body recognizes as spaces to relax, such as your bed or the couch. It isn’t good for productivity when trying to accomplish work tasks, and it will also make it harder for you to turn off work mode in those areas in the evening or when you are trying to sleep.

Studies show that your brain makes connections between locations or rooms and the activities that is done in those spaces. To ensure quality work, quality relaxation, and quality sleep, dedicate different areas in your home. If you value a work-life balance and separation, this helps you walk away from work and create healthier habits.


Not Moving

Getting caught up in work is easy. People often find themselves in a position on the couch or at their desks for long periods of time. If getting too comfortable or busy on your computer is something you catch yourself doing, it might not be a bad idea to set reminders to stand up and move.

No matter where you decide to work within your house, sedentary behavior is not conducive to good health.


Listen to your body. Slight pains or aches are indicators that your body isn’t in a neutral and comfortable position. This might mean it is time to simply take a 5-minute break to walk around and enjoy some movement or that you need to change some things in your workspace setup.

Long-term health isn’t something to take lightly. Whether you are using a small desk in a corner of a room or have a large home office, you can still ensure ergonomics are playing a key role.

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