One of the best things with a home office is that you can lay it out in the best way possible just the way you would want it to be. This is okay but the most important thing to have in the back of your mind is that probably, you will be spending a lot of time there and this is where we will cut to the chase.
Obviously, if you spend a lot of time here, there is the risk of suffering a bodily injury which is actually inevitable but you can actually help prevent it. This encompasses all that you have in your office including the hardware, desk and chair you opt to use, which might require a makeover for you to be safe in the long run.
I am guessing you found this page because you either recently started working from home, or you have been working from home for a while and wanted to give yourself a better working environment. Either way it doesn’t matter, you are here now.
I personally have been working from home for a while. Sometimes I think it is the greatest thing ever and other times I think I would rather work for the “man”. That being said, I actually prefer working on my own.
As much as it is good, working from home is something you would want to keep doing for the rest of your career, then you need to take care of yourself. What this means is that it is not enough to have a beautiful office back at home but over and above that, you need a comfortable working environment and taking care of your health as you work is vital.
Let’s get to the details of some of the things you should consider when setting up a home office to avoid daily pains of a poorly designed home office.
- The Chair
Many have suggested and you might as well have heard them say that you need to get a specific seat for your office that will save you the long term effect of spending long hours on your desk, while working. This is okay but some of those seats are just really uncomfortable and won’t last that long before they breakdown.
Forget the hullabaloo and check this out. An ideal chair for your home office should have;
- An adjustable seat height – this is essential because in most cases, it is easier to adjust your chair rather than your desk. When adjusted, your arms should be at the height of either the space on which the keyboard lies or that of your desk. You thighs should be parallel to the floor while your feet should lie flat on the same floor.
- Ability to swivel or roll around – do not take the option of having wheels on your chair for granted. They are far more important than you can imagine since they make it easier for you to reach out for things on your desk, without having to strain.
- A comfortable cushion – talk of breathable fabric for your cushion if available and it will just be what you need. To put it plainly; if your seat is hard, you will not enjoy working while seated on it. You need a comfortable chair. So ensure that you get one with some good cushion to sit on.
- Lumbar Support – your spine is at risk of injury as a result of sitting down for long hours while working that is why you need the lumbar support. It supports your lower back by pushing it forward whereas a chair without one keeps your back in a vertical position, which is not good for you.
- Arm rests – these should not be just like any other arm rests on any chair but rather, those that hold your bent elbow at an angle of 90 degrees as your shoulders relax comfortably.
- Adjustable back rest height – other than being able to adjust your back rest up or down, the seat should also be adjustable at angle. Most seats do not have this feature but it is a requirement for every office chair.
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Don’t have the monitor too close to your eyes rather, have it at an arm’s length. For the height, with reference to that part that is just from the monitor casing, you need to have the screen at the level of your eyes. The difficult part in this case is getting rid of the glare of which some monitors tilt, to help you deal with this but some don’t.
If you have one that does not tilt, the best way to handle this would be to position the lighting strategically and you will be just fine.
- Height of your desk
Wherever you go you will find the most common posture while working is while seated and this is good enough, as long as you have observed all the necessary precautions that will help you avoid bodily injury. But come to think of it; ever thought of a standing desk?
Well, this is the in thing and having both the seating and standing desk in your office will help you change from one working positing to the other, which is very healthy and necessary. The only thing you need in this case is two different monitors and a wireless mouse to copy your work from one screen to the other, for the smooth progression of various tasks.
- The Desk
Whether you are using a sitting or standing desk, your bent arms should be at or close to 90 degrees to your desk whilst working. This will avoid straining of the wrist. The other thing you need to check is to ensure that both your keyboard and mouse are as close as possible.
That means that even if you are using a desk with a gliding tray, have the mouse on it and not on the desk itself. Adjusting your seat appropriately in this case will help you find the right posture and this is the other reason why you need to have an adjustable seat.
When you observe all these, you will be able to work comfortably without straining and to add to these, you need to take frequent breaks from your work station. Ever heard of the 20-20-20 rule? Well, this suggests that you need to take a break every 20 minutes, to look away from your screen for 20 seconds, at something that is 20 feet away from you.
More than keeping your eyes from straining, this rule also helps to relax your muscles so you can work better. You want to be in good shape for as long as you will be working in your office at home? Then, there you have it. This is the way to go. I even suggest to get up and walk around a bit. This will greatly reduce fatigue. Well there are four things to keep in mind when planning your own home office.
Please leave any comments questions or concerns that you have below. Thank you for your time!