Working from our home office has an added level of comfort, therefore, it’s easy to assume that there’s no risk of a work-related injury. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. The chances of carpal tunnel or other MSDs are the same if you have poor posture – whether you’re working in a traditional office or a home office. In this article, we have made a list of 5 must-have furniture and gadgets that can help you work comfortably.
#1 A comfortable chair
Need to respond to a few emails and want to do it from the couch? Go right ahead. Planning on spending your entire 8-hour workday there? It’s definitely not recommended. Here’s why: Working from the couch may be convenient but can lead to poor posture, slouching and ultimately, back pain. For this reason, experts suggest opting to work from an office chair. Office chairs are designed for 8+ hours of work and support the back, arms and legs, making your workday more stress-free and productive.
We’re all built differently; therefore, it is essential to know all about office chairs and their functions before investing in one. If you are in the market for a comfortable chair, the main specifications to look for are lumbar support, adjustable seat height and depth, armrests, cushions and movement options.
Our top pick: The Q-Connect Mesh Chair
#2 An Adjustable desk
If you’re going to be working from home for a while longer, investing in an adjustable sit-stand desk is a great option. Unlike a standard work desk, a standing desk encourages the body to move. This is extremely important if your lifestyle has become sedentary over the past year. A sit-stand desk is known to increase blood flow, heighten metabolism, improve posture and even burn calories!
Our top pick: Leap Sit-Stand Desk
#3 Laptop Stand
Laptops have entirely changed how we work by giving us the freedom to complete tasks from any geographical location. However, laptops do come with additional risks. The screen of your laptop is naturally much lower than a traditional monitor. Therefore, you might be finding yourself looking down to see the screen. The weight of your head hanging forward for a long time can cause aches, pains and even long-term injuries. To avoid this, use a laptop riser or a laptop stand. This stand allows you to adjust the top of the screen to eye level, making it a safe and ergonomically sound experience.
Our top pick: The Kensington SmartFit Height Adjustable Laptop Riser
#4 Keyboard, Mouse and a Wrist Rest
Once you’ve propped your laptop onto the stand, it’s time to think about the other three essentials that go with it: Keyboard, Mouse and a Wrist Rest. A screen should always be placed about 40cm away from you to reduce eye strain and improve posture. An extended keyboard and mouse allows you to maintain this necessary distance. These essentials will not only alleviate typing-related ailments like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but also make typing and using your laptop easier.
Ergonomics experts and OSHA agree that you should keep your wrists in a neutral position while using a mouse. Therefore make sure to use a wrist rest that is ergonomically designed. If you’re left-handed, we have a special category full of products keeping your need in mind, so make sure to check it out.
Most of us who work from home know that hearing what others are saying and making ourselves heard clearly are the two biggest challenges of virtual collaboration. And while remote working gives us the flexibility to pump up the volume on our speakers, a good headphone set is still the best piece of tech to own. They are perfect for tuning out distractions that come from your home or even the intruding sounds that originate outside. A good headphone or headset will dramatically reduce ambient noise in your home office and is well-suited for work calls since the mics can isolate your voice from background noises. They are also great if you want to listen to some tunes or even delve into your favourite podcast!
Our top pick: The Jabra Evolve 40
ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES PROTECTED?
The HSE states that “The responsibility for health and safety at work rests with the employer whether or not that work is being done at the worker’s home”. We have partnered with Expert Physiotherapists at Spectrum Optimise to conduct home office assessments for your whole organisation. The consultation will address common issues to look out for and recurring trends that need to be addressed. Book a consultation with our ergonomics experts here!