Working from home is an awesome option. Every worker in the world does not have
such an option. If you do, count yourself lucky.
However, at home office, I find that it's easy for you to become your own worst enemy. Because when you're not surrounded by usual office atmosphere, you're free to drop those pesky inhibitions. At the home office, no one's watching. You don't necessarily feel the need of communal obligation that will normally enforce certain work place routines.
There are many positives among them could be one can work in comfortable clothing, no driving and if no video meetings, work from couch :-).
Working from home means options to use different locations in the house.(kitchen, bedroom, dinning room, patio, sofa etc). There can be a risk of many many varieties of awkward postures.
However, in short term you may not feel a great discomfort or pain, but remember it is cumulative and builds up in no time. Don't let it develop to the point of no return, that is to develop a full blown medical condition.
It is possible to achieve better working conditions, positions, postures, modifications of existing furniture, cultivating certain habits to work in comfort and reduce your chances for developing pain and discomfort while working from home.(https://www.bodydynamics.in/book-online).
We will explore simple very basic ergonomics for home (ergo.= In simple words Ergonomics is interaction between you and your environment) hacks for home office on a regular basis. Using science of Ergonomics you can work in comfort and reduce stresses and strain on your body.
Ergo. Hack #1:
Have a designated place and discipline to work from this designated place.
Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch -- spaces that are associated with leisure time -- dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
Ergo. Hack #2:
What is your sitting surface?
Bar stool, kitchen chair, dinning chair, folding chair, some low cost swivel chair, or a decent office chair ?
What surface you are using to sit matters, does it have height adjustability? If so, get your feet on ground in sitting. Don't let it dangle. Some solutions could be boxes, bathroom stools or one get invest in a decent foot rest.
Do ensure hips are closer to the back rest of chair and lower back supported. if not, there are again many many solutions are available on individual scenarios
Ergo. Hack #3:
What is your keyboard and mouse working surface?
Quite often laptop is the most popular device to work, if you are using laptop keyboard and mouse without any modifications, it would lead to strain in some or other areas in the body.
Keyboard and mouse should be next to each other, Get external keybaord and mouse, position it so that shoulder's are relaxed, elbows by side, forearms parallel and wrist straight (easier said than done ... this is often a challenging situation to get surface height to correct level to use keybaord and mouse). There are many solutions available and needs to be looked at from individual scenario.
Ergo. Hack #4:
Where is your monitor screen/laptop screen?
Ideally it should be at least arm's length away, at eye level, again with only laptop, this is hard to achieve. Solutions can be laptop stand, external keyboard and mouse.
Or if you have PC screen, lifting it on a box of certain height at eye level
Ergo. Hack #5:
How much time do you work in same position? This can easily be a greater risk if you are caught up in long sessions, discussions or online meetings.
Simplest option is to do opposite movement of what you been doing in last 20-25 min. follow simple 20-20-20 ( Every 20 min. 20 sec. long break, look 20 feet away) routine.
Happy Working from home!
Would like to hear your experiences about working from home.
OTR CEAS AOEAS.