Have you been fortunate enough to retain your office job by working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you may have set up a temporary home office on your kitchen bench or coffee table?
Working from home may become a more permanent fixture in the future due to health concerns and the fact that many businesses may have found financial benefits and improvements in productivity from the work from home structure.
Many studies have uncovered some significant benefits for businesses allowing more flexibility for their employees' work locations, including:
- Less commute fatigue
- Significantly reduced overheads
- Increased productivity
- Improved employee retention
- Reduced salaries
One study even concluded that employees with more flexible working arrangements could provide the equivalent of up to 1.4 extra days of productivity per week than their peers working under traditional structures.
OH&S specialists have cited musculoskeletal disorders, and injuries incurred by inadequate ergonomic office equipment represent more than 34% of all work-related issues per year. This can cost the business world up to $15-$20 billion per annum in work cover claims and loss of productivity.
These distressing figures have prompted companies to spend millions each year on ergonomic chairs and office desks to try and offset common workplace health complaints like:
- Back injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sprains and strains
There is also a slew of other complex health conditions that have been linked to sitting in static positions for long periods, including obesity. This concerning data has encouraged companies to spend millions each year on ergonomic office chairs and office furniture to offset these OH&S risks.
Current data suggests that up to 30-50% of the workforce could be working from home post the COVID-19 pandemic. So on whose shoulders will this responsibility now fall? The odds are, it will be on the employees, so once it is time to pack up your dining table office and action a more permanent solution, how will you set up your ergonomic home office?
Prolonged periods of sitting can place heavy demands on your body, posing a significant risk even if you exercise regularly. Your office set up is critical in negating these risks, and successful adjustment of your workstation can avoid many of these health concerns.
Here at ChairMATES, we care about your comfort and health. Read on to get some expert advice on how to set up your new ergonomic home office for the post-COVID-19 workforce.
Buying an ergonomic office chair could be the most important purchase you will make for your home office. An ergonomic office chair will be the primary support for your whole body, and it's worth seeking out professional advice on the best kind of chair for your unique needs.
Even after you find your perfect chair, there will be other habits you should consider developing to minimise your chance of developing health complaints:
- Feet need to be flat on the floor or supported by a footrest
- Correctly adjust your lumbar support for your lower back curve
- Your low to mid-spine needs full support in a natural 'S' shape
- Shoulders should be relaxed, elbows bent and forearms supported on the desk
- Legs must be supported by the pan of the chair, with a 2-4cm gap between the knees and the front of the chair
- Shoulders must be positioned slightly behind your hips with your knees level to your hips
- Your ergonomic chair should be pulled in close to the desk to ensure minimal reaching is required
The team here at ChairMATES only sell quality chairs to our mates, and that's you! We can help you choose the ultimate ergonomic chair for your exciting new home office.
Keyboard and mouse
The distance between your mouse, keyboard and desk edge should provide enough space to support your forearms on the work surface.
- Keep the keyboard flat (legs down)
- Keep your hands and risks in a neutral position
- Try to learn to not look down at the keyboard when typing
Using a keyboard without looking down may take some practice, but it will be worth it for your neck down the line.
The importance of a monitor's position is often overlooked. Some things to consider when setting your monitor up include:
- Place the screen at least arm's length away
- Minimise your screen's glare
- Your neck should be in a neutral position
- When using multiple screens, keep your primary screen central
If you wear bifocal glasses, you may need to have your screen lower to avoid neck extension. Glare can be further avoided by using blue light filtering glasses or screen filters.
Remember, out of all of your office furniture; your chair will be where you spend the majority of your post-COVID-19 workday. The friendly team of experts here at ChairMATES are your mates, and mates know it's better to buy quality ergonomic chairs.
We supply a wide range of comfortable office chairs, chairs for bad backs, and a variety of other office furniture at mates rates. Contact us today to learn more about our industry-leading range of products, and help you create your dream home work station.