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Engage Workplace - Working from home ideas & tips

Top Ergonomic Tips for Working from Home

While England will no longer be in lockdown from 2 December, the Prime Minister is urging people to continue working from home if they can do so, as England will return to a three-tier system that will last until the end of March.

But what’s the price that employees are paying – and how can Engage Workplace help to make things better?

In a survey we conducted recently, 49% of people that responded have experienced an increase in aches and pains since they began working from home. 13% of them are suffering with more headaches, 9% with pains and strain in their shoulder and 13% with general aches in their back. We thought that simple tips on desk ergonomics would help you to check whether you are getting it right.

The dictionary definition of the word ‘ergonomics’ is: “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.”

Someone that is working from home wants to work both ‘efficiently and safely’ – so having an ergonomically optimised work space definitely helps. But this is unlikely to occur if the place of work is the bed, the sofa, a corner in the guest room that will ‘make do’ or even (as per one of those respondents in our survey said) ‘the floor’!

They say that the best ergonomic position is the next one! This is very true as movement is indeed the best solution to help avoid other conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Repetitive Strain Injury (now termed as Upper Limb Disorders).

Engage Workplace are keen to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace – be that in the office or at home, from ergonomics to acoustics or lighting to air purification. Our objective is to help you to be more comfortable in your workplace ensuring your posture, your health and wellbeing are not negatively impacting on your tasks, or the other way round!

Here are a few tips for small changes that can have a big impact:

  • Make sure you have enough work space to take whatever documents or other equipment you need – clear the clutter!
  • Make sure there is space under your desk to move your legs freely. Move any obstacles such as boxes, bags or equipment.
  • Position the mouse within easy reach, so it can be used with the wrist straight. Sit upright and close to the desk, so you don’t have to work with your mouse arm stretched. Move the keyboard out of the way if it is not being used.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast controls on the screen to suit lighting conditions in the room and make sure the screen surface is clean.
  • Don’t sit in the same position for long periods. Make sure you change your posture as often as practicable. Some movement is desirable, but avoid repeated stretching to reach things you need (if this happens a lot, rearrange your workstation). Interestingly 5% of people in our survey said they had LESS aches and pains working from home and attributed this to the fact that they were more likely to exercise and stretch during the day. Some would even run or walk the dog during their lunch break.

We hope that you have found these tips useful, please adopt as many of these points as you can.
Please download our Work from Home Brochure here

For the CIEHF tips on getting the correct desk positioning, Download here

Please contact us on info@engageworkplace.co.uk for further information.