When it comes to the home office workstation location and set up, we need to get creative with our use of space and how we are going to work for the longer term. In the image below you will see one of our clients who has set their home office workstation up in a room that was previously one of their children’s bedrooms. The 3 year old child has now been relocated to share a bedroom with their older brother who is 5 (which they are very much enjoying) and this means we have a spare bedroom that has been set up as both a working from home space, but also a clear space where one can move and exercise inside for health and wellbeing.
If we take a look at the home office set up, we have a small desk, ergonomic task chair, primary and secondary monitor with keyboard and mouse. The biggest challenge with this workstation is that the desk is small in size, there is limited forearm space for upper limb support when typing and using the mouse, as well as the desk drawer which will result in some form of compromised position (worker having to lower the chair to get under it), resulting in perhaps further upper limb tension when using the keyboard and mouse. Some suggestions to improve ones health and wellbeing with working from home have been:
- Place the laptop on an ironing board at a suitable height to allow for standing based tasks. Note, we are now asking the worker to flex their neck awkwardly to view the laptop screen, so we need to keep this to short blocks of time i.e. 15 – 20 minutes every couple of hours.
- When taking phone calls, put the headsets into the iphone and walk around or stand and talk
- When on webinars or teleconference, place the laptop on a higher bench or ironing board table and stand. Step away from the laptop and raise the volume on the laptop.
- The worker will take a 10-15 minute break every 2 hours of work and either stretch or move. They plan to implement 30 minutes of structured exercise into their daily routine to keep the body moving and freshen up the mind.
- This particular worker also has two children (3 and 5) and a partner who is currently working part time from home). They are currently in the process of scheduling their day into blocks of time so that each of them can conduct work uninterrupted whilst the other partner looks after their child. Both workers have also planned to either get up earlier in the AM or stay up a bit later at night to ensure work tasks can be completed with less interruption.
So you can see we have used a variety of strategies to assist the worker in terms of how they can optimise their working from home set up and overall health and wellbeing.
If your team is currently now working from home and you would like to educate your team on best practice and how to optimise their set up, touch base with us at Corporate Work Health Australia and we can discuss how we can help you.