Working from home is great. The reduced time in the office and cutting out arduous commutes are reason enough to make the switch. Your personal items and the comforts of home are easily accessible. Managing employees, contacting potential clients, grabbing a quick grilled cheese sandwich, and taking immediate control of projects are all possible in your own space.
This ability to increase productivity still comes with hours of effort and physical strain, however. And sometimes a mind pressed by stress, too. Much of this can be heavily influenced by your workspace. But through being mindful ergonomics, you not only create a stronger rhythm for your workflow, you also reduce stress and strain on your body.
Ergonomics is an often overlooked attribute of a personal workspace. But it has become more critical as more people work from home. In this article, I will suggest some of the most essential tools you can use in any business, with suggestions and resources to better help you understand what’s available and choose what would give the most value to your work environment.
I’ve listed some of the most common and practical items for outfitting your workspace with an eye for ergonomics. I’ve also compiled a few resources to provide a fuller picture of the benefits of ergonomics for remote businesses.
Noise cancelling earphones
These really come in handy. And you don’t even need to have any sound coming through, as they are great as just earplugs.
- Music Authority — Here’s a great buying guide, that covers the best choices from low cost to mid-range.
Often overlooked, floor padding helps with maintaining posture and allows you to spring up easier. It makes for quicker movement with less strain. Foam padding can absorb weight when leaning forward in a chair, and gives an overall supported sensation.
A desk can come in a variety of styles, the most important being, what fits well with your seating and overall space. You will want your workspace to align well with your choice of seating as this affects your back, shoulders, neck, and even your abdomen. Factors to consider include standing or sitting, desk height, and rounded or flat edges.
A few resources you might want to browse for finding a quality, ergonomic desk include:
- Ergo-Plus: An in-depth overview of personal use business desks.
- Biomorph Desk: This site features some of the greatest desk designs you can get, at a reasonable cost
- Highground Gaming: The desks on this list are certainly not just for gaming. The principles these desks are build on include ergonomics, comfort, and practical designs for living spaces.
If you intend to do spend any extended time in a workspace, a proper chair must align well with your choice desk, particularly when using a keyboard or mouse. Regardless of style, you need your arms to be rested and bent when sitting in your preferred manner. It should include lumbar support and should be height adjustable. This is, of course, to reduce wrist strain.
- Worksite International: This article covers the topic of armrests and whether or not your chair should have them.
- Omnicore Agency: This article covers the most popular office chairs of 2018, which acts as a great starting point for your research.
- Highground Gaming: Best PC Gaming Chairs: Again with the gaming stuff. One thing to remember, these are designed for extended hours of use and they also don’t tend to carry the price tag of a “professional office chair.” Just something to consider if you’re on a budget.
Also, for ergonomic bedding that is both comfortable and will also help you sleep at night, check out the Leggett and Platt S-cape 2.0 adjustable bed for the ultimate in comfort and flexibility.
Your computer’s peripherals need to be ergonomic, too! Let’s break them down.
This essential item should garner a larger portion of your budget as you will use it so extensively. Without it, you can’t get your work done, right? There are numerous designs, however wrist strain should always be considered. Even light use can cause problems with carpal tunnel and so forth. So good wrist support is a must, the pain from carpal tunnel is no joke, and it can cost you financially.
- Ergonomic Trends: This is a great overview of the most popular ergonomic keyboards right now.
- Lifewire: This list includes a wider variety of designs and also has some unique options.
And lastly, we have the mouse. Many users prefer to use the mouse as much as possible. And along with concerns about avoiding carpal tunnel, the mouse should be fitted well to the hand, and able to glide free on either a mouse pad or your workstation’s surface.
- What’s the Difference Between an Ergonomic Mouse and a Normal Computer Mouse?: This is a good little article explaining the differences.
- Top 5 Reasons to Use an Ergonomic Mouse: In case you need any more convincing.
- Ergonomic Trends: This is a great guide that compares the most popular ergonomic mice.
- Monitor Nerds This is a list of excellent professional mice, designed with ergonomics and industry standards in mind.
While the ability to work from anywhere continues to be embraced by more employers, the ergonomics and general comfort of a remote workspace must be prioritized if long-term health is to be maintained. Also consider a time tracker with a mobile option so time can be recorded from absolutely anywhere. Hopefully, these key concepts and resources will help you come to a decision about how to outfit your remote workspace.