Are there any ergonomic considerations for height adjustable gaming desks?
Working from home certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, but the pandemic made it a requirement that has been hard to give up since lockdowns ended. An increasing number of employers have realised that they can scale down their large office premises and enable staff to work from home. And for staff, there’s the ability to better balance work life and personal responsibilities, without the commute consuming hours of our days.
But for employees, while remote working offers many benefits, it does require them to make changes to their work environment in order to work comfortably and efficiently. A make-shift desk that may have been good enough in the pandemic won’t cut it for long-term use. So, here are some tips for creating a home office that’s fit for purpose, from choosing the right equipment and office furniture to knowing how to minimise distractions and choose colours that evoke the right ambiance.
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Pick the right location
When it comes to creating a workspace at home, location matters. A dedicated workspace will create separation between your work and home life, which is vital for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. You want to choose an area of your home that’s quiet, away from distractions and which will have sufficient space for your desk, chair and any other equipment or office furniture that you need to complete your work.
When you’re creating the perfect home office layout, you need to choose an area that’s well-lit and ideally will be located next to a window for plenty of natural light. It also needs to have a good internet connection and phone signal so you can work well and communicate with your colleagues when necessary.
Buy furniture that works for your needs
Once you have chosen the right location, the next step is to choose the right furniture. The furniture should be ergonomic, comfortable and promote good posture. An adjustable chair with lumbar support is important to prevent back pain and neck strain, while a height-adjustable desk will also help to promote good posture and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
A comfortable environment can quickly reduce stress and improves your productivity, so you need to pay attention to the furniture and décor you have in your space to create a home office layout you’re happy with and that works for you and your requirements. If you find yourself dealing with a lot of documents and clutter, for example, investing in a filing cabinet to keep those documents secure but off your desk can be a great decision.
Invest in the right equipment
Equipment is integral in knowing how to set up a home office that’s productive and efficient. A reliable computer or laptop is essential for remote work, so if your IT equipment is dated and slow, it might be time to upgrade so you can complete your work more efficiently without lagging.
A high-quality webcam and microphone are also important for virtual meetings and presentations. You might also benefit from a good pair of headphones that can help to block out distractions and improve concentration. It can also be useful to have a backup power supply in case of a power outage.
A standing desk can be a good option for those who prefer to stand while working, giving you the option to change up your workspace throughout the day. It makes your home office more dynamic and is an effective way to minimise fatigue, prevent discomfort in your back, neck and joints, and can even improve productivity. Just make sure to invest in an anti-fatigue mat for your feet and a chair that can easily be moved out of the way so that both sitting and standing are easy positions to adopt and won’t put pressure on your joints or back.
Create an ergonomic set-up
Ergonomics are essential to prevent pain and discomfort when you’re working from your desk. They’re not a luxury and they’re certainly not something you want to ignore when you’re setting up your home office because you’ll be spending a large amount of time there. To improve your wellbeing, prevent back and neck pain, and improve your productivity, pay attention to how your desk and monitor are set up. It will make your work life far more comfortable and enables you to focus on the job at hand.
Firstly, you want to be sure you’re working at the right height. This will naturally vary from person to person, but industry standards state that you want the top of your work surface to be 29 inches from the floor. If you’re taller or shorter than average, you may need to adjust your desk to accommodate this so you’re able to work comfortably.
A height adjustable desk makes this process very easy and enables you to move between sitting and standing during the day to keep your body active. You’ll know if your work surface is at the right height if when you sit up straight, your forearms are parallel to the ground, and you don’t need to bend your wrist up or down to use your mouse or type.
When it comes to your monitor, you should have the same set-up as you would in a corporate office, which means choosing a larger screen if space and budget allows, such as a 25 to 27-inch monitor, and avoid the cheapest on the market as these typically have a lower resolution which can lead to eye strain. This monitor should line up with your eyes, so that when you look straight ahead, your eyes are between 25 and 35% below the top of the screen.
This ensures your shoulders are kept level and you’re not hunching over to see the monitor. If you’re struggling to set the monitor to this height, you can invest in a riser which not only makes it easier to adjust the height of the screen but also gives you handy shelving for your desk.
Pick the right colours
Colours make all the difference to how your office feels. In fact, it can have a psychological impact on you and can spell the difference between a productive day at work and a day where every task feels like a struggle, and you feel lethargic and fatigued. Colours elicit different responses from different people, so choose the colours of your office carefully based on what works for you.
Light and airy colours are the preferred choice for a home office because they’re calming and fresh, and they reflect light well which keeps your office bright. Blues, greens and earthy tones are all great for an office if you want to evoke a feeling of efficiency and calm, while yellows and oranges are zesty and inspire productivity and energy. Alternatively, you may want to go bright and light with white walls and add pops of colour in with décor items and rugs.
Add a personal touch
One of the main benefits of working from home is that you have complete control over the way your office looks, without the constraints of the company looming over you. Making your office design your own will inspire you to get to work every day and will boost productivity. So, find personal items that will inspire you and motivate you when you’re at work, from photos and artwork you love to décor items that add personality to your office.
From kids and pets to your partner and friends, photos of the people in your life that make you happy are always a welcome addition to a home office and they make your workspace feel more inviting and warmer. Likewise, a painting or art print that brings you joy can work double duty by not only making your office feel more personal to you and your interests but also bringing colour into the space.
Maximise air quality
Plants are more than just a decorative item in a home office. There are science-backed benefits to indoor plants that help to enrich your office space and increase productivity. Including a variety of plants in the room will help to reduce stress and create a tranquil environment which is precisely what you want from your workspace. But they also help to purify the air and remove toxins from your office which is important when you’re spending day after day in the same room.
Modern homes are tightly sealed, which means that fresh air rarely has the chance to circulate. This results in stagnant air in the home and increases air pollutants, as there’s nowhere for them to go. Make sure that you open the windows for at least 10 minutes every day to bring fresh air in, and keep the room at a comfortable temperature of around 18oC, as this will prevent high humidity and reduce the risk of mould developing.
Cords quickly become a tangled mess and they can be a pain to sort out later on when you need to replace an item of tech or access the plugs, so opt for wireless technology where possible. This not only reduces the ugly wires behind your desk but also removes the risk of you tripping over them. Wireless printers, scanners, keyboards and mice are all great options that are just as efficient without the cords. However, if you need to use tech with cords, you can still keep them tucked away with PVC piping, zip ties or Velcro so they’re organised and out of sight.
Creating home office designs is often about making the most of the space you have available. Your home wasn’t designed to be used as an office in the same way that commercial spaces often are, so you’re not going to have a dedicated area to use as a workspace. The result of this is that you might be faced with distractions throughout your workday, so finding clever ways to minimise these so you can focus on work is the key to a comfortable and productive home office.
Noise-cancelling headphones are a must, but you might also benefit from a physical partition screen between your desk and the rest of the room which can be helpful in not only minimising noise but also block out visual distractions too.
When working from home, it can be challenging to separate work and home life. In fact, it’s one of the biggest hurdles that people have when they start working from home on a regular basis. It is important to establish boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This can be achieved by setting specific work hours and sticking to them and making sure that anyone else in the property during your work hours knows that that time is set aside for work only. If you’re lucky enough to have a separate room you can use as an office, putting a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door when you need to focus will send the message to anyone looking to come in.
You don’t want to be distracted by doing the laundry or sorting lunch out for your kids because it takes you out of a work mindset, which can be hard to get back into. But it is also important to take regular breaks throughout the day to prevent burnout. Set yourself an alarm or use a digital Pomodoro timer to remind you when it’s time to do some stretches, take a walk or grab a glass of water.
Creating a home office requires careful consideration of several key factors. Choosing the right location, furniture, equipment and minimising distractions are all important components of a productive workspace. A comfortable environment, established boundaries and prioritising health and wellbeing are also crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance when remote working. By following these tips, you can create the perfect home working environment and maximise your productivity.