The ever-increasing advancement in mobile technology makes it easier to take work home with us every day. This flexibility provides us with several benefits, but it doesn’t come without added risks. Most of us don’t have dedicated home office space and end up working at the dining room table or on our laps in the living room. These improvised workstations can cause aches and pains. Here are some tips to improve your comfort when working from home.
- Set limits. The research is clear: the longer we work, the less efficient and creative we are. Determine the specific tasks you want to accomplish and limit yourself to those activities. Time management is even more important when working from home.
- Don’t shoulder the burden. Be careful of how much material you bring home each evening. Excess weight can strain your back and arms. Be realistic about the work you will accomplish and limit yourself to the necessary materials. Using a rolling bag or a backpack with both shoulders, to support the load, may be useful if you routinely work from home in the evenings.
- Separate the input and display. Using laptops, tablets, and smartphones can cause awkward postures because the input and display are physically linked. If you are using a laptop or tablet to work from home, consider adding a separate keyboard and mouse. The visual demands for the eyes and the tactile demands for the hands require two different working positions. Place your laptop on a couple of books, or your tablet on a stand, and add separate input devices.
- Pad your chair. Most kitchen and dining room chairs are not designed for prolonged sitting. Seating pads are readily available through many online and box store sources. This minor change can significantly increase comfort in your home workspace.
- Avoid the temptation to multitask. Multitasking effectively is challenging due to the limited ability to co-process information. Set up your work-from-home environment to finish your work as promptly as possible.