Whether working from home or company headquarters, follow these tips to set up an ergonomic and comfortable workspace.
Since COVID-19 relegated a large portion of the workforce to home offices last year, the idea of a wholly office-centric business has changed, possibly forever.
As people gradually return to their workplaces, a new PwC global survey has revealed 72 per cent of respondents prefer a mix of offsite and in-person working – and many companies are listening.
Throughout this transition period, Officeworks has been helping businesses prepare for staff coming back to the office, creating productive environments for those returning to onsite working, and offering support for employees setting up workstations at home.
Here are some tips to establish your own ideal workspace, wherever it happens to be.
A safe and comfortable workstation
As liberating as it may feel to settle onto your bed or couch when working at home, the risk of musculoskeletal injury should be sufficient incentive to find a healthier alternative.
In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards standing desks, which deliver all manner of benefits, from improved posture and wellbeing to increased focus and productivity.
Yet standing all day is not always feasible or recommended; one study suggests that the optimal sit-stand ratio lies somewhere between 1:1 and 1:3 – the aim being to stand one to three hours for every hour you spend sitting. The Matrix Sit Stand Large Desk allows you to alternate stances, shifting from sitting to standing at the touch of a button.
During seated periods, you should aim to use an adjustable chair that supports your back – including your lower back curve – and places your elbows at the same height as your work surface, with your feet flat on the floor.
It is also important that your joints are aligned correctly, with your ankles, knees, hips and elbows all at a 90-degree angle. The Haworth Zody Ergonomic Chair features a six-position back stop, seat depth and forward tilt, making it easy to find your perfect configuration.
Arrange your desk ergonomically
You might be accustomed to opening your laptop and getting to work wherever you may be, but there is a lot riding on the location of your computer screen. Neck and shoulder pain – and even eye strain – are potential outcomes of a poorly considered set-up.
Safe Work Australia recommends placing your screen directly in front of you, unless you use two screens, in which case you’ll need to sit in the middle. The top of the screen should be at eye level or just below, with the screen about one arm’s length away from your body.
When working on a laptop, it’s best to use a separate keyboard and mouse, such as the Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo, so that your hands and wrists can lie flat on your desk in a neutral position. The keyboard should be directly in front of you, at least 10 to 15 centimetres away from the edge of the work surface, and parallel to the mouse, so you can keep both arms close to your body.
Safe Work Australia also advocates for headsets to be worn when using the phone, to reduce pain or fatigue caused by holding the handset or cradling it on your shoulder.
Devices such as the Sennheiser PC 7 On-ear Headset not only improve your posture during calls, but they also cancel out background noise and free up your hands to perform other tasks.
With many businesses now relying on remote communication, it is imperative that your workstation is equipped for the rise in the number of online meetings and phone calls – they will likely be an essential part of how we work for the foreseeable future.
Sign up to the Officeworks 30 Day Business Account to access exclusive business pricing and benefits: www.officeworks.com.au/cpa