In order to improve staff flexibility, a growing number of companies are adopting remote working practices. Although remote working has mutual benefits for both parties, such as a reduction in overhead costs for employers and a better work/life balance for their staff, having no fixed workplace can sometimes highlight some painful issues. With most remote workers unable to afford an ergonomic overhaul of their space, many individuals resort to working hunched over the kitchen table, causing untold damage to their posture and over time leading to back, neck, wrist and shoulder pain.
In an attempt to offset some of these ails for some of you, here are our ergonomic essentials for remote working.
If you tend to work in multiple locations, the chances are you have decided to use a laptop. Using a laptop stand will elevate your screen, making sure your eyes are parallel with the top of your screen. This will stop you looking down at the screen and prevent neck strain.
Even if you are working from a laptop, we would always encourage using a separate keyboard to ensure that your laptop is at arm’s length while you can type with your elbows into your body. This will prevent you from reaching for the keyboard and keep your elbows at a 90° angle to the desk, essential for the perfect posture. Choose a lightweight option to to reduce the amount you’re carrying around.
That’s right, we are recommending that you take a break! Working remotely allows you to slip out of your strict routine and may mean you become more sedentary. Also, being away from the distraction of colleagues will mean you can really get stuck in and concentrate on some big tasks and the time will quickly run away with you. Getting up to make a drink is a way of taking regular breaks to stretch and refocus your eyes. A brisk walk to a local coffee shop will also do you the world of good, preventing a completely sedentary working day.
Employers are required by law to provide office workers with regular DSE assessments and an adequate workstation, but when working from home, it’s all too tempting to type away from the comfort of your bed fortress. We hate to break this to you, but this kind of habit is going to cause you a lot of back pain in the long run. Invest your money where you spend the most time, and if you spend a lot of time at a desk at home, an ergonomic chair is a must. For a cost-effective and portable alternative we love the back friend. This clever bit of kit folds in half and gives any chair a way of offering lower back support.
It might be tempting to shove your laptop into your fabulous handbag, but we must urge you to be kind to your shoulders. Carrying a substantial weight on one side of your body will cause you to lean in order to counterbalance, and severely affect your posture. The trend for oversized bags has caused a huge rise in issues such as torn muscles and shoulder problems. A sturdy backpack with thick straps will help you to distribute the weight of your ergonomic essentials evenly and protect your back and shoulders.