Many of us are now forced to work from home amidst the pandemic. It is now becoming the new normal of working. With the current COVID-19 situation, It is best to set up a good home office that will not be “temporary”. While many households are unprepared for this work arrangement, It is important that it is conducive for long term use. Here are a few tips to help you on how to set up a good home office.
A Dedicated Work Space
Ideally, a good home office would be a small spare room where you can have a desk and hold all the computer equipment that you need. If you don’t have spare space, you may convert seldom-used rooms like Guest room making it dual purpose. You may use a murphy bed in order to save space if your budget allows it. And at the same time, the room still serves its purpose when guests come.
If you don’t have that much space, find a corner and make it your office. It may be your living room, bedroom or any empty corner spaces. Desks varies in sizes, you may just select a desk that fits your space.
You can’t work in bed or in the sofa forever. You will need a decent home office chair to support your back. A chair must be ergonomically correct that is adjustable in height, with lumbar support and arm rests.
According to Yale, an ideal office allows you to sit upright, with shoulders relaxed, and avoid hunching forward to look at your screen. Feet rest flat on the floor, and knees bended at 90 degrees. The elbows also bend 90 degrees while using the keyboard. Your thighs and forearms should be parallel with the floor.
A Good Desk
The industry standard for a good work desk height is 29 inches based on an average person’s height. Tall people do best with a higher height, and short people do better with a lower height. Many desks and tables have adjustable height, usually through their legs and feet. When buying a desk, it is important to try it out with your office chair height. Make sure that you are comfortable with the height. when you sit up straight, your forearms are parallel to the ground and your wrist is not bent up or down when you type or mouse. The top surface of your wrist should be ideally on the same plane as the top of your forearm, with your fingers dangling slightly down to the keyboard. Bending the wrists for long periods is dangerous and can cause injury.
Standing desks are also becoming popular as it promises different health benefits. You may select an adjustable standing desk that doubles as a regular seating desk.
Lighting plays a very important role in increasing productivity, preventing eye strains and better video conferences. Poor lighting can reduce your energy, produce eyestrain and headaches, and ultimately affects your ability to work effectively.
In general, place the desk in front of windows to avoid glare and maximize your outside views. You can also position your desk facing north or south so that the sunlight doesn’t throw a shadow at any point in the day. To control the amount of daylight, you can use solar shades to reduce the heat without compromising the light and view.
If you don’t have access to windows, choose a good task light. Place the light indirectly. Don’t place a lamp right next to a monitor, where you end up with two light sources of lamp and monitor and possible glare. If you prefer lamps for additional lighting, place them in a way that they don’t create glare on the monitor screen.