WFH (work from home) isn’t new, but COVID-19 has required it for many different companies and businesses. Even when the crisis slows down, several employers will discover that there’s no need for big office buildings. Also, tons of employees will learn that there’s no need to be at an office all the time or commute for several hours each day.
However, many people in Westwood luxury apartments have made their own little home office to get through the pandemic. Unfortunately, these will not be suitable for the long term. Besides lacking the proper equipment, ergonomics might have also been neglected. A comfortable working place is essential, particularly when trying to avoid injuries resulting from repetitive strains. A poorly made home office can absolutely cause harm to your body.
Employers should also note that RSI (repetitive strain injury) can also make you susceptible to workers’ compensation claims, not to mention the lost productivity from your employees.
Setting up the Perfect WFH Space
A long-term WFH setup should be separated from the main part of your house and fully equipped for all your working needs. Try to implement as many of the tips below as possible to make an efficient WFH office.
A Dedicated WFH Room
Preferably, you should choose a smaller space that’s still big enough to include your computer and table. There should also be a door so that you can shut out everything outside to focus on the tasks at hand.
Most folks don’t have extra space. However, plenty of people can change their guest room to a home office space. Besides, it can still be used as a guest room when people visit. The only difference will be that most of the time it will be used as an office. A murphy bed can suit this type of dual-purpose setup.
If your house doesn’t allow for a dedicated home office space, just settle on using any niche space that isn’t in the main part of your household.
Adequate Work Height
Any work area requires a table or desk that’s at working height. The standard in the industry is 29 inches from the floor to the top of your working area. However, taller people often prefer more height, and shorter folks usually handle less height better. For this reason, there are adjustable tables and desks available, and height can be adjusted with these tables via their feet.
However, the above is focused on paper writing, not when using a mouse and keyboard. For this reason, there are keyboard trays that can be pulled out from under the working surface. These trays are usually 1-2 inches below the table or desk.
You will know if your working table is the right height if your forearms are parallel to the ground when you’re sitting up straight. Your wrist should also not be bent down or up when typing or using the mouse. Bending the wrists too long can cause injuries.
Your home office should contain a big monitor (perhaps two). Same as in a corporate office. When buying a monitor, one important thing to know is to try and go for the highest resolution monitors, avoiding the cheaper low-resolution options. This is because lower resolution monitors can cause eye strain due to the fuzziness of the images when used for long periods.
A Comfortable Chair
There are many subpar chairs on the market that can cause injuries for serious computer users. For instance, deck and dining chairs seldom match a person’s height level, and they usually do not reinforce good posture.
So if your budget can swing it, nab yourself an adjustable chair made for professionals, such as Aeron. With their wide selection, you’ll be able to get a chair that’s the exact right fit for your workspace and body type. However, these chairs usually cost upwards of $600. There are much less expensive alternatives that can work as well in the $150-$250 range. It’s best to test a new chair personally if you can since you cannot determine if a chair will be the right fit simply from the picture on the website.
It’s unfortunately too easy to overlook how your lighting affects your workspace or your capability to effectively get work done. That’s because the lighting is something that people don’t consider much beyond “am I able to see?” While that’s a good starting point, you should definitely have a sufficient amount of indirect lighting to illuminate the entire working area. That way, you can spot physical objects and read any nearby text (e.g., whiteboards). Overhead lighting works great here – consider ceiling lamps.
The majority of suburban and urban places have at least one good ISP. You’ll want to have at least 50 Mbps for a single user. However, if more people are connected to it simultaneously, you’ll want to go higher.
It’s also ideal to use a wired ethernet connection from your router to your PC to get the maximum bandwidth possible. This is even more essential if your work revolves around video work or other data-intensive activities. However, if you’re just doing basic office work, then Wi-Fi should work just fine for that.
Regardless of whether you opt for Wi-Fi or ethernet, you’ll also need modern tech equipment to support a minimum of 100 Mbps for wired connections. Of course, 1 Gbps has also been supported for years now.
Other Equipment Options
Other options to consider for equipment include:
- If in a shared living space, a headset for joining conference calls prevents noise from permeating your home (in case others are sleeping, working, etc.)
- A docking station so that you can plug your laptop into the dock and not have to deal with messy cables.
- A surge protector or, if you aren’t using a laptop, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). A UPS can grant you enough time to shut down your PC safely while saving any unfinished work.
- Keep a computer backup going. For example, an external drive can back up your Windows versions, while a cloud service like OneDrive or Google Drive can keep your work backed up so that it won’t get lost.