If you’re one of the millions of people who work from home, you know how difficult it can be when you don’t have the right office gear. It’s important that you have the tools and furniture that helps to make your working experience not only easier, but more comfortable for your body, too.
But it’s not just physical comfort. It’s everything in your surroundings that ensure you’re free of stress, relaxed, and productive. Ergonomic designs are more than just cheap office chairs.
When you design your office space at home or even just an area in a room to work in, make sure you consider everything that can reduce discomfort and increase the efficiency with which you get your tasks done.
Office Furniture That’s Kind to Your Body
Working from home means you probably do a lot of sitting. That’s why having the right chair is one of the most important pieces of office furniture for your body. If you have to move between your computer and filing cabinets that are located nearby, you need to have a good swivel chair.
Having this type of chair can help keep strain off your back as you turn. Many office chairs have an ergonomic design. These types of chairs can do more than keep you from straining your back and developing aches in that region.
Because this kind of chair offers the best core body support, you won’t feel as tired physically – even after the end of a hectic or long day at work. You’ll find that these kinds of chairs aren’t just comfortable to sit in, but they also give you the support that you need.
Look for ones that have well-padded armrests as well as offer full lower back support.
Desks are important, too. Most people don’t realize that just as there are supportive office chairs, there are also ergonomic desks.
These types of desks help keep your posture aligned, but don’t place tension across the shoulders because you’re not working hunched over. They allow for comfortable positioning of your hands as you type on the keyboard, plus they offer the space that you need for your legs to be comfortable.
While you can use a desk that you need to sit at in order to work, there are also standing ones that are kind to your body. Studies have shown that people who spend too much time sitting while working are more prone to developing health issues.
When you work at a standing desk, it can help keep your glucose levels down much better than if you were sitting. Standing rather than sitting can also make you more productive as well as give you a mood boost.
In addition, working at a standing desk can help you avoid getting back pain that’s related to sitting for long periods of time. Treadmill desks are something that you can use in your office that is beneficial for your body.
These types of desks also work to reduce back pain. But they also help improve your attention span and have health advantages. People who use them are at lower risk of health issues caused by a sedentary work habit like sitting.
When you use a treadmill desk, you’re burning calories while working. You’re also boosting your energy levels and your mood. Some people do report that using a treadmill desk helps them to lose weight as well.
Computers, Monitors, Keyboards and Mouse Options
Every tool that you use in your office should be beneficial to your body. If you’re using something that’s causing you pain or isn’t best for your physical needs, then you should get rid of it and replace it with something that does help.
You might not realize it, but the type of computer that you have can make a difference. Computers such as laptops that have large screens are better for you than ones with smaller screens.
That’s because the smaller the screen, the worse it can affect your posture. If you’re straining to work using the computer monitor, then it’s not good for you. Computers that have an all-in-one keyboard that’s too flat can often cause wrist fatigue.
You want to use computers that have a high definition display and offer the option of blocking blue light, which can cause fatigue as well as chronic dry eyes. The type of monitor that you use also matters.
The ones that are curved are made by design to help alleviate eye strain. That’s because the monitor curves like the eye does. These kinds of monitors also have a better refresh rate and quicker response, which can reduce eye strain.
In addition to that, curved monitors boost productivity while helping ease work strain.
Besides eye strain or fatigue, another notable issue with office equipment is that the wrong kinds can cause injuries.
A keyboard is an important office tool and having the right one can help prevent injuries that are caused by repetitive motion. When you use an ergonomic keyboard, this can alleviate the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
It can also ease the strain that’s caused by overuse of the wrists, such as what happens with frequent typing. Not only that, but the right kind of keyboard can also remove strain from both the neck and shoulders.
When you’re working from home, a must-have tool is a good mouse to use with your computer. It’s imperative that you use a mouse that’s quick to respond to avoid repeated clicking.
A responsive, ergonomic mouse can do away with the pain caused by the use of a regular mouse because of the way they’re designed. They’re made following the natural curve of the hand and this design supports the tendons.
Most people don’t realize that strain from using the wrong type of mouse can lead to pain in the fingers as well as in the elbows. It can also cause forearm fatigue and stiffness of the neck or shoulders.
Over time, this leads to inflammation or carpal tunnel. But if you use an ergonomic mouse, you can prevent all this from happening because they allow the hand to remain in a natural position as you work.
Because repeated typing can lead to pain in various areas of the body, an additional tool that you can buy that offers even more comfort is a keyboard armrest. These mats are padded for comfort, and some are made with thick foam. These tools support the wrist and can prevent pain.
Home Office Lighting That Protects You from Eye Strain
While it’s great to have natural light flooding your office so you can work comfortably, that’s not always an option. The sun doesn’t shine every day and, in the winter, when the days are shorter, you don’t get as much natural light.
That’s why you need home office lighting. But you want to get the type that can prevent you from getting eye strain. Close light is good for your time spent working at a computer.
This means that you should get a sturdy desk lamp. There are specific desk lamps that can be purchased that are designed to alleviate common problems with the eyes when working from home.
Look for a desk lamp that doesn’t use blue light. Some of them do. There are many models that use natural light, which can mimic sunlight. These come with options to change the brightness level as the day goes on.
So you can have natural lighting from the time your workday begins until it’s finished. You can get these lamps as fixed-based ones, swinging or swivel lamps. If you have to toggle between computer monitors or swivel from one desk to another work platform, you’re better off getting the swivel kind because you can adjust the direction of the light.
There are also computer monitor lamps that are anti-glare and can prevent blue light, which causes eye strain. These lamps attach to the top of your monitor and can cause a 45 degree angle path of light that doesn’t focus on the screen – which is what you want.
You may also find lamp desks labeled as task lamps. Some of them can be the clamp-on style or are referred to as architect lamps, but they’re good for home office use. Remember that too much light can make for bad working conditions because they tend to cause glare.
You want to have a soft light over harsh lighting. The type of light bulbs that you use in your office lighting matters. Some light bulbs have a higher amount of blue light, such as LED ones.
Floor lamps work well in an office, providing they’re positioned in spots where they don’t reflect off the computer monitor. Some of the best ones are gooseneck lamps. You can find many of these that not only allow you to control the level of brightness but also have adjustable postures.
Sometimes you need light in a specific area when you’re working from home. Pole lamps address this issue. These are the lamps that have an adjustable tilt angle at the wide head.
This lets you place the light directly where it needs to be. Because pole lamps are usually taller than average standing floor lamps, you won’t have the issue of accidentally glancing directly at the bulb.
These kinds of unique lamps rely on a memory setting function, so you can choose the lighting that you want as well as change the brightness level. Listen to your body and watch for signs of eye strain.
Keeping the Air Quality Clean in Your Home Office
The type of air quality in your home office can impact your health. It can lead to things like allergies as well as make you more tired throughout the workday. But there are ways that you can keep the air quality clean.
You may have air vents in your office or workspace that are in need of a good cleaning. It’s easy for dust and debris to collect inside as well as outside the vent. When that happens, you don’t get proper air circulation.
Plus, dust can cause sinus problems and make allergies worse. Make sure all vents in the room or space are clean and free of any clutter if you have vents in the floor. The filters in your air unit need to be changed on a regular basis.
This should be scheduled on your calendar as a reminder. The filter works to trap dust and debris and once it’s full, it can negatively impact your air quality. Many people think that an expensive air filter that you change every three months is the best kind to use.
But it’s actually healthier and gives you better air quality when you use the cheaper filter and change them more often. For the best air quality, change the filter once a month. If you have a lot of humidity in your home, this can cause a problem with air quality because it can lead to mildew or mold.
Buy a dehumidifier and use it in your office. The more natural that you can allow your office to be, the better. If you can allow natural sunlight in and the brightness doesn’t affect your work, then do that.
Stale air is something that can affect the quality of the air in your home. That’s because it’s the air that’s recirculating rather than air that’s fresh. If you can raise a window and allow air to blow through your office, then do that.
Nothing impacts the quality of your air like dirt. If you don’t have time to clean your home office regularly, then you need to hire someone to help do that. Getting a buildup of dust or dirt in your office can affect the air quality.
If your home office has a fireplace, you can get poor air quality from the emissions it gives off. Make sure the fireplace is clean of leftover ash and debris. You may not fully realize how good or bad the air quality is in your home office until you have it checked by a professional service.
You can hire a professional to check to see that you have proper ventilation without any mold or mildew as well as see if you have problems with the humidity level in your home. This will help ensure that you have the best possible air quality.
Designing a Calming and Stress-Free Workspace
By designing a calming, stress-free workspace, you’ll be able to concentrate easier when it’s time to get to work. Doing this raises your productivity level and makes it a healthier space for you to be in.
Check your office. If you have clutter there, even just a little bit, you need to either get it out or organize it. Messy spaces cause stress that you file away in the back of your mind, even when you don’t address it.
Place plants in some of the areas of your office space. You can get decorative pots and use colorful flowers if you like. These bring a little bit of nature indoors. Plus, plants clean the air by removing what’s bad – while at the same time, their photosynthesis process creates oxygen.
This also helps with the air purity in your home. The green color of plants is known to be a natural relaxant and can work to lower anxiety and stress. If you’re not someone with a green thumb, be sure to buy plants that don’t require a lot of effort or attention in order to thrive.
The light matters for more than just eye strain. Dark home office spaces tend to affect one’s mood. Focus on the lighting in your office to make it stress-free. When you choose good lighting, it makes it easier for you to be able to work.
While plenty of lighting is best, you want to be able to have soft lights with adjustable levels of brightness. If you have a window in your office, make use of the natural lighting by using sheer curtains when you want the light and shades for when you don’t want as much light.
Make sure you incorporate artwork as part of your office décor. You can hang photos that are meaningful to you or that make you feel happy. Look for positive designs in colors that are known to boost moods.
The kind of sounds that you hear in your office matter, too. Some people use white noise in order to keep background distractions at a minimum. But you can also use music.
Not having any sound at all in an office can derail productivity and cause stress just like having the wrong kind of sound can. You can use sounds of nature – such as a gentle rainfall – or you can use sounds like instrumental music.
Both of these kinds of noise have a calming effect. Don’t forget to focus on the smell in your office as well. By adding aromatherapy, you can make your office a calm, uplifting place to work.
Aromatherapy can be used with things like diffusers, and you can purchase oils to address specific issues such as stress. There are certain scents that will provide you with a variety of mood changes.
For example, if you need to be more alert and positive, you may choose peppermint. But if you need to relax and calm down so you can think or be productive, then you may want to choose something like lavender.
You don’t want the smell to be so overpowering that it gives you a headache. You just need a hint of it in the air. When it comes to being a work-at-home entrepreneur, it’s important that you show yourself some self-care and attention to ensure you have a long and prosperous career.
If the very place that you are trying to work from is harming your body or emotions, then you will naturally seek to avoid spending time there. If it caters to them, you’ll look forward to each day.