The ultimate guide to your home office
The Ultimate Guide to Your Home Office
The pandemic has changed how we work. Despite society opening up, most workers do not expect to be back in the office full-time, stressing the importance of establishing a proper home office.
To ensure effectiveness when working from home, you and your employer must be aware of the regulations concerning taxes, gross salary scheme, occupational injury insurance, and other relevant legislation. Otherwise, you run the risk of the home office becoming an unpleasant surprise for both parties.
Also, your home office needs to meet your physical requirements and be ergonomically designed. Furniture and equipment should suit your needs and support 7-8 hours of sedentary work daily without provoking bodily injury.
By reading this article, we can help you get a home office that supports physical well-being and healthy working life.
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The Ergonomic Home Office
As working from home and flexible working becomes more accepted, the need for ergonomic solutions increases.
Poor working positions cause significant damage over time. For instance, it is proven that over 20-25 hours of computer or mouse work per week increases the risk of pains in the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands.
If you used to work from home a few days each year, you could settle for a setup that was not optimal. However, when you work from home every week – maybe several days a week – that changes dramatically. Here, the working conditions begin to take their toll on your physical well-being.
When you start to have a setup where you work from home or a flexible solution, you should make a rigid inspection of your home office. It is important that you pay attention to whether you have the furniture and equipment to support a healthy and ergonomically correct working position. In this chapter, we take a closer look at exactly that.
Decorating your home office
When decorating your home office, always start with the general principles. Despite a fixed set up behind a laptop, there are some well-founded rules for keeping your body healthy and pain-free.
Having room to move
You need to arrange your home office so that you have room to move. Changing working positions is critical to being physically healthy when working.
Getting up easily
You must decorate your home office so that it is easy to get up and stretch. A height-adjustable desk is ideal, but your position should always be relaxed and convenient. Avoid placing your chair so that the backrest is directly against a wall. It should be easy to get up from your chair, as you will be encouraged to move and handle tasks standing up.
Having furniture and equipment that suits you
Your home office must match your needs. Ensure that your chair, table, and equipment (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) all have the correct dimensions and details to provide the best working environment for you.
The points mentioned above are based on recommendations from the Danish Working Environment Authority.
The Ideal Work Zone
– Everything you can reach with your hands in a seated position is in the ideal area.
– Your primary work tools should all be placed here.
– Tools you use less often can be placed in the secondary area indicated in the image. Meaning, at a distance that you can easily reach with your arms but without twisting or stretching the body.
– Your work tools should not be in the tertiary area, where you keep lights, plants and similar objects that you don’t need to use daily.
Furniture for your home office
In this section, we review what you need to be aware of when designing your home office with furniture and equipment such as a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. You can also become wiser about the optimal space conditions for your home office.
What Chair to Choose for Your Home Office
What makes a good chair?
A good chair must be stable, and it must ensure that you have freedom of movement to support different appropriate working positions.
You should be able to change the height of the seat. Similarly, the seat’s angle should be adjustable. The same things go for the chair’s back, where it must also be possible to change both height and angle. Also, you must be able to change the seat inclination and seat depth.
It must be able to adjust the different parts of the chair, such as the seat, backrest, and possibly the armrests, independently of each other.
What should you be aware of when setting up a chair?
– Set the seating height to flat feet on the floor, so your arms may, rest easily on the desk.
– Place yourself in the back of the seat, so your thighs have support. For the best position, you have to fit a hand between your knees and the front of the chair.
– Adjust the chair’s back in height, depth, and angle, so it supports your lower back.
– The armrests are correctly set when they allow your arms and shoulders to relax.
– Make sure the armrest allow you to sit close to the table. Keep a 90-degree angle in your elbows, knees, and hips as it secures proper working position.
Finding the Right Desk
What makes a good desk?
Your desk should be broad and deep enough to allow you to properly position your monitor, keyboard, and mouse, as well as other work tools (such as documents, desktops, folders, etc.).
The height of the desk should suit you and the tasks you perform. Having an adjustable desk is an advantage, as you can set it at the most optimal height that fits your individual needs.
Finally, a suitable desk for your home office should have a surface that does not reflect light, so you avoid disturbances in your vision.
What to be aware of when setting up your desk
– It is ideal if you can raise or lower the desk, as this allows you to work standing up.
– Avoid using a table with a drawer for your keyboard, as it should be possible to move your arms and hands freely.
– You need roughly 1 meter of spacing between the edge of the desk and the wall.
– Place the desk away from windows to avoid disturbing your vision with heavy sunlight. It works best if the sun enters your desk from an angle.
– You must be able to work sitting down with lowered, relaxed shoulders while your arms can rest at a 90-degree angle.
What are good space conditions?
– You must have plenty of space to perform all your work functions, so you can move without restrictions.
– You must have plenty of space to perform all work functions in different ways. Variation in movements and positions is essential for keeping healthy, when working from home.
Equipment for your home office
In this section, you can learn more about the three most important devices for your home office: keyboard, mouse, and monitor. You can also see examples of ergonomic keyboards and mice.
Keyboard for Your Home Office
What makes a good keyboard?
Variation and customization are key when choosing a keyboard for your home office. A keyboard with adjustable legs and tilt functions is a must. It allows you to work on your keyboard in various positions, reducing the strain on your hands, fingers, and wrists.
With adjustable legs and tilt functions, you can adjust the keyboard to fit the individual task you are working on. When typing, for example, it is optimal to set the keyboard to a negative tilt, as it will help you relax more in your fingers.
The keyboard’s design should also support an ergonomically correct working position with arms placed in front of the keyboard. Shortcut keys limit the use of the mouse, thus reducing the strain on the hands and fingers. See an example of an ergonomic keyboard here.
What should you be aware of when working with a keyboard?
– Fold the keyboard’s feet together to lie flat on the table – the more negative the angle, the better.
– There must be space in front of the keyboard for the forearms to rest on the table.
– Position the keyboard so that you sit directly in front of it and avoid twisting your arms and wrists.
– Avoid sitting with your fingers raised – in the so-called “ready” position.
– Use keyboard shortcuts to reduce mouse usage.
Mouse for Your Home Office
Choosing an ergonomic mouse for your home office can prevent strains and tensions that can develop into injuries over time.
You can choose a traditional one-handed mouse with an ergonomic design. Here, you get a mouse that promotes correct hand positioning. You will have a relaxed grip and avoid bending your fingers when holding the mouse. Another characteristic of the most ergonomic one-handed mouse is the adaptable design. It makes it possible to adjust the mouse’s inclination and thumb support, so you get precisely the mouse you require.
That way, you limit the strain on your wrists and fingers.
Unimouse with illustrated functions:
– Offers the ability to alter the vertical angle allowing for pressure to be taken away from the wrist
– Possible to adjust the angle of the mouse to anywhere between 35 and 70 degrees
– The thumb support can be adjusted in all directions: in/out, up/down, forward/backwards, inclination and rotation
– Six programmable buttons and a comfortable scroll
You can also pick an ergonomically centred mouse.
These innovative mice are located in front of the keyboard, reducing your workspace. You can work with small, light movements and thus avoid overloading the neck, shoulder, elbows, and wrists.
What should you be aware of when working with a mouse?
– Must be as close to the body as possible and not to the side
– Feel free to switch between right and left hand to control the mouse so you relieve and create variation
– Stretch, bend, and shake your hands and arms once in a while.