Everything you need to know to create a safe & productive workspace while working remotely
According to the Pew Research Center, around 22 million Americans are currently working from home full-time…
A number that skyrocketed due to Covid-19, and still remains much higher than pre-pandemic levels three years later.
While remote work certainly has its perks—with many people reporting higher productivity and better work-life balance—it comes with its own set of challenges and safety concerns.
In the article below, you’ll find some practical tips to help you establish and maintain a healthy, safe, and productive work environment at home.
Mind Your Posture
Even if your job gives you the freedom to lounge on the couch with your laptop, if you indulge a little too much, it can put excess strain on your neck and back.
Maintaining proper posture—at least for the bulk of your work day—is essential to avoid putting your body in awkward positions that can lead to discomfort.
When sitting, the ideal position is as follows:
- Maintaining a neutral neck position—avoiding craning your neck up, down, or to either side (like when holding a phone between your head and shoulders).
- Maintaining a 90-degree angle at the elbows.
- Maintaining at least a 90-degree angle at the hips (your hips can be slightly higher than your knees, but not lower).
- Keeping your feet flat on the floor—or, if they don’t reach, on a footrest.
You’ll probably have to experiment with your laptop, computer monitor, chair, and desk positioning to find the right setup for you, but it’s 100% worth it. When working from home, setting yourself up for postural success can minimize the downsides of too much sitting.
Don’t Skimp on the Ergonomics
If you’re working from home, chances are you’re responsible for purchasing most of your office furniture. And if you’re going to be spending the majority of your day at your home workspace, investing in ergonomic equipment will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
An unsupportive chair or non-adjustable desk can take a toll on your neck, hips, and lower back.
Give yourself the gift of comfort with a chair that has quality lumbar support and an adjustable neck rest. And if you can swing it, an adjustable desk that allows you to switch from sitting to standing is an excellent choice for a home office.
You may also want to pick up wrist pads for your keyboard or a mousepad with one built in for added comfort…
Because when you’re comfortable, you can be more productive.
Protect Your Eyes
Staring at a screen for hours on end can do a number on your eyes. Use these simple tips to avoid eye strain when working from home:
- Avoid working in a dark or dimly lit room.
- Position yourself near (but not in front of) a window for plenty of natural light.
- Avoid glares by drawing the blinds or curtains as needed or using an anti-glare filter on your computer screen.
- Set yourself up with a light or desk lamp with adjustable brightness so you can tailor your lighting to your needs.
- Remember to look away from the screen every twenty minutes or so to give your eyes a break.
Work Regular Breaks Into Your Schedule
If you have the freedom in your schedule, aim to take a short three to five-minute break every twenty to thirty minutes. This will give you the chance to focus on something other than your screen, stretch your legs, get your body moving, and combat those long hours of sitting.
If you can’t get away from your workspace that often, you can still follow the same “break” schedule without leaving your desk. Simply stand up and move around in place, lift your legs up, roll your neck and shoulders out, etc.—whatever feels comfortable to loosen up and get the blood flowing.
Regular breaks don’t just provide physical relief. They can also help extend the life of your mental battery so you can more effectively focus on your work throughout the day.
Clean & Declutter for a Safe, Efficient Workspace
You’re not as obligated to keep a clean and organized workspace when working from home…
But too much clutter and disorganization can create distractions and even safety hazards. Poor cable management can lead to trips and falls, open containers near electronics can lead to spills and costly damages, and a cluttered desk can affect your workflow.
To prevent these issues, take some time every few days to organize and declutter your workspace and the surrounding walkways. Keep all liquids in spill-proof containers or away from electronics. And, if needed, invest in some cable ties to get your cable management situation under control.
When you make time for regular “spring cleaning” at your home office, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you can be!
Stay Ready & Well-Equipped for Emergencies
While it may seem more likely that an emergency would happen in an office environment, it’s still crucial to prepare for the unexpected when working from home. A bad burn from a piping hot cup of coffee, an electrical fire, or a carbon monoxide leak are all very real risks to account for.
To ensure you’re ready for anything, keep a well-stocked first-aid kit and fire extinguisher close by, and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. And if an emergency does happen, you can get help twenty times faster than 911 with the Rescu app.
Rescu is the fastest way to get help in an emergency, allowing you to instantly dispatch fire, police, and medical first responders to your address or current location with just two taps on your smartphone or Apple Watch—no talking required.
In the event of a fire or medical emergency, the time you’ll save with Rescu can limit the damage to your property and even save your or a loved one’s life.
Combined with the above tips for working from home, Rescu will ensure you can do your job safely, productively, and with peace of mind.
Download the Rescu app today to learn more and set yourself up with the best in emergency response.