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When you start working from home, it soon becomes clear the differences between working in your own space and having a purpose-built workspace. Though there are clear advantages to being able to work in your jammies, there are also certain risks and annoyances that might come with that transition. In particular, you might feel like you’re uncomfortable, frustrated, or even achy trying to work in your own home. There are good reasons you want to focus on making comfort a priority and we will explore them with the tips below.
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Find the productive time that works best for you
Getting enough sleep and working when your energy levels are at their best can do a lot for not just your productivity, but your stress and mental health. Getting enough sleep is essential. You might find that your schedule falls a little out of place when you start working on your own routine, which can disrupt your sleep. It’s okay to find the working times that best suit you, productivity-wise, but it’s important to establish a new sleeping routine. Stress and sleep have a very close relationship. When we don’t get enough sleep, our body’s ability to regulate cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is compromised. As such, we can not only feel more emotionally tense, but we will physically be tenser, too, putting more pressure on our joints and back, leading to an increased risk of injury.
The right chair will save your back
One of the most important pieces of furniture in the office is the chair that you are likely to do your work in. Most remote working jobs done from home involve sitting in front of the computer. However, sitting for too long isn’t exactly healthy and, without the right support, you can do real damage to your back. Make sure that you’re looking at the ergonomics of any chair that you buy, as explained by this site. Aside from an adjustable height and angle, try to choose those with additional supports, such as cushioned that can support your lumbar (your lower back) and those you can lean your head back on. You don’t want to recline while working, you want a chair that can help keep you upright without too much strain on your back.
Be wary of a sedentary lifestyle
If you can rid of the chair entirely, that might also help preserve the comfort and health of your spine. If they fit your needs, a standing desk can help you reduce your risk of back pain. However, whether you’re sitting or standing, you don’t want to remain in the same place for too long. Taking regular breaks from your work, recommended as once an hour, to get up, walk and stretch, can help you avoid the chronic back and joint pain often associated with sedentary lives. If you can fit in a little exercise with your working day, however, that’s even better for your back, not to mention the rest of your body.
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Know the impact on your eyes
For a lot of people, working from home will mean working with digital technology, including a lot of screen time. Traditionally, there were concerns that too much screentime can affect your eyesight, but there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that. What is known, however, is that unfiltered blue light from screens, without the right light to contrast it, can lead to eyestrain, a painful condition that can affect your sleep and, if you have issues like astigmatism (very common for those who wear glasses) lead to migraines. Aside from having enough light to contrast the light of the monitor, it’s also crucial to make sure you’re wearing any glasses you need with comfortable frames from a website like this. That way, you can make sure you’re not straining your eyes to any more than you have to in order to work.
Position your workspace effectively
One of the benefits of having an adjustable seat or a standing desk is that their heights can also be adjusted. If you don’t pay attention to desk ergonomics, you can end up developing new aches in your neck, wrists, and even leading to a risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the most common recommendations include ensuring that the top of your monitors are at eye level so that you don’t have to look too far up or down to fully see them. Another is to make sure that your keyboard and mouse are at a level that your hands can reach them simply by resting.
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Keep what you need within reach
As mentioned, the risk of musculoskeletal injuries needs to be taken seriously. One of the biggest causes of these injuries is when you try to twist, turn, or bend too quickly in ways that you haven’t warmed up to. As such, creating a workspace where you have to constantly bend and reach to get the stuff you need can lead to injury. Try to focus everything you need around an area that’s immediately accessible using office organisation tools.
Soothe yourself with the environment
Focusing on your physical comfort is important to reduce the surprisingly high risk of office injuries. However, your mental and emotional comfort is just as important, too. An office should not be designed in a way that is complete without any positivity or energy. Rather, you should decorate it in a way that motivates and energises you. Using brighter colours can help you create a more lively and motivating space. There are also decor accessories that you can use to make it feel a little more relaxing. Plants have been shown to have all kinds of stress-reducing abilities, as well as some minor help in keeping the air clean and healthy to breathe.
Set a schedule and stick to it
We have already mentioned the importance of nailing a set schedule for your sleep. However, you also want to make sure you establish your working schedule to ensure your work-life balance. Try to get your work done within a limited period of time when you’re at your most productive. Don’t make it so that you’re doing a little bit of work throughout the entire day. Otherwise, your mind will always be in “work mode” which can affect your ability to relax and take time off at home. Furthermore, if you’re working with clients, it’s important that you establish your boundaries with them. Otherwise, they might think to get in touch with you at any time of day, getting in the way of your home life.
Comfort is about more than making you feel positive about working from home. It’s also crucial to keeping you productive and, more importantly, safe and healthy. Keep the above tips in mind if you’re taking any steps to invest in or redesign your home workspace.