Working From Home: Space and Ergonomics

Submitted by CCCL_DouglasT

Now that you’re working from home, you must remember to make your space work. If you are lucky, all you need is a laptop and a good chair, but you’ll probably need more: printer, fax, high-speed internet, filing furniture, scanner, and desk. Where and how you place your equipment can affect your mental and physical health, and even how well you separate your work-life from your life-life.  

This article helps clarify where you’ll want to set up. When setting up your work space, it should be a place away from distraction (kids, pets, refrigerator, etc.). You'll want to have everything that you need accessible. Last but not least, it's helpful to be closed off from the rest of the house (important for web meetings). If you are unable to find a spot that fulfills all of these, choose a spot where your most important tools and peripherals can be located, and move those things like printer, fax, router, etc. that you may not need to access as frequently to another location. This leads directly to good (or at least better) ergonomics. 

If you are planning on spending more than 20 minutes at a time on a computer, especially a laptop, a full ergonomic setup (separate mouse and mouse, raised/adjustable monitor, desk chair) is recommendedStart off by reading this brief article and watching this course. Both are excellent introductions to setting up you space. Additionally, remember that ergonomics is about the efficiency of your setup, and maintaining your efficiency involves maintaining your daily health, so stretching, changing your focus (looking up and away from the screen), standing, moving your arms and hands, are all important.   

Finally, you should know everything that your employer is supposed to know.  Please read OSHA’s (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) page on ergonomics.