Stick with proper ergonomic seating products. Anything else greatly increases your chance of injury or muscle strain. Choose a flexible agile seating experience that supports a range of postures, and your need to shift between different work tasks. Adjust the seat so your feet are flat on the floor. For a change of pace and a bit more comfort, move to a sofa, club chair or other soft seating while reviewing documents or making calls.
To reduce eyestrain, position your screen at least 20-30 inches from your face (an arm’s length). To decrease neck strain, the screen should be centered directly in front of you at eye height and tilted up a bit so that the screen surface is perpendicular to your face. Investing in a high-quality monitor arm will let you make these adjustments with ease.
Lighting needs to be balanced for the task at hand. An adjustable task light will allow you to fine tune illumination for desktop projects as well as minimize glare, reducing eyestrain and headaches. To avoid glare on the screen, position the light to the side of the monitor, rather than behind or in front of it. For video calls, optimize visibility by having the light come in front of you, rather than a window behind you.
Whether you’re working from home or at a shared workspace, wiping down surfaces and tools with disinfecting wipes before and after your work day lowers the risk of transmitting germs.
Consider a sit-to-stand desk that allows you to switch positions and postures through the day. Adding an active stool allows you to perch or gently move to relieve some pressure. For more movement while standing, add a balance board to help boost energy and focus. If a “sit-stand” worksurface is not available, use a combination of worksurfaces that offer both seated and standing height work postures, such as a dining table and a bar-height counter. Some people like to stand during virtual meetings, walk during phone calls, and sit for reading and computer work. Whatever your preferences, standing even occasionally during your workday is good for your health.
When your eyes are focused on an object in the distance, they’re meeting optical infinity, in which eyes are totally at rest. Practice the “20-20-20 rule.” For 20 seconds every 20 minutes, take a break and look 20 feet away. Also, remember to blink more. People under normal conditions blink 12 to 15 times a minute, but those reading on a screen blink only seven times.
Plants reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being. Placing plants in or near your workspace can also help improve air quality and lower background noise.
A growing number of studies suggest that views to, or images of, nature boost memory and focus. If possible, select a work location with views to the outdoors and natural objects (trees, sky, clouds, greenery, etc.). If this is not possible, wood grain furniture and colors of nature such as blues and greens have been shown to boost productivity and creativity. Images of nature on your walls or screen saver can also provide similar benefits.
Virtual work requires planning to bring the rigor of a structured office into an offsite setting.
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