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The pandemic catapulted many people into new workspaces – specifically our homes. As we move forward, many of us are keeping the work-from-home lifestyle or adopting a hybrid workstyle where we work from the office some of the time. Whatever your new working setup or routine is, here are two tips to ensure that you’re working safely.  

 1. Ensure that both of your working locations are set up properly with appropriate equipment.

As we first transitioned into what we all thought would be a temporary working from home solution, we grabbed our essential items from the office and set up in a convenient spot at home. If this becomes permanent, even if that means only working from home twice a week, it’s important to make sure you have the necessary equipment available at home, and that it’s positioned properly to optimize ergonomics. This will allow you to work comfortably while maintaining neutral postures.  

When sitting in your chair, ensure that your feet are flat on the floor or flat on a raised surface, such as a box or footrest. You should be able to position yourself upright against the back of the chair to ensure that your lumbar spine is being supported. Position your monitor(s) directly in front of you and within an arm’s reach distance. If you’re sitting up nice and tall with relaxed shoulders, the top of your monitor should be positioned to meet your gaze.

Ensure that you are also using external equipment, specifically an external keyboard and an external mouse. They should be positioned close to each other and close to the edge of your desk to prevent you from reaching when typing. A proper, ergonomic work set-up ensures that you are working safely and efficiently in all working environments.  

   2. Incorporate standing and movement into your routine.

When we first began working from home, many of us developed more sedentary routines. With no more commuting to work or walking over to a coworker’s desk to ask a question, plus ordering nearly everything online, we significantly reduced our amount of daily movement. Now that working from home is here to stay, it’s important to create a routine that allows for more movement on the days we’re working from our home office. The general recommendation is to stand for at least 10 minutes per hour.

Another helpful tip is to answer calls while standing and/or walking around or setting a reminder on your phone/smart watch to remind you to stand each hour. It’s important to make sure that you’re taking standing breaks to incorporate movement back into your routine and to also break up those periods of prolonged sitting.  

Following these two tips will ensure that you’re reintroducing healthy habits into your new working routine, so that you can feel good no matter where you’re working.