You’ve hopefully gotten into the swing of telecommuting. You’re on a comfortable schedule, your technology now runs without a hitch and communication is seamless. All that aside, have you considered if your new work-from-home setup is good for your health?
Little changes can make a substantial difference in everything from easing chronic pain to boosting your productivity. Consider making the following upgrades to your workstation to improve your wellbeing.
1. Improve Your Indoor Air
Do you find yourself sniffing and sneezing more than usual since you started telecommuting? If so, your symptoms could indicate that your HVAC system needs a little TLC.
If your house used to stand vacant during the day, the added activity could dirty your filter more quickly. If you smoke or have pets, you might start wheezing around the 30-day mark if you use inexpensive fiberglass filters.
Coordinate changes on the same day you pay your rent or mortgage to make it a snap to remember. Pleated air filters last longer — only you can decide if the extra price is worth the convenience.
2. Manage Climate Control
If you live in a sunny climate, the heat pouring in through an uncovered window can leave you with sweat stains. Single-paned windows can magnify heat even on days when outdoor temperatures don’t soar. Multi-pane windows contain certain nontoxic gasses to prevent the transfer of heat. This improvement takes the heavy-duty work off of your air conditioning unit.
If you feel a draft, you’re throwing your utility money out the window. Get out your gun and caulk any cracks. Space heaters can help if your office is in a chilly basement or a garage, but make sure to follow safety rules when using one.
3. Let The Light Shine
Struggling to see in dim light can lead to headaches, so choose lamps for your home office carefully. Overhead fluorescents can trigger migraines, so choose for track or standalone models that let you direct illumination where you need it most. You can also take advantage of natural light if you work during the day.
Try to position your workstation near a window. Sometimes, a break from the monitor to watch the birds frolic in the trees outside can increase your productivity — you’re not daydreaming, you’re amplifying your brain power.
4. Pick An Ergonomic Chair
Chances are, you spend a significant part of your day seated at your desk. Make sure that you choose an ergonomic chair so that you don’t end up with chronic back pain.
If you want to get a core workout while you prepare expense reports, why not opt for an inflatable fitness ball instead of a standard model? Plus, since no one can see your feet when you are on a webcam, it’s okay to throw in a footstool to rest your weary hooves.
5. Go From Sitting To Standing
You burn more calories when you stand versus sitting. Additionally, many people who use variable-height desks report fewer episodes of back pain than those who remain seated all day long.
Laptop stands are available that adjust to let you rise when you want to do so. If you don’t have the budget for one, you can use a stack of boxes to get up and move without losing work time.
6. Protect Your Eyes
If you work on the computer all day, the blue light that your devices emit can cause headaches and fatigue — not ideal conditions for productivity. Additionally, prolonged exposure can alter your levels of melatonin and make it more challenging for you to fall asleep at night.
Invest in a specialty screen to block this wavelength from your device, or buy a pair of glasses designed for computer use. You’ll marvel at how much more energy you have at day’s end when you aren’t fighting an incipient migraine.
7. Welcome The Outdoors
Have you always dreamed of working beachside? Maybe you can’t pack up and move to a tropical location — but you can transform your backyard or patio into home office space.
This idea works well if you have a full house without much extra living area. Imagine sipping tea on your veranda while you compile last month’s budget reconciliation. Now that’s the life.
8. Make It Uniquely Yours
Finally, you probably plan to spend at least a third of your day working in your home office. Make it a place you want to linger by personalizing it. Add photographs of your children or favourite vacation destinations.
Invest in an affordable Bluetooth speaker so that you can always enjoy relaxing music while you work. Whimsical touches, like a Nerf basketball hoop, offer needed distractions — even when you telecommute, you still need breaks.
Make Your Home Office Setup Healthier With These Tips
The right home office setup works ergonomically with your body and contains enough creature comforts to keep you at your productive best, as well. Make yours customized for your needs and improve your health while telecommuting with these tips.
Dylan Bartlett blogs about health and wellness.