A bad office setup can quickly lead to aches and pains. Try to design an ergonomic space where your head is vertical to your neck, which creates the least amount of strain. You can mount your laptop on a laptop riser and use an external keyboard and mouse. If you have a desktop computer, use books to raise the monitor so that it’s slightly down from eye level. The rest of your body should also be in a neutral position: your hands, wrists, and forearms should be nearly flush, your lower back should have support, and you should sit slightly leaning back, as in a driver’s seat. Make sure to speak to your employer if you need special equipment.
Take breaks every 20 minutes and stretch a bit. If you like to use a sit-stand desk, the recommended cycle is to sit for 20 minutes, then stand for 8 minutes, and then stretch for 2 minutes before sitting again. Also make sure you use the full break and lunch time you would normally have at work. You’ll work more efficiently if you have time to reenergize!
Try to recreate the physical separation you would normally have between home and work. If you have a spare room you can use as an office, great! If not, dedicate a corner that should feel as separate from the rest of your home as possible. Keep that area for work only, so that your home and work remain separate. Entering that space will have a clear association with work. Also, set clear ground rules with your family to respect that space and the time you spend in it.
When we commute to and from an office every day, we have time to get mentally ready for work and then to disconnect after work. Build transitions that replicate your commute, such as taking a walk around the block and listening to music or reading a business-related article on the deck before starting to work. Create a similar routine at the end of the day to help you disconnect.
Replicate other aspects of your regular work as well: Dress for work, even if you don’t have to, and follow the same hours you normally would. Sure, you can squeeze in a load of laundry, but maintain your focus as much as possible.
As you can see, many of these tips involve establishing a routine and setting clear boundaries between work and home.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.