How To Set Up Your Home Office For Video Calls – A subtle reminder to get out of your chair every hour is the ultimate ergonomic addition to your workspace. Oradimeji Azhegbile/Pexels
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How To Set Up Your Home Office For Video Calls
Many things changed when the COVID-19 pandemic began, but the biggest change was the way we work. As authorities have told people to stay home, many of us have turned a corner of our space into an office, a trend that will continue and will be a beacon of hope in this global health crisis. .
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The downside is that when you work from home, you are responsible for creating an environment where you can work without the tools your employer typically provides. Getting work done in a good ergonomic chair is convenient, but that’s not all.
Workplace ergonomics research is a broad field, but knowing the basics can help you create a comfortable and productive space.
That’s not the end of the story, but really, a good chair, preferably one with lots of adjustments, is a good place to start your ergonomics efforts.
Not all chairs are created equal. Make sure you buy an ergonomic chair for sitting for long periods of time. “If you’re not sure which to choose, look to shoulder supports,” says Craig Vecchiarelli, a physiotherapist who specializes in improving at-home workouts. Without a place to rest your shoulders, your neck and upper back muscles have to work harder to support the weight of your shoulders, which naturally strains your wrists when using a keyboard or mouse.
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Speaking of keyboards, previous models required you to align your hands and keep your hands parallel with your hands turned inward and your wrists bent. One solution that I personally find useful is an ergonomic keyboard that places the keys at an angle that approximates the natural curve of your hand.
If you want to take it to the next level, consider a split keyboard that allows the left and right sections to be positioned differently. Some models can also be lifted or “tented” to further encourage the natural movement of the hand and wrist.
If talking on the phone is a big part of your job, a set of wireless headphones or earbuds can be very helpful. Not only does this free up your hands for writing and taking notes, it also keeps your phone from getting stuck between your arm and your ear.
The final component of a fully ergonomic workstation is the desk. The best ergonomic desks allow you to sit upright and comfortably while keeping your wrists in a natural position. A must have for anyone who sits for hours every day.
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If you have a desk theme, you can always find a monitor stand that matches that aesthetic. Ken Tomita/Pexels
You can invest a lot of money to have the best chair, the most comfortable keyboard, and the most versatile desk, but all the tools in the world are useless if you don’t adjust your setup. please do not worry. Some of these cost less than a penny.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should keep your hands at or below shoulder level with your wrists straight and about an arm’s length away from the screen when typing. When sitting, your knees should be about level with your feet, and the top of the screen should be above or below your eyes.
As someone who worked from home long before the COVID-19 epidemic, my first adjustment priority was getting the monitor off my desk to avoid straining my neck. Various solutions to this problem exist at various price points, but you can always opt for a simple stack of books under the screen. In particular, an unused textbook works well, but you might be tempted to think that this type of stand can cost more than your monitor.
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Make sure your desk and chair are at the proper height so your thighs are parallel to the floor. This could be using a footrest to support the desk or placing a bed railing under the desk. Ideally, you should sit slightly back. Additionally, Vecchiarelli says the knee pads need to be placed around the seat, which can be difficult for smaller people. You can usually get it right using the lumbar support of your chair, but if you don’t have that option, you can use a lumbar support, pillow, or rolled up towel instead.
Everything you do on your computer, regardless of operating system, requires reaching for the mouse to navigate or click on certain menus. This is not always convenient. Therefore, it is recommended to optimize the most frequently used steps to have few “mouse actions”.
First, think about what you do most often and see if your system already has keyboard shortcuts that might be helpful. You can find a complete list of Windows and MacOS with keys online. You can also adjust mouse sensitivity to minimize the amount of movement required to move the cursor from one point on the screen to the next while maintaining reasonable accuracy. You can change this setting as per your convenience on both Windows and macOS.
Beyond that is the limit. You can record macros to sequence commands with a single keystroke, or, if you’re even more ambitious, get an auxiliary keyboard with extra hotkeys and functions you can’t normally change. You can also install software that modifies it.
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I use his USB overdrive on his Mac to enable advanced keyboard and mouse features, like mapping extra trackball buttons for forward and backward navigation. Windows users are encouraged to try his AutoHotkey as an advanced login feature.
My background is in industrial automation, but if there’s one thing assembly line workers suffer from, he says, it’s repetitive strain injuries. These are very common and are caused by doing certain tasks or behaviors over and over again. This can be very tiring on certain parts of the body, but the worker can easily avoid this by changing tasks at regular intervals throughout her day and by taking long breaks. increase.
You can apply this same principle to your home office. For example, if you have an adjustable desk, it’s better to constantly switch between sitting and standing than staying in the same position all day. You can also change things on a smaller scale. My ball can rotate between he 0 degrees and he 20 degrees. I do that sometimes to keep my hands in place.
Otherwise, every 1-2 hours you should get up and stretch or do 10 minutes of activity depending on your comfort. If you forget, you can set up your Fitbit or smartwatch and ask, but having a good watch can get the job done just as well. One of the clear benefits of working from home is that if you want to do something unusual like raise a door, use a walker on the floor, or even hang upside down if you want to take it to the next level, nothing happens. is. the one who judges you ,you
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In addition to the physical benefits, changing your mind and taking short breaks during your workday can also help you stay mentally sharp. Sure, writing technical articles like this is fun, but it’s nice to switch gears and focus your brain on another task that requires a different physical or mental shift. Of course, it’s even better if you move this activity away from your screen, as it also relaxes your eye muscles.
With the right desk setup and occasional breaks, working from home can provide the benefits of a “shorter” commute without hurting your health through poor ergonomics.
Freelance Technology He is a journalist and has been in the manufacturing automation industry for over 10 years. In addition to his writing, he loves experimenting and building, creating everything from walking robots to furniture. When he’s not writing or producing, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and by the water where he lives in Florida. You can find Jeremy’s work on his YouTube and his Twitter. You can also watch Jeremy talk to other makers and technology makers on The Creativity Podcast. So you’ve decided to say goodbye to office life and work from home entirely. Alternatively, you can set up a home office to pursue your new job. good for you!
Working from home gives you complete control over your schedule. And you can always give up early if you use your cards correctly.
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But sitting on the couch with your laptop isn’t going to make you productive. office or
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