How to prepare a workstation at home?

  • How to prepare a workstation at home?

A properly adjusted workstation is the key to effective and safe performance. On the other hand, we need to prioritise our employees’ health and comfort if we want to make sure the whole organisation is healthy and efficient. The analyses conducted by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors clearly prove that introducing ergonomic solutions and furniture significantly reduces musculoskeletal issues among employees, which in turn minimises absenteeism and staff rotation. In the light of these facts, we encourage employers to be considerate when standardising office design and consider raising the workstation standard in the office.

And what if your organisation is into hybrid work and some of the tasks are performed by employees from home? As experienced specialists in workplace design, we want to share specific tips and tricks to make a remote workstation comfortable and efficient without spending a fortune. 
When preparing a workstation at home, focus on three basic elements: location, equipment and best practices. 

  • Make sure your workstation is in a specifically defined space, distinct and separate from your personal zone. It would be best if you could come up with a separate room, but if it’s impossible, try to separate the work zone from any space you are using.  
  • A good place for a workstation is near a window. You will benefit from daylight, and from time to time you can look away into the distance to let your exhausted eyes relax for a while.  
  • For video calls, ensure a plain background behind your back. This is to make your workstation look professional.  
  • Make sure your furniture and other equipment are suited to your individual needs and your body size. The desk and computer screen need to be in an ergonomic position so that you can work comfortably while sitting on the chair.
  • Introduce some diversity and variation: work in a sitting position for 45 minutes, then stand for 15 minutes to promote healthy habits.
  • Whatever you need for your everyday work should be within reach. This way you avoid having to bend over and assume unnatural body posture.
What equipment should you consider when customizing a workstation for remote work?

  • A desk with a fixed height top to ensure natural hand positioning when using the keyboard and adequate space to place the legs under the table top
  • Alternatively, a desk with elecstrictive height adjustment that allows you to adjust the height of the table top to different preferences of home users as well as to change positions during the working day. When adjusting the height of the tabletop, whether sitting or standing, remember to maintain a right angle between the arm and forearm.
  • Stable ergonomic swivel chair that allows you to adjust the height, tilt and depth of the seat, the force of resistance of the backrest and the contouring of the armrests and headrest.
  • Alternatively, a solution for active work of the spine - a seat ball, a sensorimotor cushion placed on the seat or a stool with height adjustment and balancing function.
Technology solutions
  • Additional monitor on adjustable bracket or laptop/monitor stand with fixed height. So that the eyes are at a height of about 25/30% from the top edge of the monitor.
  • Docking station for seamless use of various electrical solutions from the position of one device and instant installation to the workstation.
  • Wireless mouse and keyboard, headphones with microphone and multifunction printer.
Solutions to improve comfort
  • Soft fabrics such as curtains, carpets and pillows to prevent echoes in the room.
  • Greenery in close proximity to the workstation to increase concentration, positive mood, stress reduction.
  • Daylight - ideally, the orientation of the workstation relative to the light coming from the window should be rotated 90 degrees. So that it does not cause reflections and does not interfere with the reading of content from the monitor screen.
  • Indirect artificial light - ideally, the source should be located in the central part of the room and illuminate the work surface evenly with a bright, warm color.
  • Direct artificial light - as an additional light source at a distance of min. 30 cm from the monitor, allowing comfortable reading in the evening.
Best practices – mind your health:
  • Plan regular breaks after each hour, to help your eyes and body relax and regenerate. Short, 5-minute breaks are enough to boost your comfort and performance.
  • While sitting down, maintain an upright position behind the desk and computer screen to keep your spine healthy and properly balanced.
  • During the day, find some time to chill out and regain strength. Work-life balance is vital.

The above three elements are not only good for your health but also conducive to a long, painless life. A properly arranged space will bring you the comfort you need to be satisfied, motivated and productive.