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How to Boost Efficiency When Working from Home with Ergonomics – A Complete Guide

14 April 2023

When working from home, some of us can struggle to maintain focus on our work. As a result, we compromise our overall productivity and reduce efficiency because it takes longer to complete tasks that we may do so quicker at the office. Thankfully, you can improve that situation simply by making a few crucial changes to your home office setup. Ergonomics is crucial in achieving that, and with good ergonomics, you can start working optimally, allowing you to complete your work faster, achieve better results at work, and improve your mood. Therefore, this article is a complete guide on how to boost efficiency when working from home with ergonomics.

The article goes over various ergonomics practices you should follow, and it also highlights some essential equipment that you can use to improve your ergonomics. That said, you can still improve work ergonomics at home even when on a budget. So, let's get into the changes you can make.

Understanding Ergonomics

It's first important to have a good understanding of what ergonomics is so that you can utilize it to improve your efficiency. It's a practice in which you set up your equipment in a way that allows you to maximize your efficiency.

How to Boost Efficiency When Working from Home with Ergonomics

Boosting efficiency when working from home can also help you improve your overall comfort when sitting at your desk. That can also help reduce long-term pains and other, which can help you continue working with optimal focus. With that said, here are some tips on how to boost efficiency when working from home with ergonomics.



Make Sure That You Sit with Good Posture

Your posture is arguably the most important part of improving your efficiency when working from home. There are various aspects that contribute to good posture, so here are the most important aspects that you should keep in mind.

1. You should sit completely into your seat with your lower back resting against the seat's backrest.

2. Keep your entire back upright so that your entire back is straight and your head is also in-line with the rest of your upper body. Make sure to avoid rounded shoulders. Also, you can adjust the recline of your ergonomic office chair to anywhere between 100 and 110 degrees for the optimal position. Sitting at 90 degrees can cause your hip joint to get into an awkward position.

3. Make sure that your seat height is adjusted optimally so that your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. It's also acceptable if your knees are only slightly lower than your hips.

4. Keep both feet flat on the floor. Don't let your feet dangle, and don't let only your toes rest on the floor. If your feet cannot reach the floor even after your thighs are in the ideal position, consider placing a platform or shoebox under your feet. Also, avoid sitting cross-legged because it can put a strain on your lower back.

5. Keep your forearms relatively parallel to the ground, and make sure they rest on the armrests of your chair. Your elbow joints should also be at about 90 degrees.

6. Ensure that your wrists are relatively straight without them being flexed upward excessively. Too much wrist flexion can lead to problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can make working at a home office desk particularly difficult.

7. Make sure your head is not tilted upward or downward. You can adjust the height of your screen to help with that. The ideal height is for the upper half of your screen to be at your eye level.



Invest in Furniture That Helps You Sit with Good Posture

It's always a good idea to use a good ergonomic office chair for your home office instead of sitting on your bed or couch. A bed or couch will most likely make you slouch, which will prevent you from maintaining good posture. At the same time, it may not offer ideal back support, in which it may not be relatively upright or it may not support all of your upper body. Investing in a high-quality but relatively affordable chair like the OC7 will provide you with the support you need to ensure that you maintain good posture.



Organize Your Work Area

It's going to be harder for you to work efficiently in a space that is messy and unorganized than when working in a tidy space. A cluttered work area can cause you to feel stressed out and can have a negative impact on your mood toward your work. As a result, you'll compromise your overall focus and productivity, which can increase the time you take to complete your work.

That is why it is integral to organize your work area properly. The first thing you should do is remove all unessential items from your home office desk. So, any notebooks, paperclips, staplers, or other office items should be taken off your desk unless you use them frequently. Fewer things on your desk can help make you feel less stressed out about your work area. So, the things you should have at your desk include your mouse, keyboard, monitor, and a bottle of water. That said, place any other items you frequently use there as well. However, just make sure that it's away from your mouse and keyboard so that these items don't keep coming in your way when working.

The second thing you should do is organize all of your office items in your storage spaces. You can utilize storage spaces, such as drawers, file cabinets, or pegboards, to ensure that your office items are within your home office space. Organizing your items can help you know exactly where a specific item is stored. So, when you need it, you don't have to waste time searching for it. Make sure that the most frequently-used items are closest to you. You should not need to keep getting off your seat to retrieve certain items. That way, you can help save time when working.



Take Necessary Breaks

One of the most important ways how to boost efficiency when working from home with ergonomics is to take necessary breaks. It's important to understand that ergonomics also includes your working practices and not just the position of your equipment.

So, make sure that you take four types of breaks at the very least.

Take your first break after every 20 minutes. During this break, you'll need to follow the 20/20/20 rule. This rule entails looking at any object that's about 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes. Doing so helps alleviate your eyes after looking at your screen consistently, helping reduce eye strain.

The next break is at 30 minutes. You simply have to perform a stretching motion to help reduce strain on your lower back. So, stand up and position your palms on your glutes, and press tightly. After that, push your body forward so that your head is behind your glutes.

The third break is to take an hourly break. So, you can take a break for about 10 minutes in which you can roam about your home. The goal is to help you get some physical activity and a moment to divert your focus from your work for a short period. This break can help you return to your work with a fresh mind, allowing you to get more work done efficiently.

A final break that you should take is your lunch break. Make sure that you take the entirety of your lunch break. It can help you get some much-needed rest, and you can refuel yourself to be able to work for several more hours throughout the day.



Stick to a Schedule

One of the most overlooked methods on how to boost efficiency when working from home with ergonomics is sticking to a schedule. You must remember that ergonomics includes practices that help you work more efficiently, and working with a fixed schedule will help you achieve just that. It's best to stick to your regular shift hours. This way, you can make sure that you also finish your work on time and have a healthy work-life balance—something that can be difficult to achieve for many professionals working from home.

Final Thoughts

This guide on how to boost efficiency when working from home with ergonomics shows you how you can make improvements in your working speed without needing to spend a lot of money on equipment. Moreover, if you're working with a hybrid setup, you can also ask your employer to provide you with ergonomic furniture that you can take home. This way, you'll have great work setups both in the office and at home, allowing you to work at optimal efficiency in both cases.