To slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), numerous companies and their employees are working from home.
Telecommuting is helping protect employers and workers from becoming infected with the coronavirus, a crucial goal during these challenging times.
As your team works from home, make sure your employees practice good ergonomics at home to reduce injuries and increase productivity.
Ergonomics is defined as the science of fitting a workplace to the user's needs—aiming to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing discomfort.
For many organizations, ergonomics is considered an employee safety issue.
Bad ergonomics, how your body moves and grooves at work, can contribute to a variety of factors including an injury at work—and now with telecommuting, also working from home.
Most modern workplaces are designed with ergonomics in mind. Employees are taught the proper way to lift and operate equipment and utilize office furniture designed to help reduce back, neck and wrist pain.
Unfortunately, most remote work situations aren't always ergonomic friendly. Especially if your employees aren’t used to working from home.
Many workers can—and will—make the rookie mistake of working from their bed or couch all day...or worse, forget to carve out time to move their body in a healthy way.
That’s why it’s critical during this time to offer your employees guidance on how they can best work from home with their healthy, productivity and psychological safety in mind.
When it comes to good ergonomics, there are a few body parts that are especially important, including necks, wrists and backs. Injuries to these areas are common and can both cause employees extreme pain and stifle their productivity.
For employees who work remotely, communicate with them about the tips and tools they can use to stay safe, comfortable, and productive while at home.
It's a natural tendency to slouch forward while sitting. Unfortunately, just a few minutes of slouched sitting can cause lower back pain.
Without a good desk chair, lumbar support can fall by the wayside. Avoid bad posture and an even worse back with a simple trick: roll up a towel or a small pillow to use for portable lumbar support on any chair.
Better yet, skip the wonky MacGyver techniques and invest in an ergonomic-designed chair for your home office that provides the support you need for hours-long comfort.
Ergonomic chairs are a healthier option for your neck and back as they evenly disperse the pressure put on your spine, creating a comfortable and flexible seating option for your home office setup.
Standing desks have become a popular alternative to sitting all day. If you invest in a standing desk, it's also important to use proper ergonomics while working from it.
Start with height. The best height for a standing desk is approximately elbow height, this allows for a comfortable arm and wrist position, with the monitor at eye level.
This height is ideal because it prevents employees from straining their neck to properly view their monitor and provides a more lax position for the joints in your arm and wrist, creating less pressure and straining on those areas of the body.
Staring at a screen all day, especially a laptop, can cause major neck and shoulder issues over time. One way to avoid this is by using additional monitors.
Many people will hook a laptop up to a conventional desk monitor with a larger screen. This helps to keep the neck and head at a comfortable, less strenuous level and also helps to reduce eye strain too.
If additional monitors aren't an option, another solution is using a wireless mouse and keyboard. These can help ensure good wrist ergonomics and help to bring your workspace into the twentieth-first century.
Tools, like laptop stands and platforms, can raise the screen to eye level. Use a wireless keyboard and mouse setup on a table or work surface to mimic working from a desk at the office.
While working in bed might seem appealing and a comfy idea (spoiler alert: after a couple hours of working, it’s not), it can seriously deteriorate your neck and spine over time. Staying in bed all day to work is also a major motivation killer.
When working, always try to do so from a space in your home that promotes good ergonomics and supports your productivity. Having a dedicated working setup/office makes a huge difference.
Create a home workspace that supports productivity and comfort to more easily focus on your job's tasks and fight the urge to lounge.
Staying stationary all day is one of the worst things you could do to your body. It's unnatural to remain seated and in front of a screen 24/7, so it's important to move around a bit during the work day.
Set a timer every hour and use that to get up from the workstation, do a few stretches, and get the blood flowing. Getting the body moving a bit can help employees remain healthy, focused and on top of productivity.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to encourage a culture of safety when your employees are working remotely or in the office.
Your employees are one of the most important parts of your business. So, going the extra mile to ensure their safety and well-being will always be smart business.
One of the best ways to protect your employees is by making sure your small business is covered by Colorado’s leading digital workers’ comp carrier, Cake Insure.
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