Working from home has certainly earned its place in the world’s spotlight in recent weeks. For nomad and remote workers, it’s not unusual, but for others, the prospect of working away from the office may be a daunting one. As well as needing to navigate the challenges of staying efficient and motivated, there’s also the practical side to consider. How do you use your IT equipment at home in order to replicate the ergonomics that the professional tools in the office offer?


Bearing this in mind, what can facilities and workplace managers do to support their employees who are working from home in a practical way so they feel less strained, more productive and healthier? Kleopatra Kivrakidou, Channel Marketing Manager at Ergotron, shares these five tips.


  1. Adjust your monitor

If you have a computer monitor, the ideal height on your desk or work surface should be at – or slightly below – eye level, so that they look slightly downward when viewing the middle of the screen. Additionally, the monitor should be positioned at least 20 inches (51 cm) from the eyes — about an arm’s length distance. If the screen is larger, add more viewing distance, which helps prevent eye strain. Adjusting the screen position will also help control screen glare. Don’t forget to tilt the monitor back 10° to 20° to maintain the distance between your screen-scanning eyes and the screen. All this you can do using a stand or arm for your laptop. The same principles apply for laptop computer screens, which can be raised using a laptop stand that positions the monitor at the right height and tilts the keyboard for comfortable typing.


  1. A comfortable chair

Having an optimally positioned monitor will not help if you’re not sitting comfortably. Use a comfortable, adjustable chair to make changes as you shift posture, ensuring that feet are always flat on the floor. The backrest should also be able to tilt and include strong lumbar support to avoid straining the structure of the lower spine.


  1. Keyboards matter

The ideal keyboard height is even with the height of the elbows, tilted back by 10° so that the wrists stay flat, reducing the potential for muscle strain. Sometimes employees might find that their standard workstation is often too high for proper ergonomic positioning of the desk – if that’s the case, try an adjustable keyboard tray that extends below the worksurface.


  1. Keep moving

People are not designed to stay sedentary for long periods of time, so even if your workstation is set up the right way, it’s important to try and move every 30 minutes if possible, even if it’s just to stand and stretch your back and arms. Using a standing desk is another way to introduce movement to your workstation – most are height-adjustable and can move up and down as you go from sit to stand, then back to sit again. Give your neck a break by positioning your screen or work items directly in front of you to avoid having to turn your head so much.


  1. Ensure sufficient lighting

Last but not least is to ensure there is plenty of light in and around the workstation to avoid unnecessary eye strain. Natural light is best, but sufficient artificial light, supplemented by a desk lamp that can be switched on and off manually, will also help look after your eyes. Don’t forget to control any glare coming from your monitor by adjusting the screen’s position, and remember to rest your eyes too by occasionally focusing on an object about six metres away.


These five tips are a simple and easy way for both employers and employees to do more to create more comfortable home-based workspaces that support better health, wellbeing and productivity.