Brits are being encouraged to think about their work from home (WFH) set-up and optimise their workspace. According to new research commissioned by High Speed Training*, more than half (53%) of workers have not been provided with the office equipment needed to enable them to work from home safely and effectively.
More than 2,000 people took part in the research nationwide, revealing that many have had to purchase office items themselves, such as a chair (29%) or a desk (27%), and one in five have even had to invest in expensive electronic items such as a printer (19%) or a laptop (18%). The findings revealed that a third (33%) feel neutral, unhappy or very unhappy about their home working set-up.
Moreover, research earlier in the year by the Institute of Employment Studies has shown how evident the risk to injury can be without a well-thought-out physical working environment. 55% of those surveyed reported aches or pains in their back, 55% have had headaches or migraines, and 58% have had aches and pains in the neck**. This is highly concerning considering the sheer number of traditionally office-based people that have had to make the switch to home working since lockdown.
However, while creating a workspace at home has been challenging, nearly half of Brits (49%) have reported an improvement to their mental health since working from home. So, to help workers match their physical health to their mental health, online training provider High Speed Training has shared some top tips for ensuring the optimum WFH setup for physical wellbeing:
Ensure the monitor is central on the desk and within easy reach with the user when sitting in a neutral position. Eyes should be level with a point on the screen that is 2” to 3” below the top – this allows for head, neck and shoulders to be relaxed.
Chairs should be padded, free-moving, and stable, with adjustable height and lumbar support for the user’s lower back. The user’s feet must sit flat on the floor or propped up on a comfortable footrest.
The mouse must be positioned close to the user so that they do not have to stretch to use it, allowing for the elbows to rest at a slightly open angle. If the user is using a laptop, a plug in USB mouse is preferred to allow for the best shoulder posture.
The user must sit so that elbows are at a right angle when typing. Shoulders, back and arms must be relaxed to not place extra strain on important muscles and joints. As with the mouse, the keyboard should be placed within easy reach of the user, so they do not have to stretch and so that their wrists are supported on the desk.
Desks should have adequate height underneath to accommodate legs with plenty of room left over. Desk surfaces should not be made from materials that cause constant reflected glare to the user’s eyes. The room should be well lit, preferably with natural light, to aid eye health and prevent eye strain caused by screen time and a constant room temperature kept to prevent bad posture.
Richard Anderson, Head of Learning & Development at High Speed Training, said: “Home-working has become ‘business as usual’ for many of us, and it is important that the best setups are in place to ensure that a positive working environment, both physically and mentally, is continued for all employees. It is time for both employees and employers to create the ideal WFH space that works for the long term.”
For more information and support for how to set-up and maintain a positive work from home environment, the importance of ergonomics for longer-term working from home, and tailored mental health training, simply visit www.highspeedtraining.co.uk.