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By Debbie Gregory.

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Working from home has become the new normal for many workers in 2020.   Even before the pandemic, remote working was trending upward.  According to a recent Gallup poll, between 25 percent and 43 percent of Americans are working remotely on their laptops.

The main issue is that a lot of people working from home are doing it in a way it can be harmful to their health and their work. If you are hunched over the kitchen counter on your laptop while your family or roommates are loudly watching TV in the room next to you, you may want to consider a more permanent, and more peaceful, place to work.

Below are some ideas to help you put your home-office in better shape for your sanity, your body, and your productivity.

First, you need to make sure that you are taking care of your body.

1.) Your Health Should Always be a Top Priority or the Top Priority:

Never forget that an optimal workplace also needs items that help you feel good and allows you to take care of your basic needs with ease.

Consider adding items to your home workspace including:

  • An air purifier
  • Live plants
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Motivational posters

2.) Proper Posture & Take Movement Breaks:

Proper posture at the computer and/or using any gadget will go a long way and help to prevent or ease pain, discomfort, and fatigue.  Maintaining proper posture also helps to promote energy and relaxation. Taking frequent breaks helps to keep your body happy and your mind sharp. You come back to your work feeling refreshed and energized and this equates to being so much more productive and happier.

Some areas to focus on include:

  • Make sure that you can keep your head as upright as possible. Do not crane your neck downwards or upwards to view your screen.
  • Keep your arms in a neutral or 90 degree position.
  • Take frequent breaks to move and stretch out your muscles.
  • Take short walks at regular intervals (even if it is around the house).

Your Home Office Set-Up:

3.) Make Sure That You Have A Comfortable Work Chair:

The chair you sit in is much more important than the desk it is in front of. Your chair should swivel, it should have lower back support, it should help you to sit up straight, it should have comfortable arm rests that help keep your arms in the correct position, and you should be able to adjust the height.

4.) Consider Standing Instead of Sitting While You Work:

Prolonged sitting can be harmful to your health and many experts suggest that standing or alternating between standing and sitting is better for your body. There are special desks that allow you to stand that re very popular.  In fact, many companies were purchasing them for their offices.  As stated above, taking frequent breaks to move around is important. You might seriously consider purchasing a stand-up desk to perform your work.

5.) Make Your Work Area as Quiet and Peaceful as Possible:

Your neighborhood can certainly be a loud place whether it is the barking of neighborhood dogs, motorcycles, cars, street noise, or neighbors.   Unless you live alone, your home is noisy too with kids and family or roommates.  All of these are annoying distractions when you are trying to concentrate on your work. If you cannot create a totally quite place, consider investing in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Please stay tuned for Part 2 of this mini blog series.   In the meantime, we invite you to join VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association.  There are not any dues or membership fees.  You can use the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.