Telecommuting is becoming a bigger part of life. About 20 percent to 25 percent of workers telecommute, according to 2016 data from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.
For the best work-from-home experience, concentrate on three areas: workstation, lighting and movement.
A lot goes into a workstation — desks, keyboards, monitors, phones, chairs. But working at home may mean getting down to basics. Many people commandeer the kitchen table or sit on the couch — not ideal.
If telecommuters are thinking of making an investment, make it a comfortable chair. Valentina Sendin, ergonomic program manager at Kaiser Permanente, said the most comfortable chair is an adjustable one.
Seats in office chairs should be movable, she said. Look at where the lumbar support is. Is the back height comfortable? Can the person sit upright in it? Those are all factors to test. Don’t just purchase a chair online that says “ergonomic” because it might not fit right, she said.
Poor lighting can lead to eye strain, and overhead fluorescent lights can be harsh on the eyes, Sendin said.
Telecommuters should consider a good lamp with softer yellow tones, which is easier on the eyes.
Sendin said to keep in mind that the laptop also emits light, so you can use a dimmer bulb in the lamp — something in the range of 20-30 watts.
Ergonomics research suggests moving throughout the day. Even “micro breaks” — when a person is moving for about two minutes — are important to prevent strain.