The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people working from home as companies have adopted a work-from-home policy to curb the spread of the disease. The question of productivity has often been put under the microscope when working from home comes into the picture. As several million workers are confined to their homes, they are exposed to the luxury of the bed as opposed to the workplace environment. With your home now doubling up as your workplace, the work-life balance has been under scrutiny. This lack of physical boundaries between the two environments gives rise to a phenomenon called “role blurring” where the domestic roles and workplace roles cannot be distinguished.
To adapt to these changes, it is important to develop a new mindset and set up a home office in a suitable place to work remotely. Jack Dennerlein, a professor of Physical Therapy at Northeastern University, suggests that the best way to get yourself acquainted with these changes is to maintain proper health and productivity. He also suggests that ergonomically designed chairs and work tables should be used to ensure proper functioning. A proper distinction must be created between the space allocated for your work and the personal space of the other family members.
Dennerlein says that it is important to keep the location of the workplace in mind. The workplace should be located at a place overlooking your entire house so that you can keep an eye on it and providing suitable visual access. Things that you might need should be in close proximity to you so that you are at comfort. Focusing on body postures, he points out that the lower back and arms are the most sensitive areas while working. He suggests that people working from home should take care of sharp edges and proper seating locations. The height of the chair should not be too high so as to help your feet touch the ground and keep it rested. Your arms should be in a comfortable position to avoid making it a pressure point.
Dennerlein says, “The whole idea is we’re not designed to maintain postures for a long time, and in fact, a lot of the muscles that we are working on are what I call anti-gravity because you’re reacting to gravity and holding up your body against it. You really want to make sure you’re balanced and supported.”