Adapting Workspaces for Productivity and Ergonomics in the Post-COVID Home Office Era

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the employment world in a wide variety of ways; some of these alterations have been negative and some positive. Prior to the pandemic, the presence in the office was generally compulsory, however at the height of the pandemic, when governments introduced lockdowns, business decided to allow employees to work from home, this was in fact a positive development that changed the perception of working from home forever, in summary the ‘working from home’ concept is here to stay.

The reality is the fact that employers have found that employees working from home are in fact more productive and due to this, not only has business performance improved, but also cost for employers and employees has reduced in numerous ways (transport, utilities, resources, time etcetera). On the flipside, most employees currently working from home have set up ‘home offices’ that overlook the importance of ergonomics.

Most Australian offices are setup ergonomically in accordance with the Australian Occupational Health & Safety Act of 2004 that has solidified ergonomic requirements in the modern office. However, those who are working from home may not factor ergonomics into their home office setup which could result in health issues within a decade if they do not embrace ergonomics.

One reason that that could be the driving factor for those who work from home not factoring ergonomics into their home office is simply due to the level of comfort that a home provides, however it important for these individuals to remember that even when working from home, ergonomics is important for their physical health.

Mainly what an individual working from home needs is an ergonomic office chair and a desk at the least. There are countless of new products that have flooded the office furniture market and they range from standard office chairs, mesh chairs gaming chairs, and of course the ergonomic office chairs and they have the potential to confuse consumers.

One must realize that there is a difference between an ergonomic chair and gaming office hybrid chairs and towards clarifying this scenario with regards to office furniture in Australia this article provides a clear and present perspective on what ergonomic seating standards are within the scope of the modern office era be it a home office or a commercial office.

The fact is that the ergonomic office chair is specifically designed to encourage those who sit for long hours to adopt a neutral posture whilst providing adequate support while employees work long hours in the home office or regular offices.

These ergonomic office chairs or furniture do in fact often cost a little bit more than most other regular office furniture, but in the long run those who use ergonomic office furniture will prevent musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain, cervical spondylosis and some may even adopt permanent poor posture.

Therefore, it is good to remember that a proper functional ergonomic office chair will feature, lumbar support, adjustable headrest, armrests, and seat height, easy swivelling, a stable base, padded seat and back, sliding seat pan, an adjustable tilt tension and lock and some even feature nylon carpet casters.