The right telecommuting position to improve productivity, health and well-being – ORH

The correct lighting, noise and temperature conditions; a chair that can be adjusted, to adapt to the person and the task to be performed; a suitable work surface; a computer preferably with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse; and suitable psychosocial and organizational conditions, are all elements that influence visual and postural health, the ability to concentrate and comfort and well-being. This is revealed by the Ergonomics Guide for Remote Work prepared by the Biomechanics Institute of Valencia (IBV), in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Occupational Prevention Services (Aespla).

As we have been able to see in these last two years, the transfer of the workplace outside the office implies many changes in the way of organizing and relating. Although we must not forget that, in the end, it is still a job, and as such affects the productivity, health and well-being of each worker.

Because in office positions, the type of lighting, the intensity of the light, as well as many other factors (noise, temperature, etc.), are evaluated by the occupational risk prevention services, with the aim of knowing if they comply with current regulations or if an intervention by the company is necessary.

Practical recommendations

But at home it is each worker who has to ensure that each of these aspects is correct. And it is that teleworking brings many benefits, both for the company and for the worker. However, it can also carry risks that must be taken into account; especially those associated with the ergonomic aspects derived from the adoption of static postures and the inadequacy of the work teams, and the psychosocial and organizational components.

Precisely, the guide presented during the Meeting by Laboralia 2022, It has been prepared in order to facilitate the knowledge and application of the necessary recommendations, in order to adapt the workplace at home, or in another environment different from that of the classic office. With practical recommendations structured in five main blocks:

    • Environmental conditions.

      The space in which the work is carried out must be isolated as much as possible, without disturbance or noise and with a continuous noise level as low as possible. Between 23-26ºC in summer and 20-24ºC in winter, with humidity between 40% (in winter) and 65% (in summer). Since working with an unsuitable temperature can cause colds or discomfort. The lighting level in the task development area should be sufficient to read and write comfortably and not so high that it causes glare (direct or reflected), loss of contrast on the screen, or excessive contrast with the rest of the room. work environment. And we should avoid sitting so that a window or point of artificial light is behind us, as it can produce annoying shadows and indirect glare.

    • Task chair.

      An adjustable chair is recommended. It is recommended that the seat has a pivoting mechanism that allows the chair to rotate 360º, which will facilitate movement and access to the elements that are needed, avoiding twisting of the trunk and other inappropriate postures. It must have five legs with wheels, for reasons of stability and mobility. It is recommended that the seat and backrest be padded, preferably with a firm padding and covered with a breathable material. The inclination of the backrest must be adjustable, and the seat surface must be as comfortable as possible, allowing full support for the buttocks and thighs. Also, you should avoid slipping. It should be possible to adjust the height of the seat while sitting, and the feet should reach a support surface without feeling pressure on the back of the legs.

    • Work surface (table).

      Another of the important elements in teleworking, so it should meet minimum requirements for space, height, etc. A matte finish and soft color. In the case of a glass table, it should be covered to avoid reflections. It must have a minimum thickness of 3 cm to avoid the accumulation of electrostatic charges on the edges. Corners and edges must be rounded. Tables with high thermal transmission, such as metal or glass, should be avoided. The height should be approximately at the height of your elbows (recommended height between 72 and 76 cm). The forearms must rest correctly on the tabletop when typing. And cable management is essential, so that it does not take up space, neither on the table nor under it, and avoid snags or accidental tripping.

    • Informatic team.

      The guide explains that, to work on a regular basis, it is best to have a computer with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse; and as much as possible, use a laptop sporadically. Thus, as for the monitor, the upper edge of the screen should be at eye level at most. In this way, inappropriate neck postures are avoided. The minimum distance between the screen and the eyes should be 40 cm, although 50 cm is preferable. Always place the screen on the main work surface, so that it is in front of the user. The distance between the edge of the table and the keyboard must be at least 10 cm. It is important that the forearms remain flat on the table while typing. And it is advisable to place the mouse close to the keyboard and parallel to its middle part, trying to keep it within the width of the shoulders.

    • Organization.

      The ideal is to have a space for exclusive use to work (a room or office). If this is not possible, take time before starting work and at the end to put on and take off the various work items, and clear away anything that is not needed. Carry out a correct organization, planning and prioritization of the tasks to be carried out. Set realistic goals. Try to use the periods of the day of maximum activation/concentration (greater performance capacity) for the development of key tasks. Carry out periodic breaks during the day; It is recommended to rest 5 min every hour. And with few exceptions, it is recommended to avoid working at night and/or on weekends. Clutter has negative effects on our stress, and influences our ability to concentrate.

The adoption of the appropriate conditions prevents physical, visual or mental discomfort, and avoids the appearance of problems derived from the lack of ergonomics, which have a personal, business and social cost.

You can download this guide of practical recommendations to improve the teleworking position by clicking on the following link