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Working From A Home Office Top Tips

Who Could Imagine This?

Turns out sitting on a dining room chair in front of a laptop on the table and been bent over for hours on end each day is bad for you.

WFH (Working From Home) has made many people unhealthy. Report on the BBC. Ironic as the BBC regularly shows people using a laptop in a way which will lead to problems.

Most doctors I have met (which is not many) do not know what height their screen should be to avoid muscle aches and pains.

This does not have to be the way see below to avoid injury and remain healthy. I have been WFH for the last 20-years and have none of the problems listed in The Times.


Almost all photos of people working with laptops and desktop computers are bad for your health!

They demonstrate bad practice. They give the impression it does not matter how you have your computer set-up. If you are going to be working for more than 5-minutes then you need to be sitting comfortably and set-up correctly.

Most people outside IT position their screens at the wrong height.

Because most photos of people using computers show laptops on tables – that does not mean that is a good height to use them. IT professionals have their screens higher up. Reason; stops you getting neck ache. Neck ache reduces productivity. Yes, your second screen should also be higher up.

Of course this means you cannot use the laptop keyboard or mouse.
Solution – a separate keyboard and mouse.
Benefit – laptop keyboards work – but are for most really just a get you by on a train.

I discovered this the hard way. The first company laptop I had was a Toshiba, not knowing any better I put it on the desktop and used it like that. Within a few weeks I had developed terrible neck ache. I could not turn my head properly to see behind me. One day I reversed my company car off my drive into my neighbours heap of rust. Naturally I offered to pay for the damage, £100 for his bumper.

My friend Tim who spent hours everyday on his computer never suffered from neck ache – because of how he had positioned his laptop. Neck ache from using a laptop is caused by users are not being set-up correctly.

Obvious really. What is perhaps even stranger. If you employ people to lift boxes then you need to have them trained to do that. Using a computer does not seem to require training, which is why most people are not doing a very good job.

It is very rare to see someone setup correctly.

Two Screens

Productivity of British workers is a frequently raised issue by people in Government, if you have any interest in improving your productivity, and those you influence, here are three power user tips for FREE!

Attach a second screen to your computer and raise that up as well.

Why – cheap cost about £100 – you can pay more but clearly with an expected life of say 5-years. £20 per year (Could last 10-years) this is not a costly option.

Benefit – allows you to do two things at once. Example write a document on productivity on one screen whilst checking facts on the other. Certainly all Windows laptops and PCs I have seen have the connection for a second screen. Then on your machine go to screen settings and choose extend my screen. Takes a few minutes to get use to but once you have, you will never go back to one screen.

Why do you see so few people doing this?

Most people try and make jobs as long as possible, is the only explanation. If you are still struggling to see the benefit you will never be convinced by anything to do with increasing productivity. (All the self-employed, small business owner people I know in IT / Marketing use two screens.)

Working With 2 Screens

If you are about 6 foot tall that means having the laptop about a foot from the surface of the desk a shorter person might want that a few inches lower.

You want your eyes level with the top of the screen making you look straight ahead or slightly up.

When you are set up like this you will reduce the chances of tipping a drink in to your laptop. The most common way computers are damaged.

Ergonomic Keyboard

An ergonomic keyboard which is shaped to fit those with broader shoulders and larger hands can be very helpful. Smaller people might be OK with a straight keyboard.

Learn To Touch Type

An ergonomic keyboard which is shaped to fit those with broader shoulders and larger hands can be very helpful. Smaller people might be OK with a straight keyboard.

Mavis Beacon is a good place to start.


If you want to be productive ensure that:-

1 Laptop is raised up
2 Has another screen attached to it
3 You have a proper keyboard and mouse
4 You teach yourself to touch type
5 One thing worth spending a bit on is a decent office chair – if you are going to be sitting on it 5 days a week for 8 hours, after your bed it will be the place you spend the most time.

Bonus Once you have these in place treat yourself to sound bar. Position that at ear height, and you will be able to work away with some relaxing music to your hearts content. Take a break every hour walk around – hang the washing out to dry, bring it in. Sitting at a screen for hours without a break will not do you any good.