Remote work is a relatively new phenomenon, and while it has many benefits, it isn’t totally risk-free.
Working remotely can have a negative impact on employees’ health and wellbeing, as staff struggle to balance work and home life, set boundaries, and connect with colleagues.
Out of the office, employees can also struggle without the right furniture and equipment. Too often, home workers are forced to use makeshift desks and chairs, raising the risk of physical injuries and leading to unnecessary stress on the body and mind.
In this article, we’ll explain the importance of remote worker ergonomics, and how ergonomics can help deliver a mental health boost.
Working from home and its impact on mental wellbeing
While remote work has its positives, such as reduced commuting time, it can take a hidden toll on your employees.
Since the pandemic, most organisations have adapted to offer their staff a remote or hybrid working arrangement. But studies show working from home can have long-term implications for mental health.
A survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association found that most employees who work from home have experienced negative impacts such as isolation, loneliness, and difficulties separating work and home life.
Meanwhile, studies have also found that younger workers aged 35 or under fear loneliness from long-term home working, with heightened levels of stress and anxiety since shifting to remote work.
According to the studies, a host of remote working factors can impact mental health, including:
- Feeling isolated
- Feeling disconnected – socially and professionally
- Unable to stay motivated
- Unable to prioritise workload
- Uncertain working hours
- Unsure about performance and career growth
- Inability to take mind off work
Remote workers can also struggle to combine their jobs with childcare demands, amplifying stress and anxiety.
Other workers cited in studies have spoken about the difficulties of “switching off” at the end of the day, while some say a lack of personal feedback affects anxiety levels.
The impact of remote working is a growing area of research, but there are steps organisations can take to mitigate the risks.
HR experts recommend drawing up proper procedures and policies for remote work. They say setting clear boundaries around performance and work-life balance can reduce some of the mental health risks.
Benefits of ergonomic office furniture for remote worker mental health
As more organisations offer remote or hybrid working options to staff, it’s important to make the home office experience a positive one.
Having an ergonomic setup at home will help your staff settle in for a working day and make their home working space feel more inviting and relaxing.
Ergonomics is important to safeguarding staff health and easing some of the stressors that can lead to mental health problems.
Why? Ergonomic furniture reduces the risk of injuries and makes the home working environment more comfortable and ultimately, a better place to spend the day.
Several factors affect remote worker wellbeing, and your staff need to be efficient, productive, and comfortable to do their best work.
Poor workstations result in bad posture and can cause injuries, so ensure your staff know how to set up their workstations.
Employees will be happier to spend hours at their home workstations if their setup is as comfortable as the office.
Everyone working from home should choose furniture that is fully adjustable to their needs and adaptable to their body shape.
Don’t let your staff settle for a dining table chair or kitchen stool. Ergonomic chairs are designed for all-day use and can make the difference between a productive remote working experience and an unsettled one.
Ergonomic chairs for remote working
If your employees spend part of the week at home, ensure they have the best ergonomic seating possible.
Here are some of our best ergonomic chairs for home offices, from supportive swivel chairs to active seating stools:
The affordable but stylish option, the Mondo Soho looks and feels great. Featuring a mesh back suited to warmer climates, this chair has adjustable seat height, a smooth swivel action, and castors for easy transport. Its strong 5-star base makes it perfect for all-day use in the home office.
The Buro Mentor has no levers, and features Dynamic Intelligence™ seating technology to respond to your weight and organic movement throughout the day.
The Buro Mentor is a great fit for home offices, adjusting to everybody’s needs — ideal if your chair is shared with someone else in the house. With a comfortable and supportive upholstered back, the Buro Mentor looks as good as it feels.
Buro Polo Drafting Stool
The Buro Polo Drafting Stool is height adjustable and promotes ‘active sitting’ — the practice of encouraging gentle movement to keep the body and mind energised.
With the Buro Polo Drafting Stool, you can rock side to side or swivel to keep the muscles engaged and the mind alert.
This seat is ideal for people who use standing desks and want somewhere to take the weight off from time to time.
The Buro Roma comes with extra padding for ultimate comfort. This computer chair has a moulded foam seat and back, making it soft yet supportive. Three levers for seat and back adjustments ensure it can be tailored to your needs.