Hot desking is becoming more and more common in offices around the country.
With more and more people hot-desking I see a correlation is more patients visiting me with upper back, neck injuries, headaches, wrist and arm pain.
Having aches, pains and injuries whilst you are at work is not only miserable and annoying but can make you less focused and efficient. In addition it can make even the simplest work related task feel like a mission.
To help you avoid this here are my top 5 tips to avoid the problems of hot desking:
1. Make sure you take time in the morning to set up your desk.
This can feel like a time heavy and annoying thing to do but if you follow this video guide below it can be done in just a few minutes.
The reason this is important is that chances are the person who used the desk before you may be of a completely different height and build to you – if the desk set up to suit a 6ft guy it is unlikely to suit a 5ft women.
So if either of them uses the others set up it can cause their muscles and joints to be unsupported, become strained which can lead to injuries.
2. Take your riser, separate keyboard and mouse where ever you work
If you are doing combination of working from home and working from an office, or perhaps you travel around a lot and work in other offices then it is a really good idea to make sure that you set up your desk where ever you are working.
You can use the video above for both your home and work set up. Make sure that you have all the equipment you need for your home setup such as a riser a separate keyboard and mouse.
If you are working with laptop and travelling around, carry the riser and separate keyboard and mouse with you. It can seem like a lot, but many of them fold up so they can be easily put in your bag and carried. This helps you to have a good working posture wherever you are.
You may think that you do not use your laptop much when you are travelling around but if you keep a record of it you may find it quickly adds up to a significant amount of time.
3. Take regular breaks in your working day
Whether you are working at work, home or remotely make sure you take regular breaks. The gold standard is a break every 20 minutes but if you can not manage that they try for at least every half an hour.
During your break can get up and move around this can really help reduce aches and pains as it gets your muscles and joints moving. It can help your general health as well with more and more evidence pointing towards sedentary lifestyles putting us at a higher risk of problems such as cardiovascular disease diabetes.
Regular breaks won’t only help your muscle and joint health, it will help your overall health as well. It is really important to combine these micro breaks that may be just for 2-3 minutes with a longer lunch break during which you a 10-minute walk that gets you moving can really help your mind and as well as your body.
4. Use your equipment effectively
Often when I go into offices and to check a patient’s desk I find that they own the equipment but just don’t know how to alter the set up of the monitor stand, chair or other equipment they are using.
Often it is worth checking with colleagues to see how they have set up their desk and what equipment they have found to be useful and then if you do need anything extra request it.
If your HR department will not supply it sometimes it is worth buying it yourself. It should be supplied but at the end of the day you need to balance out the cost of the equipment versus the pain and discomfort you are in.
5. Request a Workplace Assessment
If you really are struggling and do ask for a workplace assessment. Many offices offer these and they can offer good advice and can be the trigger to have particular equipment ordered for you. If you are having problems and you are seeing a healthcare professional they will often write a letter or email to your work to explain what problems you are having and what equipment or other items you may need to support you.
I hope you have found these tips helpful and that they help you avoid the perils of hot-desking so that you can be more comfortable at your desk.
If you would like further advice you can book a Free Chiro Chat in with myself where you can talk to me about your problem to see if I am able to help you.
If you have questions, as always, feel free to get in touch by placing your question in the comments below this blog.Alternatively, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.